August 29

“Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The best way to build your own creative fire is to stoke someone else’s flames. 

Self-centered people are creatively stuck people. I see it all the time. They are so focused on what they do and don’t have, what others do and don’t get, and how credit gets doled out that they have a difficult time celebrating the success of others. Or, if they do, it’s in a backhanded, “I really wish I didn’t have to say this,” kind of way. 

The best thing you can do for your own creative energy is to give some to another person. You do this by encouraging them, which literally means to put courage into them. And, the word for courage is derived from the word for heart, so you are giving them heart. You are fueling their fire. 

Why does fueling someone else’s fire give you creative energy? Because it shifts your mind from thinking about what you don’t have to what is possible. You begin to think generatively instead of conservatively. 

Be free and generous with your encouragement. Write a note to someone today telling them about a way they’ve impacted you. Pick up the phone and have a conversation with a peer about work that impressed you. Put courage into someone today. 

Question: Who will you encourage today?

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