What do all those words have in common? Besides sounding like an Al Sharpton speech with those last few -tion words, they are all synonyms of encouragement. The word encourage means to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope. Pretty cool word when you look at it that way.


I make it my mission to offer someone encouragement every day. You never know when that little boost (see list above) will be the thing that makes their day.


Encouraging somebody can be through words or actions, but it is so important to do. You've probably heard of the studies where a group of "problem" students is taught by a new teacher that thinks they are the high achieving students. Those "problem" students become the star students the teacher treats them like.


Encouragement works the same way. Think you can't do a 5K? Do it with someone who believes you can. I've personally done that with several people and all of them did, where before they thought there was no way. You're stronger than you think.


Maybe I'm a little loopy from quitting coffee, but why don't more people offer encouragement? Back to the Lent deal. If you can't give something up, try picking up a new GOOD habit. Be the encourager.


That is the absolute best part of my job. Is seeing people succeed where they used to fail. Overcoming and conquering things that have held them back for years. Not because I use some magical exercise tool (although burpees are close), it's because I offer sincere encouragement and a firm belief that they will succeed.


You can do that too. Encourage yourself, your kids, your significant other, your co-workers, your community. And just like anything else that you do for others, you will end up benefiting more than the person you helped.