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A Word Of Encouragement

by Richard Norris on July 31, 2014

Broken Helping Hand 238x300 A Word Of Encouragement

A Word Of Encouragement

Encouragement shows support, builds confidence and provides hope. Every person needs encouragement and, perhaps men the most. Just because men may give the impression everything is under control, they need encouraging as much as the next person (even if they won’t admit it).

Many a man who has quit would have kept going if he had just received a word of encouragement from someone.

Encouragement seems an obvious thing we all need. True. However, for some reason, men could use more of it. Perhaps it is because we don’t get enough of it? Perhaps the assumption is made that men are driven and don’t need it? Or, perhaps, it’s because we men let others believe that we’re self-contained? Whatever the reason, we can never have enough encouragement. It shouldn’t stop when we become adults. We need as much as adults as we did as a kid, perhaps, even more?

Who encourages you?

As a boy, it was my dad. Now, I get most of mine from my wife, Nancy, and my kids, Dreanna and Jensen. I also get encouragement from various people I have come to know and trust – work colleagues, coaches and inspirational leaders. I also get some from those of you who follow, like, comment and share through the blog and my social media. I am especially encouraged when I hear how something I posted has helped someone in a situation they are facing.

Encouragement is all around us.

Even if you have no one close to you to encourage you, it is not that far away. You may just have to search for it. You may even have to ask for it. Encouragement gives you a boost when you need it. The right encouragement at the right time from the right person can work wonders on your performance. My dad seemed to always know when to say the right thing to spur me on.

Most sports teams and professional athletes will attest to the power of encouragement – from fans, team mates and coaches. Such power has given rise to the home team advantage. Without a deep explanation of metaphysics and the laws of vibration and attraction, all that positive energy does influence outcomes. Think World Series, Stanley Cup, Olympics, or your Little League.

Positive energy is a good thing. We all could use more of it. As I’ve learned, if it’s in my power to give encouragement, I will. You never know…one word of encouragement can change someone’s life. So…be an encourager!

 If you are a leader, you should never forget that everyone needs encouragement. And everyone who receives it – young or old, successful or less-than-successful, unknown or famous – is changed by it.
John C. Maxwell

As a dad, I see encouragement as a top priority. Our kids, like any, need lots of encouragement. Now that they are both in school, they need a lot of encouragement as they learn to read, do arithmetic and pick up other new skills. I’ve noted that Jensen, more than his sister, is easily discouraged. If he cannot get something right the first time, he gets discouraged. He is quick to say, ” I’ll never get this.” He shifts his focus to the negative and wants to dwell there. What amazes me (and I don’t believe I’m the only parent) is that I have no idea where this comes from. Nancy and I always encourage him to focus from a positive perspective. We only speak encouraging words into his life and Dreanna’s. One thing I do know is that Jensen is a lot like me. Oh boy! I never lacked encouragement from my parents, yet, somehow, my leaning was always toward the negative. Whilst I don’t understand how this happens, I do understand that an encouraging parent can make a huge difference in a child’s life.

I recall my dad admitting to me that he felt that he could not be much help to me on my goal of becoming a veterinarian. He said the best he could do was to be there as support. His offer of support was all I needed. It was like gold!

As my dad was there for me, I want to be there for others, like you. I look at others and see them as they could be. Every day I make a point to encourage Nancy and the kids. They never need to ask. Every day I feel inspired to encourage others through my various posts and updates. They don’t ask.  Most of them, like you, I don’t really know, but I do know what it’s like to be discouraged. I’ve had setbacks – big and small – in my career, the business and elsewhere. I know what it feels like to be stressed, frustrated, under pressure and down.

I don’t care who you are, if you are alive you need encouragement. I know I do. Just because a man doesn’t ask for it, doesn’t mean he doesn’t need it. Right guys? It doesn’t have to be a big brass band or a raving fan or crowd. Sometimes, all I need to hear is Nancy say, “Honey, you can do it.” or the kids say, “Daddy, you’re the best.” Such encouragement is like the sun – a perpetual source of light an energy.

Whilst I am sure I could go on, I won’t. What I would like to leave you with are a few key points on encouragement to encourage you icon smile A Word Of Encouragement

1. Simple, sincere and consistent encouragement is the best.

2. Don’t wait to be asked to encourage others (especially men).

3. If you need encouragement, it’s okay to ask for it.

4. If you want to be encouraged, encourage others. Helping others, helps you. You reap what you sow.

5. Focus on the positive. Focus on what you want to happen and/or where things have worked out well before.

6. Encouragement strengthens relationships.

7. This too shall pass.

Encouragement shows support and belief. It can inspire you, man or woman, to greater efforts and greater results. Encouragement may be intangible, yet it’s effect can be very tangible – be that attitude and/or outcome.

