Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Encouragement: the Social Experiment

You don't have to be a big philanthropists to make a world of difference in lives. Pay attention to the ordinary people you see each day outside of your home: cashiers, the people who work out next to you, policemen, etc. They all need more Encouragement. When you give this free gift, what you are really giving is inspiration with courage, spirit and confidence. I conduct a "social experiment" that proves to be quite fun. I try not to think about myself so much when I'm checking out in a store but turn my attention to the cashier. They're often in a bad mood. Instead of treating them as less them and making judgements, I try to look for a way to inject courage in their day. The same works with wait staff and other people who serve us in a regular basis. Here are 3 ways to Encourage:
Ask Questions - people are often tired and discouraged about how long they have to be at work. I usually encourage them by saying "good thing you're making money" which is a huge blessing if you compare this with unemployment. I also try to be encouraging by hoping that their day will get better. 
Offer Compliments - these work every time. I find something I can genuinely compliment and I see a person's sense of appreciation grow right in front of me. I often tell people they're doing a good job which also changes their mood for the better. Some of us are often thinking 'it's their job, why should I compliment them?' but what they're really doing is contributing to our lives. If people are doing a good job, be sure they should know. I am certain that they don't get awards every day for working but Words of Affirmation are worth so much more.
Say "Thank You" - There is so much power in thanksgiving. You are really affirming the person when you express your gratitude. Your thoughtfulness may make the difference between a horrible and a great day for someone. 
I have been a receiver of these 3 ways of Encouragement and I feel compeled to give them freely because of the difference they make in my life. Next time you are out being served, take yourself out of your mind and offer one of these 3 Ways of Encouragement.

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