There’s a Latin proverb that says, “If the wind will not serve, take to the oars.”
If you’re like me, there are days (weeks/months/years) when it seems like there is simply no wind in the sails. In those moments, it feels like the environment isn’t “working with me” to propel me to the place I want to be. This “lack of wind” isn’t usually that major (all things consider), but it’s the little annoyances that steal my focus and send my morale adrift. In fact, if I’m not careful, the drag of dealing with a broken car, a sinus infection, or the pile of laundry causes me to lose perspective on how truly blessed I am to have a car, typically good health, and enough clothes to cause a pile of laundry.
For me, the challenge in the days of low wind is getting outside myself long enough to dig deep and go find “the oars.” Even though I know it’s time to persevere and get to rowing the boat, I allow myself to be convinced that it will take some Herculean effort to get to the side of the boat and that I’d be better off to just sit, complain, and wait for the wind to pick up. Woe is me, huh?
Yet, in those moments, I find myself especially grateful for friends who have the “gift” of encouragement. This week I was reminded that I am surrounded by a ridiculously fabulous group of Encouragers. I wish these type people on everyone. On the listless days, they blow onto the scene and have a unique way of making even the toughest days all right again.
You know the type of person I’m talking about. They are …
- the friends who refuse to let you say disparaging things about yourself.
- the people who slap you upside the noggin and tell you to suck it up. They rattle your cage and remind you that you’ve got A, B, and C going for you (and they will keep reminding until they get to X, Y, and Z, if they need to).
- the sibling who thinks you hung the moon…and isn’t slow to tell you that.
- the one who randomly emails you to say good morning and that you are appreciated.
- the person who says or does something nice…”just because I was thinking about you.”
- the barista at the coffee shop who has a new compliment for you every morning.
- the colleague who has a kind word of thanks for your contribution to the team.
I call this skill a “gift” because it’s not something everyone possesses. These gifted Encouragers make an enormously positive impact on the people in their lives. These are the people who day-after-day find just the right thing to say and say it at just the right moment. They are the wind in the sails of so many.
If you are one of these people, please use your gift
daily hourly every moment possible. You stimulate me to walk to the oars on windless days and start rowing.
If you have Encouragers in your life who do this for you, how about turning the tables on them today? Take a moment, shoot them a note or call and let them know how much you appreciate them.