Your Powerplay

Show your support. Stand by someone today and give them an encouraging word.



In Pursuit Of Power

by Richard Norris on July 28, 2014

bigstock Power button symbol 26962214 300x225 In Pursuit Of Power

In Pursuit Of Power

The pursuit of power is self-serving. Those who pursue power think they are better than everyone else. Power hungry “leaders” don’t serve others, but want only to be served.

Everything has power within it. Consider the atom. It may not seem much, but when that atom is split the amount of energy unleashed is astonishing. Such power can be harnessed for good or for evil. The wind and the waves have power. Whilst we can harness that power for good, during storms that power can be very destructive. Similarly, man has power. We can use it for good or for evil.

How do you use your power?

As long as there is pride in man, as long as there is sin in this world, there will be men who wish to lord it over others. We see it in the corporate raiders. We see it in the bullies at school. We see it in sex/wife abusers. We see it portrayed in movies where megalomaniacs try to rule the world or the galaxies. Ego is everything. Such people take advantage of others. To get what they want, they don’t really care who they hurt. Sometimes they will go to any length to achieve their aims. Such power is abhorrent. Such power corrupts. Hitler, Nero, Stalin, Hussein, Khadafi and many others like them have been consumed by pride, ego and power. Most of us would not condone such abuse of power.

And you know…I am no different. I may not want to take over a country or a global company, but I do want my way at times. There are times when I use my power for my own ends, especially when I become impatient and/or intolerant. I overlook a teaching opportunity to get something done because I’m on my schedule, my agenda. I won’t take “No” for an answer. What I want is “Yes.” There is likely not a parent who has not applied their power to get their kids to do something that they wanted.

When I was a veterinarian, I became very conscious of the power I had – the power of life and death. When I worked in a slaughterhouse, I could stop the killing on the production line with a word. I had the authority. When an animal was on the surgery table, it was totally under my power. When an animal was beyond saving, I applied my knowledge and power to ease suffering. My character behind such power was tested at times. Like when dealing with an unwanted animal. Such animals often were healthy, but the owner wanted it put to sleep – an ethical dilemma. That’s when I would often apply my power for the benefit of the animal.

When leaders have such power, it can be intimidating and/or intoxicating.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

Abraham Lincoln

We all have power. In the first instance, we have the power to choose. The decisions we make decide our path, our relationships and our success in life. If we decide to pursue power wrongly, we are on a slippery slope… We succumb to flattery. We resist wise counsel. We start to become isolated. We avoid or ignore accountability. We use others without showing gratitude. We are discourteous and unloving. Everyone, including and, perhaps, especially, our families are pawns to be used and manipulated for our interests. We use power to punish. This applies to the playground, the boardroom, the locker room or the bedroom. The drug of power is addictive and we apply the weapon of control to get it.

As I read the other day, when we actively pursue power, we put personal ambition ahead of personal integrity. The focus is to get what we want at other people’s expense. Remember The Karate Kid (the original)? The bad sensei ruled his dojo through fear and intimidation. In the final fight, this sensei tells his fighter to sweep the injured leg of Daniel LaRusso – a win-at-all-costs attitude. Fairness did not enter into it. Pride and power were everything. On the other hand, Mr Miyagi and Daniel were all about doing the right thing. Daniel won the fight and the respect of many, including his enemy.

A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor.

Proverbs 29:23

When I think about it, power is power. It’s like electricity. Used wisely, it can power many useful machines and light up our lives. When too much is routed through one socket, you get an overload, a power surge and that can lead to a destructive fire and power failure. How power is used determines if it is good or bad. To me, true power is applied to serve the greater good – the needs of the many, rather than the needs of the one. Jesus, the Son of God, exemplifies such power. He chose not to abuse his power but to use it to serve a far greater purpose.

Like Jesus, leaders with true power, from boardroom to family room, lead to serve; they serve to lead. True power is humble. I recall reading in the Harvard Business Review about Level 5 leaders who focus their power and apply it with humility. Such leaders exercise true power that is given not exerted, not taken. Such true power puts others before self.

Every day is an opportunity to use your power. The more you use if for good the more will flow your way. Use your power to add value to others rather than add to your ego.

Your Powerplay

Be humble. Serve others with your power.


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You Can Cry If You Want To

July 24, 2014

Cry If You Want To It has long been held that real men don’t cry. Where that belief came from may be unknown but beliefs can change. Men can cry, do cry, will cry and should cry. I’ve never held to the belief that men, real or not, don’t cry. Neither do I believe that […]

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