Our world is starving for something of which you have a potentially unlimited supply. You can get it by simply deciding to have it. You can give it away freely to thousands of people and still have plenty to give yourself. In fact, the more you give away, the more you will be surrounded with it. This illusive, yet potentially unlimited substance is simply “an encouraging word.”
So, why is it in such short supply? We live in a society where we love to spread bad news. Too many of us are constantly on the look out for something negative or shocking to talk about. The news media is our worst example. In spite of the fact that we are surrounded with people who are honest, law-abiding citizens, only the criminals get headlines. Many companies and individuals are succeeding and growing despite the temporary setbacks in our economy. Wouldn’t you think this would be newsworthy? Of course it is! Unfortunately, we cannot depend on the media for this positive news. They are too busy seeking out and spreading the worst possible messages they can find. Unless we take immediate action, we will drown in this negative avalanche.
Here’s the problem. There is a natural law that “we get what we focus on.” Earl Nightingale articulated this idea in his classic program, The Strangest Secret, where he said, “You become what you think about.”
Does that mean if we are constantly talking about and thinking about bad news and negative perceptions, we are creating the same in our future? Yes, that’s exactly what it means! You and I need to take a stand right now and commit to spreading good news and encouragement to those around us.
But, you might ask, isn’t that misrepresenting the facts to only give good news? Of course not. Don’t worry, there will always be groups and individuals determined to spread and emphasize the bad. Our job is to balance it with all of the encouraging news we can find. And, you will be surprised, when you start looking, at how much good, encouraging news there is.
Here’s an example: whenever the state of the economy comes up in conversation. I always say, “things are looking up! I’m confident that the economy will be back to normal soon.” Whenever I say this, I get looks of grateful hopefulness in people’s eyes, immediately followed by doubt. “Do you REALLY think so?” they ask. “Of course,” I answer with gusto. And, I mean it.
Virtually every economist that I have read about or spoken to agrees that the economy will continue to improve and will eventually be back to pre-recession levels. The only two questions that they argue incessantly about are 1) how soon the recovery will be, and 2) what was the cause of our current problems. If we get bogged down in these questions, we miss the overall good news that they ALL think things are improving and that recovery is on the horizon. That’s the message that I want to spread. Not only does it give people much needed hope, I think if enough of us start doing it, it will hasten the recovery.
I encourage you to take this idea to heart and commit now to give good news and encouragement to everyone you meet.