There is an old adage that says, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." But that's wrong. Words are a powerful weapon.
The right word at the right time can lift a person up to do amazing things. Likewise, the wrong word at the wrong time can derail a person's dreams and create some imagined boundary that will forever limit them in their mind as to what they can do.
Being a motivational speaker, I've spent a lot of time trying to encourage people over the past few years. After the horrible months of 2020, it seems like people need encouragement and self-value more than ever before. And even though I've stressed reaching out to people and try myself to say something kind to as many people as possible throughout each day, it was only this past week that the true power of it hit home to me personally.
Recently, I spoke for a company during one of their training days. I was the last thing in a long day of meetings and honestly, they were at the end of a very long week of travel for me. I wasn't feeling well, but I gave it my all anyway and it went very well. We presented "Not 'Just' Anything" to them. They laughed, they engaged, and we all connected with a great experience.
But at the end of the event, that is where the magic truly happened for me. So many people came up to me and talked to me, telling me how much they enjoyed what I'd said. They purposefully sought me out to talk to me for a moment. The company's owner just flooded my wife and me with kind words and went out of his way to make us feel at home. Even though I had been brought in to encourage the team, I left there with the biggest smile on my face you could imagine.
They were kind. They went out of their way to tell me I mattered to them that day. And let me tell you it made such a huge difference for me! I have always been a big believer in kind words, but that day I was the recipient.
Imagine you had a precious, expensive gift you could give away to someone today. You have an abundance of the item, and now you are just looking for a way to pass along the extra one. Wouldn't you be excited, especially knowing the person receiving the gift would definitely love it and be blessed by it?
You have that gift in your words. It costs you nothing to speak something nice to someone, and to give them a smile, yet those two simple actions can change someone's day immensely. The briefest of interactions can forever alter someone's life at the right time.
Today, I encourage you to purposefully look for someone to be kind to. Tell that person at the checkout counter how much you appreciate them. Let the waitress bringing you food know they're doing a great job. Tell your spouse how much they mean to you. Look your kids in the eye and let them know you are proud of them. None of those things will cost you a penny, but they will be priceless gifts to the recipient.
Try it. I promise you'll find it an addicting practice when you see their smiles.