"Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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The psychologist Carl Rogers once said that “People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, ‘Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.’ I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.”
Allowing others to bloom where they're planted is a valuable reminder that when we cut a flower and put it in a vase, regardless of how much water we give it, it will soon die. Because flowers don't belong in vases; they belong in soil.
Then why is it that we so often try to change other people to our way of thinking? And why is it that others so often happily discourage us from pursuing what ignites our spirit and inspires us to truly come alive?
This might mean allowing a child to learn from their own experience rather than from our own fears.
It might mean offering moral support to a friend who's doing what they believe is best given their current knowledge, skills, resources, support, and opportunities—even if we don't necessarily agree with their choices.
Or it might mean allowing an employee to freely do the job we hired them to do rather than micromanaging their every move.
When we encourage others we allow them the opportunity to be more creative, giving, and trusting, because when people know that we sincerely care about them and value who they are, it lays a foundation of trust where ideas and experiences can flow freely without threats of judgement.
How are you encouraging the people you influence?
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Jonas Cain, M.Ed. is a storyteller, magician, musician, and facilitator of fascination on a mission to help you experience abiding joy.