"The Mental Fitness Center"
"The spirited horse, which will try to win the race of its own accord, will run even faster if encouraged."
"Those who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage more than criticize."
"Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I may not forget you."
- William Arthur
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Choose To Encourage
By: Guy Harris
“...I know that the only source of happiness is within me, and I
will begin to share it. Like a perfume, I know that I cannot
pour it on others without getting a few drops on myself."
- Og Mandino, "The Choice"
"You cannot antagonize and influence at the same time."
- John Knox
The childhood chant
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt
me" is a lie. Do you remember every time you fell from your bike
as a child? How about every time you have hit your knee or elbow
working around your house? Most people forget these incidents as
soon as the physical pain subsides.
Do you remember some
nickname that you hated as a child? Did your parents or teachers
ever tell you something that made you feel inferior or weak? Do
you remember any negative comments you have received on job
performance reviews? If you are like most people, you remember
these negative words long after the moment has passed. Now
consider the positive words you have received. Maybe, like me,
they came from your family as a child. Maybe they came from a
favorite teacher, coach, or mentor. Think for a moment about the
impact these words have had on your life. Positive or negative,
words leave a mark. The mark is not on the surface where you can
see it, but there is a mark.
Here's a story to illustrate my
point. As a child, my parents and I lived in North Carolina.
Both sets of my grandparents lived in Texas. We visited Texas
about twice a year. During these visits, we often split our time
between the two families. I loved both dearly, but I always
wanted to spend more time with one than with the other. Both
sets loved me. Both treated me well. Both would do nearly
anything for me. But there was one big difference. One
grandmother called me "precious, angel, baby child" and "my
wonderful, precious angel". The other called me Guy. Which do
you think was my favorite? You can probably guess where I wanted
to spend my time. I loved both of my grandmothers, but one
became a greater influence on my life. Why? She constantly spoke
words of encouragement to me and everyone else she met for that
matter. In fact, she still does to this day. She always tells me
how wonderful I am, how much she loves me, and how proud she is
As an adult, I still look forward to speaking with her.
When my grandfather passed away, I spoke at his funeral. I did
the best I could to pay tribute to one of the greatest men I
have ever personally known. About six months later, my
grandmother called again to tell me how wonderful my comments
were and how smart and wise I am. I don't really believe that I
am the smartest person on the planet, but it sure feels good to
have someone tell you that. After we spoke, I felt like a
million bucks and believed that I could accomplish anything.
Would you like to have that influence on people? Would you like
to inspire the people around you to work harder and accomplish
more? You do hold that power. You have it when you use positive
words – words of encouragement and praise. As Johann Wolfgang
von Goethe said, "Treat a man as he appears to be and you make
him worse. But treat a man as if he already were what he
potentially could be, and you make him what he should be." Next
to example, words are probably the most powerful tools leaders
use. Words communicate your hopes, your dreams, your vision,
your message, and your heart. Words show other people how you
As a leader, your words make a difference. Your words
will either build-up or tear down, encourage or discourage,
inspire or deflate. The choice is up to you. I encourage you to
remember this simple tip and spread some perfume of happiness
around as you . . . Choose to become an encourager.
2005, Guy Harris
About the Author:
Guy Harris is the Chief Relationship Officer with Principle
Driven Consulting. He helps entrepreneurs, business managers,
and other organizational leaders build trust, reduce conflict,
and improve team performance. Learn more at http://www.principledriven.com .
Guy co-authored "The Behavior Bucks System TM" to help parents
reduce stress and conflict. Learn more about this book at
Sign up for your free copy of
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©2005 TheMental FitnessCenter
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After we spoke, I felt like a million bucks and believed that I could accomplish anything...
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