I woke up this morning to cheers and whistles of encouragement. Music blared and moved me out of my bed in an exuberant fashion. I was energized and amped to start my day. Of course, I realized quickly that the cowbells and kazoos were really singing their songs of encouragement for those brave folks running the Chicago Marathon just outside my window today. But for an instant, I thought, wouldn't it be nice to have cheerleaders like this to wake up to every day?
Strangers gather along the streets to cheer on the 45,000 competitive souls who chose to conquer the streets of Chicago all with a common goal, to FINISH. So why don't we have our own cheering squads in life? Of course we have friends and family that (hopefully) help encourage us to live and pursue our dreams, but what happens when those cheers go silent? Where is our group of professional cheerers? After all, ours and the marathoners goals are quite similar, aren't they? We all want to finish life, earn some medals of validation along the way, and have others to share our accomplishments with don't we?
Life is a long hard road, far longer then that of the 26.2 miles of a marathon and encouragement is needed often, and not just when things get tough. So I am sharing today's marathon lesson as a reminder for myself, and you readers as well, to cheer on, compliment and encourage those around us. Help lift others up on a daily basis, not just once in a while, and I guarantee you that the energy return rate is two fold. I am reminded of how often I've thought nice things about others, but failed to put those thoughts to words and kept them to myself instead of sharing them. What a difference I could have made in a person's day, or life over all, if I had just shared my positive and genuine thoughts such as, "Hey, you look nice!", "What a great job you did!", or even an, "I appreciate you!".
I know first hand what a difference cheers can make, whether it's during a race (my longest 7K distance race was finished with nothing left in my internal gas tank except determination and crowds of strangers screaming, "You can do this!", "GO!") or during a normal day. For most, like the marathon, life isn't a competition but rather it's about finishing and feeling a sense of accomplishment. So help someone finish their day, finish their race and finish their life, with a smile on their face. Take the time to share your positive thoughts with those around you. Be a professional cheerleader, not only for them, but for yourself too! What a difference a compliment can make to someone, so I encourage you to share away! Don't save the cheers for drinks and special occasions, make cheering an every day event! You can do this! Go!!!