Winning Words

The courage of encouragement helps us brave life’s problems


Building upon last week’s column about yesterday’s achievements becoming our successes of tomorrow, I wanted to share more about the power of encouragement and the courage to become an encourager, a life lifter, and a true difference maker in this world.

Last week I shared how someone early in my life had encouraged me and motivated me in one certain area of my life many years ago. And I have been so blessed to have many more encouragers, life lifters, and people of positive influence who inspire me and who continue to make a difference in my life each and every day.

But you see, that was not always the way it was for me. And unfortunately, that is not the way it is for many of us in this world, too many of us. Instead of having people in our lives who give us hope and encouragement, we sometimes have people who want to tear us down and discourage us. And the problem is that sometimes they don’t even know they are doing it. They only do it because that was the way they were treated, that was the way they were spoken to, that was the way they grew up. These are the people who were told that life is tough and anyone who tells you differently is lying. So instead of becoming encouragers themselves, they fell into the trap of becoming a discourager. We need to break that cycle.

What we need is the courage to become an encourager and break the cycle of negativity and pessimism in the world. Can you imagine living in a community, working in an office, or being a part of a congregation where everyone lifted one another up all the time? Can you imagine living in a family where hopes and dreams are the topics of conversations instead of yells and screams? Why don’t we or why can’t we shift gears from the negative to the positive? It’s because we lack the courage to act differently, say things differently, and hope things differently with those we love, who we live with, work with, and worship with.

And I can tell you this, someone you know right now, right this very minute, can use a dose of hope and encouragement. And what they really need is for you to have the courage to do it and to be the one to lift them up.

I have the honor and privilege to call Dr. Denis Waitley a coach, a mentor, and above all, a friend. Twenty years ago, Denis told me that I was the most proactive person he had ever met in his life. And that he saw that trait as one of the key reasons I was meeting with success. Well, do you know that here I am 20 years later, and I intentionally focus on being proactive in all that I do? And it serves me extremely well.

But Denis encouraged me back then and it made a huge difference in my life. Who has had the courage to encourage you? What was the outcome? I’ll bet there has been a difference maker in your life for sure.

“You’ve got this.” “I believe in you.” “I’ll bet today is going to be the best day ever.” “I am so proud of you.” “I admire you.” “You are on your way to the top.” “I see you going places.” “You hare handling this tough situation really well, keep it up.” “I love you.” “Your work on this project was extraordinary — I cannot wait to see what you will do next.” Try these, say them with sincerity, don’t be afraid, come up with others of your own, but have the courage to encourage and be a difference maker in someone’s life. You can do this, I believe in you. You are going to be a difference maker in this world, I can just see it now.

So how about you? Are you providing others with hope and encouragement? Are you a life lifter and difference maker? Do you have people in your life that are lifting you up? As always, I would love to hear your story at, and when we can have the courage to encourage others, it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a resident of Castle Rock, the president of the Zig Ziglar Corporate Training Solutions Team, a strategic consultant and a business and personal coach.

Michael Norton


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