What does the word “Encourage” mean? The Oxford Dictionary defines the word “Encourage” as “Give support, confidence, or hope to (someone)” or “Give support and advice to (someone) so that they will do or continue to do something“. Encouragement is the act of encouraging somebody to do something. George M. Adams stated, “Encouragement is the oxygen of the soul.” We all need encouragement to survive and to thrive in our daily life. More people fail for lack of encouragement than for any other reason.
We need to take time to encourage people as we go through the journey of life. Encouragement ought to be given sincerely, personally, specifically, publicly, and frequently. Everyone needs a dose of encouragement since people fail and tend to get discouraged if they are not encouraged on a daily basis.
Leaders must recognize the power of words and use them wisely. Leaders must sow the seeds of encouragement and provide direction to bring out the best in their followers. I used the term “Leaders” in a broad sense here. A Leader could be a person leading a company or a division or it could be a Pastor in a church or a Youth Group, a teacher, professor, medical doctor, or a parent. When your students or children or employees fail, encourage them. When they succeed, encourage them. As Willis Reed stated “A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.” Encourage people to dream big, to work successfully through the obstacles to achieve their full potential.
Here are some powerful quotes from various people that emphasize the Importance and the Power of Encouragement.
- A word of encouragement from a teacher to a child can change a life. A word of encouragement from a spouse can save a marriage. A word of encouragement from a leader can inspire a person to reach her potential. – John C. Maxwell
- If you are a leader, you should never forget that everyone needs encouragement. And everyone who receives it – young or old, successful or less-than-successful, unknown or famous – is changed by it. – John C. Maxwell
- When you encourage others, you in the process are encouraged because you’re making a commitment and difference in that person’s life. Encouragement really does make a difference. – Zig Ziglar
- Taking an interest in what others are thinking and doing is often a much more powerful form of encouragement than praise. – Robert Martin
- I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among men the greatest asset I possess. The way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement. – Charles Schwab
- You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins. – Jim Stovall
- Those who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage more than criticize. – Elizabeth Harrison
- There is no such thing as a ‘self-made’ man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success.- George Matthew Adams
- One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement. When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own. – John O’Donohue
- Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you. – William Arthur Ward
We are all on a journey. Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”. Take time in your daily routine to say an encouraging word to those around you. It could be your spouse, child, co-worker, employee, boss or a cashier at a convenient store or an attendant at a gas station. Be a source of encouragement to someone and tell them that they are doing a great job. If someone does something that makes your life better, thank them. It will make a difference.
Speak Words of Encouragement. Give Hope. Words of encouragement can transform lives. Never underestimate the power of a right word spoken at the right time. Never miss an opportunity to build and add value to others for their good and development. I would like to add a note about sharing on Social Media. Do not comment or post anything negative. Sympathize, empathize and provide encouragement and hope if you can, but refrain from any kind of negativity. Use Social Media as a source of encouragement to add value to people wherever you can.