On Criticism and Encouragement 26 Sep 2010
I will do great things in this life, but never at the expense of another person. I have and will continue to make many mistakes in this life. My past mistakes have allowed me to experience the differences between criticism and encouragement at many different levels and for many different reasons. Criticism and blame have never led me to achieve anything worthwhile. On the other hand what’s been afforded to me through love, encouragement, appreciation, forgiveness, and empathy have been the starting point of every worthwhile achievement I can remember.

The biggest differences I can recall between criticism and encouragement has to do with what is planted within. Criticism generally has made me frustrated, angry, discouraged, and ultimately depressed. On a few occasions it temporarily instilled in me the will to ‘show’ the other person. This feeling quickly dissipated and was again replaced by a feeling of distress. Encouragement on the other hand has had a different life-changing quality about it – it inspired, motivated, and uplifted me. It took my mistakes and gave me energy and helped strengthen my resolve and determination to learn from those mistakes. It provided a framework for growth and in the process created respect and loyalty.

Dale Carnegie sums these experiences up nicely, ”I’ve yet to see a person who didn’t do better work under a spirit of encouragement than one of criticism.”

Every interaction in our lives happens only once. Each interaction gives us the chance to imprint something on our own lives as well as those we interact with. With every opportunity that arises I hope to provide the encouragement that so many others have given me in hopes that this will help them achieve great things in their life. If I do this, then I’ll have achieved one in mine.

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