Every once in a while I get an idea stuck in my head for no apparent reason. Right now, that idea is providing encouragement and positive feedback - believing in the dreams of others, and telling them so.
It's amazing how much of an impact that positive reinforcement can make. Simply hearing, "I believe you can," or, "That's a great idea," can build mountains of motivation and confidence.
When I think about this idea, my mind always goes back to a time shortly before I discovered my Passion Catalyst work when I was casting about for what my next career step would be. I knew marketing wasn't it. Among other things, I was exploring travel photography, travel writing, and being a rug merchant.
A short-lived e-commerce attempt with Zapotec weavings turned into an up-market, custom order concept. I could work with customers here locally on design, colors, etc. and then my Zapotec weaver friends in Oaxaca would weave it specifically for them. There could be a personal connection with pictures of the weaving in process, the story of the weavers, etc.
One evening I was showing a friend some of my weavings and telling him about my custom weaving idea. "Oh man!" he exclaimed. "That's so great. I know so many people who would jump on that. You could totally do that!"
I had thought it was a good idea before talking to him, but after talking to him I was flying high with motivation to make it happen. Nothing about the reality of the idea had changed, but his enthusiasm and encouragement added huge amounts of fuel to the fire.
I never took the idea anywhere - shortly after that I discovered my Passion Catalyst work - but the experience left a strong impression on me.
I suspect that most every day each of us has the opportunity to add fuel to somebody's fire. Sometimes just a little bit of kindling, and sometimes fuel for a roaring blaze. Look around you. Who could you tell, "I believe in you?" Where are the opportunities to say, "That's an amazing idea - I'm really excited for you?"
I'm sure my friend doesn't even remember the conversation about the weavings. It was just his natural response in a conversation that meandered all over the place over the course of the evening, but it made a significant impact on me. And with this post maybe, just maybe, the ripples from the splash he made will have that effect on others.
Believe in your dreams - and believe in the dreams of others. That's how we change the world.
Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst (sm)
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