Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Encouragement: Just Ask

I have something to confess today -- and I'm still a little nervous about it.

But first, let's watch a video from the amazing people over at The Foundation for a Better Life.

Unfortunately, they don't allow embedding of their videos, but you can view it here!

Did you watch it?? I love that cheesy Hallmark stuff.

Yes, this is a commercial, but it's based on a real event. Think for a moment how AMAZING that kid must have felt. Taking a ginormous creative risk, and then not only not getting in trouble for it, but being actively encouraged and celebrated by a master pianist and an entire audience of concert-goers. I'm betting that kid grows up to be the next Rachmaninov, or another one of the guys on this list. Or maybe a guerrilla performance artist . . .

The point is, when we encourage someone to pursue their dreams, we're setting in motion a series of events fueled by positivity - positive thoughts, positive emotions, positive expectations. And that can lead to some really wonderful things, far beyond the scope of the initial encouragement.

This brings me back to my confession. Last night, I was trying to finally -- FINALLY -- send in an application to this totally amazing organization, after three weeks of hemming and hawing and struggling with the feeling that I just wasn't good enough. As an accountability measure, I sent up a flag on my Facebook page, telling people what I was doing and what I was afraid of, and what I hoped to accomplish. This is not something I normally  do - I prefer to let my problems figure themselves out, and then just report on the results. It's less messy that way, and leaves me feeling less vulnerable when I don't have to tell all my friends when something doesn't work out.

This time, however, I'm so very, very glad I did.

BAM! Just like that, the amazing Nancy Hankel (go read her blog, she's hilarious and awesome) and a book by Sheryl Sandberg gave me exactly the shot in the arm I needed -- why the heck shouldn't I apply??

With this in mind, I did send in my application. I have no idea how it's going to turn out -- but I do know that if I hadn't exposed myself just that little bit, I wouldn't have received the encouragement I needed. And if my friend hadn't taken that moment to cheer me on, I would be writing a very different story.

It's like Kadie wrote yesterday, encouragement is a two-way street. Sometimes you need it, sometimes someone else needs it. And if you can have to courage to express that need, or the generosity to see someone else's need and rise to the occasion, the world's going to see a lot more dreams pursued and fulfilled.


It's not too late to get a super-awesome handmade encouragement postcard from The Art Abyss -- just email theartabyss@gmail.com with your mailing address info, and maybe even a little info about what you need encouragement on, if you like, and we'll get those cards in the mail and sent out to you ASAP!

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