Most people sell themselves short all their lives. They let the people in their lives convince them that they’ll never amount to anything. They allow friends to convince them to give up at every opportunity and they allow relatives to make them feel guilty about aiming above the level of mediocre.
Go to any neighborhood that is stricken by poverty and you’ll find plenty of people who have given up on their dreams in life. They’re not aiming high in life because it seems pointless to even try. The obstacles are so tremendous that there’s no way the average person could ever understand what it’s like.
We may see glimpses of it when we talk to friends from those neighborhoods or when we see people like that on television, but living it day after day is something else entirely.
Thoughts are contagious
The more someone associates with people who set low expectations for themselves, the more they’ll pick up on the thoughts that feed that behavior. Thoughts are transferrable from one mind to another and there’s no question that’s true.
When someone has relatives who are negative, friends who are negative, and teachers who are negative, chances are, that negativity will rub off on them. They try to read a book and they’re criticized. They try to better themselves and the people around them discredit them for acting like they’re “better than everyone else.”
You can repair a broken arm, you can repair a broken leg, but you can’t repair a broken spirit. No wonder there’s so much crime, no wonder there’s so much transgression. After years of so much nonsense, nothing seems to matter to them anymore. Why try something constructive if it won’t amount to anything anyway?
Help them before it’s too late
When you see someone who’s down and out, someone who seems to have no hope in the future, don’t look down on them. They didn’t choose the environment they had to grow up in. Instead try to help that person. Motivate them to aim higher than the level of mediocre.
Put yourself in their shoes. Do you really think you would have the things you have or that you would have achieved the things you achieved if you were raised under their conditions?
Say something that uplifts them.You’d be surprised how just a few words can change someone’s destiny; they’ll remember those words for the rest of their lives.
Say things like:
- I know you’ll succeed one day
- I always knew you could do it
- You have what it takes
- I believe in you
- I’m praying for you
Talk about their strengths so that they can recognize those strengths and use them to move up in the world. Let them construct a vision for themselves that motivates them to always push forward. Going with the flow doesn’t always work when the environment isn’t favorable. Let them focus on what’s beyond their environment so that they’ll have something to hope for.
“Leaders are dealers in hope” — Napoleon Bonaparte
When someone in your life has lost all hope, lift them up. There’s no telling how different their lives will turn out simply because of a few words. All a captain has to do is steer his ship by an inch and the final destination will be greatly changed as time passes.
Let your words steer someone into the direction of hope. Let them think about the possibilities of doing what they never thought possible. You might give way to someone who might become one of the world’s great leaders some day. It’s happened before and it’s happening now.
All it takes are just a few simple words to change someone’s life. I know because I’ve seen it work for me and I’ve seen it work for others. If you still don’t believe me, try it on someone and watch how their behavior changes almost automatically. And when you see that happen, the next best thing you can do is to inspire others to do the same.
If you liked this article, please share it on StumbleUpon or Twitter.