In a recent group conversation, one of the participants stood up to ask a question and to gain clarity on how he could encourage his friends to do better. The answer: the best way to encourage someone to do good or to do better is for you to simply do good. You have to live it before you tell it.
Whether we know it or not, our actions, as the saying goes, speak louder than our words. A friend of mine often says “The best thing you can do for a poor man is to not be one.” Sounds weird but it is absolutely true. It is virtually impossible for any of us to help someone from a position of needing help ourselves. Sure, you can communicate some positive things verbally but if your life does not align with what you say then, the message will fall on doubting ears. And, ultimately, those doubting ears will drown out what you are trying to communicate to them with what they actually see you communicating to them via the choices you make and your lifestyle.
Leading by example is the best way to lead. Leading by example is the best way to encourage others. Your examples – your choices and your actions – have more influence than anything you will ever say. Sure, you might say, tweet or post some profound thoughts but if you do not live it eventually you will be found out. And, the result of your not living up to what you say, will have overwhelming repercussions for you and a lot of the people who follow you.
So, before you speak life into someone’s situation, before you tell someone how to live a better life, live that life before them. You will be greater for it and will have helped and encouraged others even the more.
(Image courtesy of basketman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)