How To Be Happier Seven Days a Week

Bring Out the Best in Others

” ‘Reggie Jackson, the Hall of Fame baseball player said, “A great manager has the ability to make a player think he is better than he is.  He convinces you to have confidence in yourself.  He lets you know that he believes in you, and before long you discover talent that you never know you had.’  That’s what happens when we believe the best in someone.  We draw out the best.
The Scripture says in 1 Thessalonians 5-11, “Encourage one another and build one another up” (NIV).  

The word encourage simply means ‘to urge forward’.  Every one of us should have someone we believe in, someone we’re urging forward, someone we’re helping to achieve goals and dreams.

A young man who’d been struggling with finding direction in his life was home for a visit from college in 1975.  He visited his mother’s beauty shop in 1975 and found a regular customer, Ruth Green, was having her hair done.  He greeted her and sat down, but grew nervous because she was staring so intently at him.   

Finally, Ms. Green lifted the hairdryer off her head and said, ‘Somebody get me a pen and a piece of paper’.  She wrote down a vision she’d had about the young man when he walked into his mother’s shop.  She handed it to him and said, ‘Denzel, you will speak to millions. You will travel the world and you will make a positive difference.’  

Young Denzel Washington put that piece of paper in his wallet and in his heart.  In the years that followed, whenever he became discouraged in his acting career, he pulled out Ms. Green’s prophesy.  It reminded him that someone believed in him.  To this day, the Academy-Award winning actor carries around that prophesy.  Who knows where he’d be if Ms. Green hadn’t taken the time to bless his future?  Who knows if he would have been such a success if she hadn’t planted those seeds of faith in his heart?
You never know the impact a small, kind word of encouragement, can have.  A friend of mine Robert had an uncle who set him on a path to success early in life.  This uncle had been in China since his birth, but when he returned they met on the front porch of the Iowa farm where Robert grew up.  He’d watched the uncle’s car driving toward the family’s home on the dusty lane and Robert was so excited to finally meet this uncle.  

When he pulled in the gate little Robert ran out there to meet him.  The uncle got out, have him a big hug, and swung him around and around.  ‘You must be Robert.  I’ve heard so much about you’, the uncle said.  Then the uncle stepped back and looked at him.  ‘You know what Robert?  I think one day you will be a minister.  In fact, one day I think you will be a great minister.’  

Why did the uncle say this?  There were no ministers in the family.  He simply felt something inside, and he was bold enough to speak it out by faith.  He planted a seed in little Robert’s heart.  That night as Robert lay in his bed he secretly prayed, ‘God, let what my uncle said be true.  Let me be a minister one day.  As you may know, Robert Schuller, who grew up in Alton, Iowa, became one of the great ministers of our time.  Isn’t it amazing what a simple word of encouragement can do?  Look what it did in his life.
You have the ability to stir up someone’s dreams by giving them permission to succeed.  Be a seed planter.  Be a people builder.  Don’t become so focused on your own dreams, your own goals, that you grow only yourself.  Be on the lookout for those you can urge forward.  Learn to speak faith into them. Give them a greater vision.  Speak the blessing over others lives.”
from Joel Osteen,  Every day a Friday – How to be Happier 7 days a week, Hachette Book Group, New York, 2011.