The world today can be a very tough place to live in, especially if you are someone with big dreams. The great thing about dreams is that they all have a possibility of happening, and they are a combination of putting in hard work and being in the right place at the right time. Our dreams can be as simple or unique as we want them to be and no one else has the right to dictate what we should or should not go after.

In the same way that dreams are unique, so are the individuals who have them. On one hand, you have those super passionate, go-getters who hit the ground running when they encounter something that moves them. These people exude a confidence and edge that puts them a step ahead of the game and they will not be denied. On the other hand, you have those who take a somewhat lighter approach, feeling things out and being more “safe” when it comes to something they’ll pursue. They really want to make sure they have a chance at something before taking the plunge and putting most or all of their eggs in the metaphorical basket.

Now if I asked someone which person they would rather be, most people would desire to be the go-getter, but the reality is that there are positives for both. Ideally, we would like to be a spark-plug who can also feel things out and feel confident in what we’re approaching, someone who can really think about something and be courageous enough to not sit by the wayside. No matter what kind of person you are, there is one thing that every human needs; encouragement.

Photo Credit: Ryan Magnuson (Holland, MI)
Photo Credit: Ryan Magnuson (Holland, MI)

Encouragement is something that is so important and so simple to do, yet it is also something many take for granted. It can be something as simple as a smile and a “You’re doing great”, a small gift, a reassuring pat on the back, or a full blown conversation. The fact is, encouragement can be anything that leads people towards a more positive way of thinking or living life. So why don’t we do it more often? Truthfully, I think we get so wrapped up in the lives we are living, that we often forget how to give (and even receive) encouragement from people.

On the giving end, we think that most of those around us are these emotionally-strong, well-put-together individuals because of what we see on the surface. We think to ourselves “That person seems to be doing pretty well for themselves, they don’t need my words or gestures”. On the receiving end, it is not uncommon for some to think of encouragement from another as a means of “wanting something” in return. They are very skeptical, as growing up in this “me-centered” world gives them every right to think those things. Where have all the genuine people gone?

Regardless of what the thought process is, people really need to wake up and realize how important encouragement can be. Instead of looking at someone and assuming they’re fine, dig a little deeper. Outward appearances can be very deceiving, as they can hide inner struggles that we know nothing about. I think we need to stop being so self-interested and scared to be open with people, because it’s creating a very unaware, disconnected society. So instead of being part of the norm, be part of the solution. Encourage those you know and those you don’t know. You could just be one of the reasons why the next dreamer changes the world.


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