“One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement. When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own.” — John O’Donohue

It’s just about that time — Back to School Time! Many of my clients are parents as well as business professionals and entrepreneurs, and they are busy getting in the last drop of summer fun with their families and preparing to send their kids back to school.

One of the most important things a good school teacher does is to encourage students to strive for excellence and to believe in themselves. Even if you don’t have school-age children, Back to School is a great time to remember that teachers play a vitally important role in ALL our lives and that we are ALL teachers. If you are a parent, you teach and encourage your own children their values, manners and sense of self-esteem – among other critical life skills – every day.

Recently, television minister Joel Osteen talked about the special role fathers play in bringing out the best in their children by giving them approval, encouragement and validation. I loved his message, and I believe it applies to ALL of us. If you are a parent, teacher, boss, mentor, sponsor, aunt, uncle, older sibling, trusted friend, life or athletic coach, you are an encourager.

Sharing your approval, validation and encouragement with your employees, children, spouse, partner and teammates gives them the courage to step out of their comfort zone to risk and achieve more than they ever would have thought possible. Even when they fail – especially when they fail – telling them you are proud of them for giving it their all and that you believe in them will give them the courage and belief to try again.

In his sermon, Joel said, “The people in your lives can’t read your thoughts – you have to speak them. They need your love, guidance, support and mentorship. They need you to teach them what you have learned, and to model excellence and integrity….All they need to excel is your blessing, your encouragement.   Give them an extra boost to excel, to rise higher, to go further, to accomplish things they never knew they were capable of.” 

And they, in turn, will duplicate all that with the important people in their lives – their families, friends, workmates and Teammates. Encouragement, approval and validation are some of the most wonderful things you could possibly pass along to the people you touch on a regular basis. That’s what professional teachers do for a living and that’s what each of us can do as well.

So here’s a simple but profound encouragement you can give your fellow teachers: Thank them.   If your child has one or more good teachers this year, go out of your way to write those professional encouragers a personal note stating how much your child loves their class and how grateful you are to have them in your child’s life. You don’t have to wait for Back to School Night! You can do this the second week of school. And even if she is not perfect, if you make the effort to acknowledge and validate a teacher for her hard work and dedication, guess what? It will encourage her to be an EVEN better teacher and role model for your child. We all thrive on encouragement and acknowledgment.

If you don’t have a child with a teacher, I urge you write a similar heartfelt Thank You” note this week to someone who has been a mentor, role model, teacher or encourager in YOUR life. Tell them how grateful you feel for their belief in you and their encouragement.   Tell them the difference they have made in your life and I promise you they will keep that note for the rest of their life.

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.