We all need encouragement, regardless of the role or position we find ourselves in.
This very day, I have spoken with four people -- all of them 'positive people' -- and each of them needing encouragement. One of them works in the financial services industry, another is retired, the third works in a non-profit organization, and the fourth leads a team in a healthcare company. At various points in time across the years, they have each encouraged ME. So today I find myself with the blessed opportunity to return the favor in some tiny way.
In a few hours, I will leave town for what amounts to a nine-day business trip that concludes on November 7th. In preparation for my departure, I walked over to my daughter's school and surprised her for lunch. Into the cafeteria bobbed a sea of messy heads... perhaps a hundred first-graders, entering Monday bleary-eyed. I saw our sweet girl immediately, though she didn't see me. Slowly she entered, lunchbox at her side, eyes scanning the room thickly for friends and familiar faces. Eventually, she saw me and B-O-L-T-E-D my direction, leaping into my arms from six feet away. I squeezed her hard for a good minute, and then she collapsed on my knee and we selected our table. What a memorable half-hour! She metamorphosed from a rag doll to a chipper squirrel within a few seconds, and those thirty brief minutes will serve me well for the next few days.
As Twain wrote, "I can live for two months on a good compliment."
And I can survive for nine days after a hug from my wife and lunch with my daughter.
Though she thinks lunch was for her, it blessed me beyond measure -- and filled my own proverbial cup while she slurped from hers.
Sometimes, when we seek to encourage others, we forget about the Boomerang Effect. And while my daughter surely enjoyed herself, I can assure you that the blessings on my side of the table are immeasurable.
To encourage yourself, encourage others. Remember that life is an ocean; a constant ebbing of tides. Maybe last year "was a stellar year for you." I can guarantee that is the not the case for all. When you're up, be the tide that lifts all boats. Because inevitably, the time will come that you're drowning in a sea of hardships or loss and will appreciate all the more the buoyancy that can be found in a helping hand.
So thanks to all of you who encourage me; rest assured I do all I can to pass it forward.
And to my sweet girl and beloved bride: I'll be home soon; please save me a cookie.