National Day of Encouragement

September 12th marks the day that is annually dedicated to uplifting people around us and making a positive impact. Yes! We can all do this. Encouragement is FREE! Let’s give some away!!!

President George W. Bush signed the documents making September 12th the official National Day of Encouragement, a fitting follow-up to the horrors of September 11, 2001. Everyone needs encouragement and not just after suffering great loss and destruction.

When I published my 2019 book Encouragement: How to Be and Find the Best, it was because I truly want people to be able to live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible. (It remains my favorite piece to share with others, whether in paperback, digital, or audiobook form.)

Personally, I have been blessed with encouragement and surrounded by many wonderful Encouragers during my life. I like to remember that this taught me a great many wonderful and practical life lessons, many of which I share through my social media articles and on my website.

I suggested my book could be enjoyed for amusement or personal growth or to help someone else who may need encouragement, perhaps desperately. I also thought it might be read to simply polish up some good living skills that may have become a bit rusty.

We do get rusty. We forget to ask how someone else is faring. Or we overlook some indicator that a personal struggle is underway. Sometimes sharing a hug or a few positive words can help someone know that they can make it… they can get through one more hour… one more day.

Whatever your personal style may be, try to give someone else a boost… today and every day. Recognize the Encouragers in your midst and draw the closer. Remember the solidarity in a stack of pencils versus one pencil.  We can easily snap a single pencil in half.  With a bunch of pencils, fragility vanishes.  Encouragers build our strength in much the same way.  Every word of encouragement adds another pencil to our arsenal.

Then there are the Discouragers.

These folks seem focused on being the nay-sayers.  They “know” all the reasons something can’t be done, why we do not have a chance, why our plan will ultimately fail.  They assuredly stack the odds and facts against us.  They diminish our confidence.

With every word and look of discouragement, they take pencils away from our stack.  They make us more fragile. They add rust to our hearts and minds. None of us needs more rust.

What is most frustrating about a Discourager?  They often tend to erroneously think they are Encouragers.  They frequently try to correct us and tell us why we should do things their way.

Life is not always easy.  It comes packed with ups and downs, turmoil, and challenges.  When we are better prepared, we can meet/face the woes with greater grace, courage, and terrific tools to overcome.

We can rediscover the natural confidence, self-esteem, and poise with which we were born.  We can achieve greater goals; we can genuinely feel better about ourselves, our lives, and our futures.  And perhaps, most importantly, we can take other people along with us to find or rediscover their own “happy place,” their greater success, their ability to positively blossom.

Does all this truly matter?  I believe it does, and in an enormous way, if we want to lead happier, more fulfilling lives.

We can all overcome discouragements.  We all deserve encouragement.

We all know Encouragers.  We all know Discouragers.

We can all grow to be more encouraged and more encouraging.  We can all learn to avoid, dismiss, or deal with discouragement and Discouragers.

If you’ve ever faced a time when your choices, your path, your circumstances, or your life felt chaotic, out of control, pointless, or even hopeless, get ready now to find the tools you can use to not feel so low again.  We can’t always control our circumstances.  Life can hit us in some devastating ways.

But we can do better.  We can feel better.  We can bounce back more quickly.  We can grow in strength and ability.  We can become the people we were meant to be.

Too many people struggle with discouragement.  They need a little encouragement… perhaps just a few sincerely, thoughtful words.  They need a little shot of confidence.  A boost.  We can all help.

We need stay rusty no more. We can bounce back more quickly. We can grow in strength and ability. We can be happier… more fulfilled… thriving… empowered.

Bust some rust today!!!

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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