The only difference between where you are today, and where you’ll be a year from today, are the books you read and the people you meet. – Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones
For the relevance of this post, please substitute the word ”books” for “posts, comments and emails” in the above quote!
Dare To Be Great
During my final year of primary school, I was lucky enough to be taught by the only catholic nun in Australia, who didn’t hit kids in the 70’s. But that’s not all she did right.
Sister Mary Therese was also a great encourager. She had a passion for writing and instead of the textbook poetry and essays that the educational curriculum dictated she use, Sr Therese instead, shared her own writing. Powerful and original stories and poetry about nature, colour, God, love and whatever other subjects that 12-year-old catholic children needed to expand their horizons in, Sr Therese wrote about it.
Her creations were glued into our workbooks alongside our own poetry and essays – note: they were pasted alongside our creations.
This is where this wonderful person’s teaching became great.
As you may have surmised, my grade 7 class admired and looked up to Sr Therese (me, in particular for her writing) and when her praise or encouragement was given via a comment on our work (pasted alongside her own) the impact was so uplifting that not only did our grades improve, we were also happier more positive students. Personally, Sr Therese was the catalyst for my first writing submission to (and subsequent publishing in) one of our cities major newspapers.
I was a published author (so to speak!) at 12 – all because of the love and encouragement given by a person whom I admired and looked up to.
Sr Therese therefore, is always first on my (self-created) list of Dare To Be Great enablers.
Blog Posts and Bloggers
Many years later (after 2 kids, a career in nursing and a stint of tertiary education) I am still meeting Dare To Be Great enablers. These people have not only garnered my loyalty but also encouraged me to keep writing, through their praise and positive feedback and sometimes, just through their own willingness to share their valuable time, energy and wisdom.
Doing some of these things was possibly, to them, like leaving a drop in the ocean, but the impact they had on me, was much greater.
There are many I could mention that I have discovered just recently, but if I was to go start with one significant person, it would be Craig Harper (at www.craigharper.com.au) .
I was lucky enough to discover Craig’s blog way back in its early stages (before his 45,000 subscribers came along!) and it was then that Craig offered (in response to a comment I wrote) to read some of the articles that I was then preparing for magazine submissions.
His email reply a day or two later left me ecstatic, because yep, he praised and encouraged me. He wrote the words – “Your writing is good. Really good. You’ve got to get published”. I couldn’t believe it. Someone whom I truly admired and looked up to had (again) encouraged me!
Craig was the catalyst for the work I then did in writing and publishing my first e-book (something I’m not sure I would not have ventured into had it not been for his encouragement).
Craig is next on my personal list of Dare To Be Great enablers.
So why am I giving these two teachers of mine such a poetic title when perhaps just ‘nice people’ would do? Because some people rise to a different level in their willingness to help and support others. Some people do more than just be nice. Some people understand (and practice) the simple power of words, spoken or written, with a positive attitude and given freely for the benefit of others.
These people, in my mind, are Dare To Be Great enablers.
One More Surprising Teacher
I was reflecting yesterday upon these people and the way they have so positively impacted on my life, when something else happened to one of my kids, that I know will have a long and lasting (and very positive) impact on her.
In a way, I view this little episode in her young life, as the universe’s way of poking its tongue at me, her mother, and going “Na, na, na, na – nah!”, but I digress… here’s the short version of her greatest (so far) moment.
My daughter has a You Tube channel which is solely dedicated to her admiration for one popular young artist called…(I have been so sick of hearing this name) Justin Bieber. Like many young girls she talks, sings, dreams and (so I found out) writes and shares comments with her growing number of friends on the channel about her idol. She also frequently visits his channel.
Now to a mother all this can at times, be a little tiring, somewhat concerning and at other times, down right annoying!! Should I have her de-progammed or something? Should I make her close her You Tube account (oh and by the way, this interest has not and is not affecting her focus on school and/or other accomplishments/she is a great student). Yes, all these questions plague me at times, but lately I have weighed it all up and decided to accept and not fight this passing (I hope) stage.
And then yesterday my daughter had one of her uplifting and memorable moments when the young artist himself dropped by her You Tube channel and personally wrote several, very nice lines, full of positive, kind words offering her encouragement and inspiration.
Of course, she cried!
Now whether the person who posted that comment was in fact her idol or whether it was a publicist or another Bieber employee, isn’t relevant.
What is relevant is the wonderful impact it had on her. She felt (and I understand that feeling) so positive after reading it, that I dare say she’ll be dancing and smiling for the rest of the year! Her very first Dare To Great enabler (from a very unexpected source) has paid her a visit and changed her outlook for the better.
So my question to you today is this – Have you yourself ever given praise or encouragement that has changed someone’s life (or day) for the better?
Do you think it is possible that we can all be Dare To Be Great enablers, if we choose to?
Who has impacted upon your life or business in a memorable and encouraging way?
I would also like to encourage you yourself (and I’m going to do this too) to offer some praise today – to your kids, your spouse, a work colleague or friend.
See what impact you have.
Even if we ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
(adapted from Mother Theresa)