“Do you ever have any bad days?”
For some strange reason, I get that question a lot.
Sure, I genuinely smile a lot. I do believe in the power of positivity more than many people probably believe in anything. I’m also a very happy and peaceful guy too.
And yes, I have bad days.
Hopefully that doesn’t surprise you. Believing in the power of positivity doesn’t magically immunize me from having them (but it would be awesome if it did.)
I have soul-crushing days at work. I get into arguments with my wife. People who I love deeply get sick and die. My little girls have been known to board the train to “Meltdown Town” at the most inopportune times. My faith in myself and my abilities gets tested on a near-daily basis. My tires get flat, I step in dog crap and I lose my car keys.
What positivity does for me is give me the strength to keep pushing forward, in spite of the drama that life throws at me.
But just like most people, there are days when the tank is on empty and there’s nothing left to give. Those are the worst days, by far.
And on those days when it feels practically impossible to take another step forward, is exactly when we need help the most.
That’s what this blog post is about.
The Easiest Way To Help
No matter who you are, what you’ve accomplished in your life or how much success you’re currently enjoying, there’s something that I know about you.
Life has kicked you in the teeth before. Hard. And I bet that it hurt like hell too.
We’ve all been there, haven’t we?
In those moments, here’s the one thing that can have an enormous positive impact:
Yep, that’s it. You can positively change someone’s world in an instant if you choose to simply encourage them when they’re down. This is the easiest way in the world to help someone, and it’s something that we need to do more often.
Think of your darkest moment. Didn’t it help to hear the following from a loved one, friend, counselor or someone else?
- “You can get through this.”
- “I’m here for you if you need me.”
- “I know that you’re making the right decision.”
- “You are so much stronger than you realize.”
- “This situation will not break you.”
- “I believe in you.”
Words can have an incredible impact on people, and personally speaking, when I was in a dark place last summer (remember that?), it was the encouragement of Solutionist Nation that kept me going when quitting would have been so much easier.
Everyone gets weak. Everyone gets broken down once in a while. Everyone loses hope and faith. Yes, everyone.
The problem is that not everyone has someone who is willing to encourage them through those dark times.
That’s why if you deeply want to positively impact the world, commit to being an encourager. It is such a simple act, but it can serve as the fuel to positively change someone’s life.
Sadly, the world already has way too many people who are more than willing to do the opposite.
There is No Such Thing as False Hope
Encouraging others isn’t solely about helping people through the inevitable dark periods in their lives, it’s also about helping people to reach their hopes and dreams too.
So, why are so many people willing to discourage others when they’re trying to improve their lives?
For example, if there’s someone reading this who desperately wants to quit smoking, I can give you thousands of reasons why you’ll probably fail:
- Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances on earth.
- The withdrawal symptoms are absolutely brutal.
- Many people who quit are only able to do it for a short period of time before falling back into the habit again.
On the other hand, I can also give you thousands of reasons why you’ll absolutely succeed:
- There are literally millions of people who have successfully quit smoking, and more are being added to the growing list each day.
- Smoking cessation resources have never been as plentiful and effective as they are now.
- Practically everywhere, there are quitting support groups and people who are dedicated to help you succeed.
So, let’s think about this for a minute. Since we don’t have the ability to predict the future (meaning that you have no clue if the person will fail or succeed), what sense does it make to discourage someone’s dream instead of encourage it?
I don’t care if someone wants to quit smoking, lose 100 lbs, become a best-selling novelist, start their own apparel company, erase a six-figure mountain of debt or beat stage 4 cancer, I will always encourage them on their journey.
Some people may think that it’s a dangerous thing to give people false hope. Here’s the thing that those people fail to understand:
There is no such thing as false hope.
All hope is real, and even if there was such a thing as “false hope,” I’d rather give a person false hope instead of real doubt.
I’m sure that the people who encouraged Oprah, J.K. Rowling, Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan and Nelson Mandela in their darkest hours were accused of giving them “false hope” too.
Hope can change lives, and your encouragement has the power to create it. In some cases, your encouragement may be the only hope that a person has left.
The world needs more encouragers. Be one of them.
Overcoming Doubt and Changing the World
These days, critics, naysayers and doubters are everywhere.
There are so many people who are ready at a moment’s notice to list why something could fail, but instead, why not do what the average person is unwilling to do:
Show the person why he/she could succeed.
The only reason why you’re reading these words right now is because in 2012, a small group of people encouraged me to create The Positivity Solution by believing in me before I was able to believe in myself.
That gift has positively changed my life forever, and has allowed me to (hopefully) positively change the lives of anyone else who has followed this blog for the past two years.
Could you imagine how much the world would positively change if more people lifted people up who are broken down, and were willing to encourage someone’s hopes and dreams instead of discourage them?
That’s where you come in.
There are people in your life right now who need your encouragement more than ever. Maybe it’s a family member, maybe it’s a friend, maybe it’s a coworker or maybe it’s a complete stranger.
Either way, there is no doubt in my mind that encouraging them will positively change their world, and as a result, it will also positively change our world too.
This is the life-altering power of encouragement.
And I know that you have what it takes to make it happen.
Have you ever experienced the positive effects of encouragement? Can you relate to the soul-crushing feeling of being discouraged? Either way, jump into the comments below and make your voice heard!