I’ve kept an “atta girl” file most of my career. It is a collection of letters, notes and emails from bosses, colleagues and friends who have encouraged me and/or recognized accomplishments at various points throughout my career. At times when I need a little personal boost, a few minutes reading through that collection can make me feel ten feet tall. Words of praise and encouragement are so critically important to us all. We know as parents how important it is to praise and encourage our children when they are learning to walk, feed themselves and take on the responsibilities of self-care. Praise is so freely given to the young, yet so seemingly difficult to give to peers, spouses, and to complete strangers.
Today, I challenge you to give the gift of praise. You know who it is in your circle who is struggling and needs a word of encouragement. The person who needs the extra motivation that comes from someone noticing the efforts they are making to achieve new goals in their life. Be the person who gives it freely. Yes, it may take an extra moment to put your busy Saturday “to do” list on pause, stop and share some time, words and wisdom. But do it. Let it be your first outrageous gift this Christmas season. Give Praise. Give it freely. And if you can, share the reaction you get. I bet it is contagious!!!