A beginner’s lesson
“Marimba” – what is that? I haven’t the slightest clue what kind of instrument or noise that’s supposed to be, but it doesn’t matter, it’s pretty effective at waking me up when its electronic broadcast of sound goes off at 4:45 a.m. I roll over and shut off the alarm on my phone. Now I’m curious. What is a Marimba? My day just started.
A Marimba is a percussion instrument according to Wikipedia. Ok cool. Now I know what Steve Jobs picked out when he had that sound in mind for one of the most recognized sounds that the iPhone makes. I’m curious. I always want to learn more, I always want to discover something new.
Today is no exception to that rule. I am searching for some new nugget of knowledge that can help me propel myself forward. Years ago, someone told me “leaders are readers” and that phrase has stuck with me. I like to read incessantly. But it’s hard sometimes. I get discouraged.
So why am I telling you all this? Where’s this mighty dragon? Who cares if I like to read? Who cares when I wake up? Who cares? I think it’s something we all overlook.
Last week I only woke up on time twice. The rest of the week I worked late, prepared and hosted a conference, and closed two big projects at work. I love what I do, and I couldn’t be happier overall, but what’s missing? Everyone needs this. You need it, your team at work needs it, your friends and family need it – we all need it.
We need encouragement. Encouragement is the air and water that our souls need to keep breathing, to keep thriving, to keep growing forward. Life is so full of challenges, full of adversity, full of situations and people that will try to hold us back. Life is full of ourselves. The part of ourselves that we fight against. It’s hard sometimes.
A couple years back I read a book called “Do the Work” by Steven Pressfield. In the book, Steven talks about the greatest opposition to getting the work done, to accomplishing our goals, is a monster.
This monster’s name is “Resistance”.
Resistance is an ugly beast, a giant dragon, a behemoth that will feed on anything that it can. Our doubts, our fears, our friends and unknowing family members who don’t intend too, but who successfully align themselves with the dark mission of Resistance. Resistance is here to stop us, shut us down, and make us give up. Resistance is a terrible beast that won’t stop until she’s torn us limb from limb and left us in total despair.
So how do you slay the dragon? How can you help others around you slay their dragons?
Encouragement is the secret weapon. It’s forgotten so often, but its power will never wane. If you crack the trunk, that old dusty treasure chest that you forgot you had buried back there, in the recesses of your mind, and if you reach inside and draw out that sword, you’ll see it still gleams bright. You might just have to dust it off and remember how to wield it again.
Encouragement can cut through the scaly armor of Resistance. Swing once and you’ll draw blood. Swing again and she’ll stagger and stop her attack on you. Keep swinging and you can drive her back into her hole. Her dark lair.
Encouragement is the difference maker. It’s something that will help you push farther. It’s something that will help you perform better. It’s something that will help you love more and give more. It’s the secret weapon that you need. Your friends need it. Your family needs it. Your team at work needs it.
Today you have a choice. Pretend Resistance doesn’t exist and let her stalk you all day,
turn around and kick her in the snout. Cut off her head with the sword of encouragement. Use the weapon you forgot was there.
You see, with encouragement we are all beginners. It’s the simplest lesson that helps us unlock the mighty sword. It is the lesson that will always be basic.
Simply put – you need to encourage others around you.
1. Tell them something good they’re doing.
2. Tell them that you appreciate them.
3. Tell them to keep trying.
Keep striving to kill Resistance.
We all need encouragement. Don’t forget to encourage yourself, too. That sword might have been buried for a long time in the back of your closet, but it needs to be pulled out.
Slay the dragon. She’s a greedy little thing that can grow to unrealistic sizes when we let her.
I needed to remind myself to kill the Dragon today.
How about you? How do you encourage yourself and others?
How do you slay Resistance?