There is an ancient Chinese wisdom that is often repeated in our society –
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Nearly all people acknowledge this simple truth, but few practice it because teaching people valuable skills and knowledge usually requires a significant investment of time and energy, not to mention a willing student. Time is our scarcest resource and we guard it carefully. The truth is we teach few people how to fish, no matter how noble this truism is.
I’d like to offer my amendment to this proverb –
Tell a man ‘good job’ and you make him feel good for the moment.
Tell a man ‘I see your bright future full of impressive achievements’ and you might just inspire him for a lifetime.
There are opportunities every day, if you look for them. A little 8 year goal keeper walks off the field after he had a good game and a person he does not know stops him and tells him that he played awesome and that he is destined to be a great college player when he grows up. A young teen is told by her pediatrician that he has his eye on her because he thinks she will really turn out to be something special when she grows up. A manager pulls over a brand new field rep and tells him he sees the winner that is going places inside of him. Each one of these moments are examples of gifts that inspire the recipient to see themselves going places, with a bright future of success.
Challenge yourself to inspire one person each day. Its a great goal, one that is very fulfilling.
Seven days per week, find one person to inspire, and put a valuable burst of energy into your effort. Instead of telling someone ‘good job’ for 3 seconds, engage them for several minutes. Many people are teetering on the edge of doing great things, but they are often surrounded by pessimistic friends and family, telling them that “it” is not worth the risk and that “it” will never work out. One sincere, optimistic voice can be the spark that convinces him to try.
Be that spark.
In keeping with my formula of journals and logging to raise consciousness of the habits that you want to build, I suggest making a note of WDIIT (Who Did I Inspire Today) at the end of each day in your journal. If you write it down, it is much easier to build any habit. Giving daily inspiration is a habit worth adopting.