My inspiration for this entry originated with a recent Facebook post from a modern composer that I greatly admire named Eric Whitacre. If you wish to have a mystical experience I encourage you to listen to his work, especially two pieces entitled Lux Arumque and Nox Arumque respectively.

Eric shared a story of a Choir Director who sat the choir in a circle with a chair in the center of the circle. One-by-One, each singer was asked to sit in the center chair while the other singers randomly showered her/him with compliments and praises about her/his characteristics and talents. The experience was incredibly moving for many of the participants, and from the standpoint of psychology I have some ideas about what this ultimately contributed to the personal wellbeing of each singer and the Choir as a whole.

This train of thought led to the conclusion upon which this post is based: There just isn’t enough ENCOURAGEMENT going around these days. Instead, we are bombarded with images of depravity and violence, false advertisements, and campaigns of lies and deceit. Speaking of Facebook, I remember a recent meme that was based on the “Be Calm” concept that stated “Do not be calm! Do something! Our world is being destroyed by psychopaths!”

I realize that this is not at all encouraging, but it is unfortunately true. Here is the “something” that each of us can do about it:

We can become imbued with and radiate ENCOURAGEMENT in our lives. We can learn how to adopt it as a new mindset, and establish it as a new norm! Think about it for a moment: Imagine if you could begin to orient your daily thoughts and feelings towards all that is good and positive. Now imagine if you took this new internal state and externalized it to others. Now, take it one step further and imagine hundreds, then thousands of other people doing the same.

This is our path to Transformation, and its basis is ENCOURAGEMENT. Through the power of LOVE, we can take on a new courage, and we can inspire this same courage in others. In time, we can create a world of truly brave people, brave enough to release the fear and put down the weapons. Strong enough to be gentle with one another. Bold enough to LOVE authentically and unconditionally.

The exercise:

Begin by “self-observing” your internal dialogue. Do you tend to be critical of others? Are you prone to finding flaws and identifying weaknesses? Are you yourself discouraged?

No worries, friends, I believe it is safe to say that we have all been a bit tainted by the current collective consciousness (and unconscious) that surrounds us. What matters most  is that we can identify it and change it.

Now, begin to intervene with these tendencies via redirection and substitution. Whenever you start down the road of criticism, purposefully go the other direction (redirection) by finding the positive, and thinking/feeling/giving praise and encouragement (substitution).

Over time (and believe me when I tell you that it does take a little time), you will find that this once “practiced” (and sometimes “forced”) behavior has become your new norm, and the world will seemingly transform around you! 🙂 Of course the truth of the matter is that it is YOU who has changed. Ah, but herein lies the magic! When we change (individually), our world does indeed change (collectively).

Imagine what a league of one million ENCOURAGERS could accomplish!

Friend, I offer you this day the praise, recognition, and encouragement that you deserve. You are doing an amazing job, and you are, in your heart of hearts, a noble and caring person. I invite you to allow all of that goodness that you possess to increase and overflow to others.

Banish the negativity from your mind, refuse to stoop to the level of judgment, and declare your life a “drama free zone.” 🙂

Be encouraged, and exude ENCOURAGEMENT. It WILL transform your life.

Be Well!

Dr. Mik

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