Thursday, November 21, 2013

Encouragement III- How to Create an Environment of It

So how does one create an environment of encouragement? 

It is certainly wonderful if one can wander in to such an environment - but the reality is that such things truly seem to be random.  And they are highly dependent on others, who may or may not also be interested creating such an environment.  Ultimately the only control that we have over such a thing is to make it ourselves -which also makes sense purely from the idea that we control that which we create instead of being a victim of it.  But how do we get from here to there?

The first aspect is the hardest:  a change of mind.  We simply need to embrace the fact that we are no longer going to engage in the same behavior as those around us, that we are going to seek to become a source of encouragement to ourselves and others rather than a source of discouragement.  This decision alone will absorb a great deal of our time as we try to reprogram how we think about the world around us and the environments we are in.

The second aspect is a change of behavior.  We consciously need to to choose to use our words and actions to encourage, not discourage.  This is, at least for me, a great deal harder than I would like to think it is.  My reaction too often in life to discourage right back or sign, shrug my shoulders, and woefully carry on - or seek to get in that "zing" that allows me to feel better about a bad situation by one-upmanship.  This needs to all be replaced by the conscious decision to speak encouragingly and act encouragingly to everyone we come across.

The third aspect, a longer term one, is to look for those environments that are encouraging.  Lived in long enough, even the most encouraging person will get torn down by the acidic environment of negativity and discouragement.  We need to take every opportunity to put ourselves in the right environment - even if it means making change in our own lives.

Encouragement will free us to accomplish more than we every dreamed of. We just need to choose to make in and find it in our own lives.

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