Positive Encouragement and Inspiration Are Gifts That Keep On Giving

Positive encouragement and inspiration are gifts that keep on giving

On the wall across from my desk, two images look back at me from inside their frames. They’re old gifts, one from each of my parents, that give me positive encouragement each day.

The first, on the top, is a colorful sketch of a cowboy riding a red bucking bronco. Although his hat has been tossed from his head, and the horse is a good six feet in the air, the cowboy appears to have things under as much control as possible. Down by an old cow skull on the desert sand in the corner is a message: “For William, by Daddy.”

I remember the night my dad drew this sketch, even though it was over 60 years ago. Sadly, he died not long afterward in a car accident, so it’s forever meaningful to me for many reasons.

Below the cowboy sketch is the second item, a quote in calligraphy from Theodore Roosevelt, entitled “The Doer,” which sits with a red mat in a simple wooden frame. My mom found it in a garage sale 35 years ago and thought of me. I was in the early years of starting my creative marketing agency, and the gift couldn’t have been more timely. I can’t tell you how often I’ve looked at that famous quote: “It is not the critic that counts…” and either grunted, groaned, or grinned, depending on what business or marketing challenge I was facing, or had just overcome. If anyone ever personified the “The Doer” message, it’s my mom. She was a working mother and a nurse with a career spanning decades. Now retired, she still finds ways to stay busy.

How do these two framed items relate to each other, and how could they possibly relate to anyone with business responsibilities? Aside from the fact that they look like they belong together, here’s what I see:

  1. Try to keep your cool.
    When running a business (or riding a bronco), everything is not always under your control, no matter how much you want it to be. Things will settle down eventually, and the excitement is half the fun.

  2. Get things done.
    Be enthusiastic and devoted in your drive for success. Be willing to risk failure, but always pay attention to learning from it. Wear your scars proudly and dare greatly. “Your place will never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither defeat nor victory.”

These thoughts were on my mind today. Whatever kind of business you are in, I hope you have your own ways to remind yourself to be thankful for both the challenges and the opportunities.