Monday, October 14, 2019

A Note Goes a Long Way

A word on encouragement: Motivation Monday

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Today, I wanted some coffee.  Not just any brand of coffee.  I have that at home.  Ground coffee from a little known brand called Folger’s, and several pods from Green Mountain and the flavor is Pumpkin Spice.  These are my comfort coffees when it is 3 am in the morning and I am pulling an all-nighter.  No, this coffee is Salted chocolate caramel with a little bit of whipped cream from Starbucks, my favorite coffee place in life.
Photo by Ivory Mix 
As I entered the place not far from my home, I noticed something that I have never seen before.  Little Post-it™ notes with encouraging words on them.  They had sayings like “You are enough”, “Memaw loves you” (I guess she had hoped her grandkids would come in to see it), and “You are Amazing, live your DREAM”.  I wrote the last one when I found out that I could do it too.  in fact, I wrote 3 others as well; “You are beautiful, you are smart, you are loved”, “Love everyone no matter who they are”, and the last one I cannot think of.
Why do I think this is the coolest thing in life….
Lately, there has been so much discouragement in the world.  From the White House to school, Home to Work, and even in the streets, people are getting meaner and meaner.  If you are a Christian and know your bible, you know the prophecy, and even if you do not, you know that something big is about to happen.  It cannot stay like this forever.  People still need to know that they are loved, that they matter, and whatever they have cooked up positive in their brain is the best thing for them right now until something better comes along.
Everyone Needs Encouragement…
Say, you had a bad day at work. You got up late, traffic was at a standstill on the freeway, or you had clients who just did not want to hear your ideas about how to make their business grow.  These are stressful in itself.  Now, imagine your day being just a little bit brighter when you see a happy video, someone paying for your meal without asking, or handing you a note saying that you are enough.  How would you feel then? It would make you happy, appreciated, and ready to tackle the next task.
When I saw my first positive note in Starbucks today, then another, and still another one, my whole face lit up like a Christmas tree.  I have been struggling with my business for a month getting clients, taking on something that is possible, but not too impossible, and dealing with a couple of news stories that just sicken my stomach to no end.  Seeing those notes made me feel better, and it was as if God told me that I needed to stop by and leave some myself to encourage others.
You do not need a Starbucks to start your own Encouragement Campaign….
I saw my first note of this kind, not in Starbucks, but on an overpass on the freeway in my city.  The pink sign said, “You are worthy”.  I smiled as I passed under it. I had heard that a woman and her children were leaving little posters for drivers to see as they pass by.  I did not overthink it.  I accepted it and went about my day, knowing that someone was thoughtful enough to think about others.
Think about the last time someone has done something positive for you.  it could be anything from a loved one giving you some positive advice to someone paying it forward.  Now, I do not advise that you go buying a round of drinks for the whole bar or contribute to something that may harm a person, that can be disastrous, and you may not forgive yourself in the morning.  One time, I gave a ride to a stranger who was applying to the same job that I was.  The last bus had left for the day, and the express buses did not go on that side of town.  It was on my way home, and I did not mind.  I also did not think about the danger of it either.  She was in good company.  I also waved my right to not accept payment from the woman because she may need the funds tomorrow, and I had my parents who could buy me gas for my car.  I also did it because I overheard the woman tell another person that she needed a ride home.
Paying it forward does not have to include funds.
My example did not require me to reach into my pocket and buy a person their next meal.  A few months ago, someone paid for my parent’s dinner without asking.  The key is
  • You do it in good faith.  Do not have the idea that you have to do it.  Some example is, if someone did a RAK (Random Act of Kindness) to you and you feel the need to do it to someone else, you got a raise, and for Christians because Jesus commands us to do it automatically without prompts.  You never know how a person may be feeling when the act is done to them.
  • The person receiving it does not know that the RAK is happening.  It is unexpected because humans are naturally mean, right?
Three weeks ago, and a friend of mine asked for prayer with a problem that she is dealing with at her job.  Of course, the natural course of someone for me is to pray for her and the situation.  Last week, I was in Hobby Lobby (one of my many favorite stores (I was born with money in my mouth-I am getting better), and I saw this plaque that you sit on your desk.  It had the perfect saying for her to keep pushing and not give up.  I bought it.  I was prompted because my friend was not her usual cheerful self (situations can put you in one nasty mood, I am going through one right now), and I felt like it because I needed a pick me up as well.  That is the third component to the whole encouraging act or RAK, you feel good at the task.  You are not thinking about yourself and your situation. You are thinking about the end goal of cheering someone up.  You are putting your situation to the side to think of others. 
I want to let you know one other thing:
  1. RAKs are a good thing and encouraging others is a good thing as well.
  2. They do not cost any amount of money.  In fact, they should be free, but no one is punishing you if you pay for a meal or two for someone else.
  3. Companies are starting to see this as a good thing as well.  i.e. Starbucks
  4. You never will know the outcome. Someone may do it to you.
  5. Do not expect a thing.


  1. With all of the negativity spilling out of the news, it's a great reminder how we can share goodness directly and indirectly with our neighbors. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. I love this! I love it so much! I love the pay it forward and that doesn't have to mean money. I have been in places where people have paid for my food before. I have also paid for someone's food before as well. I love the kindness that people have shown, just out of the blue. It really puts you in a good mood and it lets you know that not all people are a**holes... I love the element of surprise. You don't know where it's coming from or when it comes. It comes right when you need it. :)

  3. Yes! More random acts of kindness need to be encouraged. I am thinking of starting a RAK campaign at my school with my students. RAK can turn a negative atmosphere to positive and encouraging.


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