Thoughts + Articles

Encouragement Inspires Everyone Including Yourself

Every person in life needs positive encouragement to motivate and inspire them for success. Dr. George Adams says, “Encouragement is the oxygen of the soul.”

George W. Crane, medical doctor, psychologist, professor , and author taught in Chicago in the 1920’s at North Western University. When he began teaching students in his evening classes, he found that his adult students were older working in businesses, stores, factories, and offices during the day. Each of them desired to improve their education at night. Some of  his students told him they felt iceolated and shy. He designed his first assignment to help his students connect with others .

Dr. Crane said to his class, “You are to use your psychology every day either at home or work on the streetcars and buses. For the first month, your written assignment will be the Compliment Club. Every day you are to pay an honest compliment to each of three different persons… for 30 consecutive days.” He said, “Keep a record of those to whom you pay your three compliments. You need not give me their names, but  list them as ‘Newsboy’ or ‘Street conductor’ or ‘Sales clerk’ . Keep an accurate record of how people acknowledge your compliments.”

Dr. Crane said, “At the end of the 30-day experiment, I want you to write a theme or paper on your experiences. Include the changes you have noted in the people around you, as well as your own altered outlook on life.”

As his students complimented others their lives changed and improved too! And by complementing others they were motivated, encouraged, and inspired as well. Dr. Crane said, “Appreciative words are the most powerful force for good on earth.”

As a teacher I have watched my students and colleagues blossom from words of encouragement.  By giving them a sincere compliment they  have the energy and the desire to try harder at whatever they are working on. Everyone in life needs positive encouragement to help them grow, inspire and motivate them to succeed.  The “Power of Encouragement” gives us hope that we can succeed and everyone needs it!

A fabulous story of motivating and inspiring students is “All the Good Things” by Sister Helen P. Mrosla. She was teaching her eighth grade math students a very difficult math concept and her students were very frustrated . This is when she asked her students to write down all the students names in the class, on two sheets of paper, and to leave room to write “the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates”.

After class, Sister Mrosla made a separate list of these wonderful compliments on two sheets of note book paper for each student and handed them out to her students the following Monday. Her students were all glowing with happiness after reading their sheets. Many years later she would be asked to attend Mark Eklund’s funeral by his parents. Her former student was killed in Vietnam. When she spoke to his parents after the funeral they shared with Sister Mrosla the two sheets of notebook paper  that she had written down “all the good things” his classmates had written about him. These two sheets were well worn and were in his pocket when he died.

Mark’s mother said, “ Thank you so much for doing that. As you can see, Mark treasured it.”

These words of praise can last a life time. In all of life people need praise and encouragement to improve, to be inspired, to learn , and to grow. When President Abraham Lincoln died among the items in his pocket were 8 newspaper clippings on positive things said about him during his re-election campaign. During his Presidency Lincoln was maligned many times by the newspapers.

These 8 newspaper clippings President Lincoln read and re-read just as Mark Eklund read and re-read “all the good things” said about him by his classmates . Both men “treasured” their sheets. Words of praise can last a life time!

One of my favorite rules is Dr. John Maxwell’s “30 second rule” which says, “Within the first thirty seconds of a conversation, say something encouraging to a person.”  This should be your motto for evaluating and connecting with your student, family members, your colleagues, and anyone else you are around.

So what are the three simple things you can do beginning today, for your ten day challenge to inspire, encourage, and motivate others around you?

1) As Dr. George Crane said, “Every day pay an honest compliment to each of three different persons.”   Coach John Wooden said “Be specific with your praise.”

2) Follow Dr. John Maxwell’s “30 second rule” and say your inspiring words  within 30 seconds of talking to someone. Dave Sheffield , motivational speaker and author says, “Happy employees equal happy customers.”

3) Every evening at home think of several “honest compliments” you can give to “3 different people” you will be coming in contact with the next day. They can be family members, business co -workers,friends, and strangers. Happy people are inspired and motivated to do better work. Give the gift of compliments and you will be given a gift in return.

So begin today to train your mind to look for the good in people to brighten their day and your day. Always begin with an “honest compliment”!  Remember words of encouragement motivate and inspire us to do a better job, to improve our skills, and work at a higher level.

Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM is an Best Selling Author, sought after speaker, business owner, motivational teacher, researcher, and concert artist. She helps businesses and organizations “Tune Up their Businesses”. Her innovative observations show you the blue prints necessary to improve and keep your businesses successful. She writes a monthly newsletter “Madeline’s Monthly Article & Musical Tips” and a monthly radio show “Madeline’s One Minute Musical Radio Show”. She has just published her new book “Leadership On A Shoestring Budget”.

To contact Madeline:

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 17th, 2013 at 2:43 pm and is filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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