This blog was created to serve as an inspiration to all who read aspire, to love and to live a life of purpose.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Power of Encouragement

Happy Friday Everyone!

Yay to the weekend! Sorry I've been MIA for about a week. Took a spring break vacation to San Francisco with a couple of friends. It was quite relaxing. I didn't even have internet for five days and didn't bother with it. I needed to relax my mind and body. It worked....I'm Up and Running! :~)
At the GoldenGate Bridge, San Francisco, CA
So! sometime ago I was having a conversation with someone who told me in passing that s/he does not give compliments. The theory behind this, the person said, is that if a person looks good they should know they look good, making compliments irrelevant. Right?


Believe it or not, an encouraging word goes a long touches lives, it inspires others and in many ways, it refreshes the soul. People claim all the time they want to do good in the world...what better way to do it than to encourage people who cross your path. What I've learned is that you never know what a person is going through and little forms of encouragement can lift a person's spirits in ways you can't imagine. 

According to the dictionary, to "encourage" means "Give support, confidence, or hope to (someone)". It feeds perseverance and is in itself a "giving" gesture. It is a way to build another up and it is in building others up that we build ourselves up. 
In all trying periods in my life, what has kept me going is knowing that there are people who are rooting for me. When I faced a trying period in 2008, it was my mother's smile and my sisters' hugs that convinced me everything will be alright. During my first year of law school, when I parked my car on the side of the street in Washington D.C. in tears convinced that I couldn't withstand the rigors of law school, it was my sister Ogo's words "You can do this baby....cry all you want, skip class today if you need to, but at the end, clean your eyes and forge on because you are more than conquerors", that kept me in the game long enough to survive that brutal year. When I took the bar exam last year and got stuck on question 5, my mind kept flashing back to the numerous encouraging BB updates ("Rock on Ral", "we are praying for you boo", "we have 0 doubt you will crush it") I saw before I entered the exam was those updates, believe or not, that kept me believing I could conquer that exam. Every time I was encouraged, I succeeded. 

My point is this....the little encouraging words we speak and the little thoughtful gestures we give out can make or break lives....can motivate others...does good...and in many ways can inspire many life-defining moments.

What I don't understand is why it is so hard to give others compliments, to let them know you are praying for them or to just tell them how awesome you think they are or what they did is. Actually, I can theorize it. I have come up with two reasons why certain people cannot/do not encourage others. 

1. Selfishness- They cannot look past themselves to see the good in others
2. Insecurity- They believe giving others encouragement belittles them or makes the other person superior

Please don't let these reasons stop you from doing good.

A couple weeks ago I was telling my sister Oby that I started this blog to inspire others but that I was a bit concerned that maybe not as many people were reading. She said, 'Don't worry boo, keep doing what you do, you never know who's reading". Bingo! She was right. About a week ago, I got a surprising facebook message from a childhood family friend. I don't remember when last we saw or even spoke but here's what she said.
It was what I needed. Just when I needed it. And I told her exactly that.  I encouraged her and by telling me so, she encouraged me too. See how it works...the cycle of encouragement :-)

As human beings, we all need to know there are people out there who want the best for us, who appreciate us, who are rooting for us and who think we are equal to any task we set our mind to. 
Make it a point to encourage people in your life. Let them know they're in your thoughts and that you wish them well.


Here are a few simple ways to encourage others....

~Send them a "just to say hi/just thought about you/I appreciate you/stay strong/i love your work" text/fb message/bbm/tweet
~Give hugs.
~Stay positive in your outlook in life.
~Give think they look nice, tell them so
~Celebrate their achievements by congratulating them (no matter how little)
~Ask how someone is doing and actually wait/pay attention to hear the response. Sometimes listening is more effective than speaking.
~Share things that have encourage you e.g. a Bible verse, a quote, a blog ;-)
~Tell those who have encouraged you just how much they have. Show them how much you appreciate them.
~Be thoughtful (write a hand-written note, put a card in the mail, buy someone who is broke lunch or send them food, etc)
~If someone is going through hardtimes, ask "how can I help?" Its better than the "commonly-said-but-not-meant "Let me know if there's anything I can do"
~When they are faced with big challenges, wish them luck...let them know you're rooting for them.

~You love someone, tell them so :-)

Stay Inspired....& Don't forget just how awesome YOU are :-)


chets said...

yes o! U definitely reap what u sow! Sow encouraging words, reap encouraging words! The things that matter are the small, simple and priceless things!

Anonymous said...

And every now and then, I come here to catch up on all the blogs I've missed. And sure enough, they are always inspiring. Keep it up girl! More...More!!! :-)


Princess R said...

Thank you so much guys! Glad you like. There's definitely be more coming :-)

Flowers said...

That guy/girl is talking rubbish..just like you I believe encouraging words are hugely important to everyone! They also play a big part in peoples success.

Unknown said...

AWWW! you rock dear! I've missed reading your blogs. It's always thought provoking, inspiring and gets me a lil emotional (sobs, sobs :-).. keep it coming dear. xxx