Many people simply need somebody to spark a bit of hope, somebody to say, “Yes, you can do it. You’ve got what it takes.”
Are you believing the best in your own children? Are you instilling the confidence in them that they need, telling them that they’re going to do great things in life? Are you believing the best in your loved ones? Maybe some of them have gotten off course. Don’t give up on them; don’t write them off. Make sure they know that you’re concerned. Make sure they know that you really believe in them.
Here’s the key: Don’t focus on what they are right now. Focus on what they can become. See the potential on the inside. They may have some bad habits, or they may be doing some things that you don’t like, but don’t judge them for it. Don’t look down on them critically. Find some way to challenge them to rise higher. Tell them, “I’m praying for you. I believe that you’re going to break that addiction. I’m believing for great things in your life.”
You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how people respond when they know that you really care.
As a rule, you never bring out the best in someone by condemning and criticizing, or verbally beating a person down. You bring out the best by love. You bring it out by showing people that you care. Your friends, family members, or coworkers may do some things you don’t like or that you find offensive; they may have some bad habits, but don’t focus on their weaknesses. Find something they’re doing right and encourage them for that.
I’m not saying that you just sweep things under the rug, but wait for the right time and opportunity to deal with those negative actions or attitudes. First, you must build your relationship, gain the person’s respect and trust, and you can do that by encouraging and challenging him or her to rise higher.
I’ve found that if I treat people the way I want them to be, they are much more likely to become that sort of person. They’re much more likely to change.
For instance, if your husband is not treating you with as much respect as you know he should, don’t sink down to his level and act disrespectful as well. No, sow a seed. Treat him respectfully anyway and watch that man begin to change. If he’s lazy, treat him as if he were a hard worker. He may do a thousand things you don’t like, but find the one thing on which you can compliment him and encourage him for that.
It is easy to nitpick and find fault, but our goal is to bring out the best in people. Our job is to encourage, build up, to challenge people to rise higher.
I heard about a man who went out to get his newspaper one morning, and when he opened up the front door, a little dog owned by the folks living across the street was bringing his paper to him. The man chuckled, hurried back inside, and got the dog a treat. That little dog left there just as happy as can be.
The next morning, when the man went to pick up his newspaper, he opened the door and found that same little dog sitting there. Next to the dog were eight of the neighbors’ newspapers!
Human beings respond similarly to treats–especially when we are treated to praise, admiration, and appreciation. Husbands and wives should be each other’s greatest cheerleaders. Take time to praise your wife. Take time to compliment your husband. Don’t get lazy in this area. Learn not to take each other for granted.
I heard somebody say, “Complimenting each other is the glue that holds relationships together.” With so many things working against good relationships nowadays it’s amazing what a kind word here and there will do. Short, sincere, natural compliments can keep our relationships strong.
Be free with your compliments and be quick to vocalize them. Remember, your thoughts don’t bless anybody but you. You can think good thoughts about somebody all day long, but it’s not going to do them a bit of good. You must verbalize those thoughts; speak them out. Every day, try to find somebody you can compliment, somebody you can build up. If a waiter at the restaurant gives you good service, don’t just think about it. Tell him, “Thanks for being such a fine waiter and taking good care of us today.” Those positive words might make his day.
Our society overflows with critics, cynics, and faultfinders. Many people quickly point out what you are doing wrong, but relatively few take the time to point out anything you are doing right. I don’t want to live my life like that. I’m going to be a giver and not a taker. I want to build people up and not tear them down. I’m going to do my best to leave places better off than they were before I passed by.
When you get up in the morning, instead of applying your energies to how you can be blessed, find some way to be a blessing to someone else.
In my life, I’ve been blessed to have people who believed in me—my parents, my spouse, my family. Now, it’s my turn. Who am I believing in? Who am I cheering on? Who am I helping to succeed?
Choose to bring out the best in the people that the Universe has put in your life. I know I plan to.
Excerpt from: Become a Better You, by Joel Osteen
Picture credits: Gritzel Schnitzel and Jeff Bauche