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You Can Do It!

By Joey Havens

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A few weeks ago I was jogging (liberal use of the word) in Naples, Florida, around 9:30 a.m. It was a beautiful day and about 2.5 miles into my run I went into my self-talk rationalization. 

“30 minutes is really enough today. I know I wanted to do a full 40 minutes but heck, you can walk the last mile. Walking counts. And some say it is better for weight loss. As soon as you get to the top of this bridge, just call it a day.”

So as I chug up the hill, I look up and see this lady is coming towards me and immediately notice this big smile on her face. I’m guessing she is 80+ and certainly jogging faster than me. As we meet on the sidewalk, she looks at me, waves and says, “You can do it!” Just when I have decided to cut my run short she has the nerve to ENCOURAGE me. How did she know?

She didn’t, but it WORKED. As I got the top of the bridge, I couldn’t get her encouragement out of my mind, so I kept jogging. I went my full 40 minutes—my original goal—and felt great about it. This lady made me better, she made my day by taking the time and energy to encourage me without really knowing what I might need. 

That’s the power of encouragement.  It never hurts for us to encourage others as most of the time, they need it, desire it and certainly appreciate it. The beauty of encouragement is that we can share it with anyone we meet. Simply sharing with a waitress or waiter that they did a great job and made your dining experience fun can be the encouragement that propels them to excel at other things, too, or just keep making customer experiences great. 

There’s no such thing as too much encouragement. So let’s encourage a friend, family member, someone serving us in some capacity or even a stranger today and see how it goes. I predict there will be a lot of people who will go the extra mile! I did, thanks to a stranger who cared.