In The Beginning

I have always enjoyed receiving encouragement. In fact I LOVE it. It inspires me to take things up a notch. I enjoy knowing that someone else thinks I can do better or achieve more. Ralph Waldo Emerson gets in touch with the deepness of encouragement with this quote.

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have also been very encouraging to the people around me. Somehow, from deep within I knew that people are nicer to be around when they have hope. I find dreary people very draining. Some people will always be draining, but sometimes, just noticing something hopeful about a person can make a huge difference in their disposition.

Last summer was the beginning of my exploration. First, I realized my family (husband and 5 kids) was growing up and I had time to think about one topic for more than 2 minutes without being interrupted. Second, on a drive back from dropping kid #1 at school 500 miles from home I had time to think. The rental car radio was not working. I drove in silence and my mind kept repeating “why don’t we encourage each other more?” It seems like this world, with all its ups and downs, would be much easier to navigate if we could help each other along the way.

I started to create a TED talk in my head, “The Lost Art of Encouragment”. This involved several stops at rest stops to write down my thoughts.

encouragement notes
encouragement notes

I started collecting quotes about encouragement, and writing out the who, what, why, where, when and how questions. Then I went a little deeper into my thoughts, came up for a breath, and dove back in to explore the questions further. Recently, I put on some floaties so I could stay in the deep end of my thoughts for a longer period of time. Now, with courage to continue the exploration, I share the beginnings of my findings.