Do you like the sound of the word encouragement? How does it sound in contrast to criticism? Think about how you react to encouragement. How do you feel when you are criticized? I contend that encouragement is a positive motivator. Criticism is a demotivator.

The Flame of Encouragement

The other day I witnessed the following scene.  A child had made a mess of his toy box. His mother asked him to pick up the toys and put them in his toy box. The child did. Mom came by for the inspection. All the toys except two were in the box somewhat randomly.  What should Mom have said?

  1. A.      Johnny, there are two toys still on the floor and the box is still a mess.
  2. B.      Johnny, you did a great job picking most of your toys. How about picking up the other two and stacking all your toys neatly in your toy box.

Ok where am I going with this? Well actually, two places.

First: If we want others to react to us in a positive way, is it best to encourage them to do the things they do well or criticize them for what we perceive them to be doing wrong? The key word in that sentence is “perceive” and I’ll let you think on that for a bit.

musical notes
Musical Interlude

Second: How often do you encourage yourself to take the next step that could lead you to attaining your goal? Unfortunately, many of us “criticize” ourselves to the point of being counterproductive.

When we encourage others and ourselves to use our individual talents and skills in new and exciting ways, we set a tone for growth and learning. None of us got to where we are today without a support system. I’m guessing that your support system was a team of encouragers. If your support system was anything like mine you had parents, teachers, siblings, your children, other family members, friends, fellow students, teammates, co-workers, superiors, pastors, and others as part of your support system.

If they were truly supportive of you they didn’t always agree with you but they still encouraged you. The key person in that system was you. Others can encourage you. In the end you have to act on that encouragement. Let me encourage you to do something today that gets you closer to your dream. If you haven’t done so yet, download the Blueprint for Success

One thought on “Encouragement

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  1. This is great advice. I am so hyper-critical that no matter how well someone does something for me, I can’t help but pick out the one thing they didn’t do right. Maybe it has something to do with my background as an editor/proofreader — trained to find mistakes. I’ll remember the toy box story tomorrow and the next day and the next day and hopefully every day. Thank you!

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