Josh Irby

Live from Sarajevo

The one thing Hollywood gets right

Editor’s Note: Troy Mclaughlin is a writer, photographer and good friend. But most of all he’s a husband and father of 3 kids. You can follow him on twitter  or at his website, Project Pastor.

Hollywood gets at least at one thing right—awarding each other. Have you seen how many award shows they have. It seems every week there’s another one. They gather and blather about how an actor(tress) did so well in a role and they hand out an award. These award shows may seem self-serving but they do one important thing, they give encouragement.

This may be the one thing they get right, but it’s important.

Davidlohr Bueso (Creative Commons)

Davidlohr Bueso (Creative Commons)

A few years ago I trained and completed a century (a 100 mile bicycle ride)  for Team in Training. TNT trains people to compete in triathlons , marathons, centuries and walks to raise money for blood related diseases, mainly leukemia. It was a great experience and I learned about the value of encouragement. 

When I started, I was out of shape. I could ride for many miles on flat ground but when it came to hills I was in trouble. 

The second week of training I was on a hill and everyone passed me, including all the women on the team. My coach, Tim, who was on a tandem (a bicycle for 2 people) passed me as well. When he passed, he looked at me and said “you can do this, it’s only a little farther.”  That boosted my morale and resolve to not stop and walk up the hill. Those few words of encouragement were what pulled me to the top of the hill. Without them I would have quit. 

[tweet_quote hashtags=”@projectpastor” ]Receiving encouragement is great but it’s even better to give it away.[/tweet_quote] When I rode our century that year I passed some of the same riders on the steep hills who passed me early in training. As I went by I would say “you can do it, it’s only a little farther.” I knew how those words encouraged me early in my training. I knew they would help others and give them hope.

A few facts about encouragement:

• We are built for encouragement. 

• We need it, it brings life. Think of when you’re encouraged and how you feel. It’s like a cold glass of water. It refreshes you. 

• If God encouraged His own Son how much more do you think we need it. 

• [tweet_quote hashtags=”@projectpastor” ]Encouragement gives us hope. It’s the spark that keeps the fire going, it gets you to the top of the hill.[/tweet_quote]

• Everyone can give encouragement.

What hill are you climbing? What challenge(s) are you facing? Are you the one passing others on the hill? Are you speeding on by and not saying anything? Or are you telling them as you pass “it’s only a little farther you can make it.” 

[box]Practical challenge:

Who do you know who needs encouragement this week? Write them a note, send them a text, an email and encourage them. Start with those closest to you. Start with thanking them. Then tell them they can do it, whatever challenge they’re facing. Tell them you’re with them you’re cheering them on. [/box]

Tell me how it went. Tell me if you need encouragement, or are you facing a challenge(s)?  I’d love to hear your stories. 

About Josh

  • Beautiful post Troy! Love this –> “Receiving encouragement is great but it’s even better to give it away.” and thanks for sharing this, Josh!

    • troy mc laughlin

      Thanks Mike. I appreciate your kind words. They are encouraging to me.

  • Troy – thanks for sharing this….I too am a cyclist and can relate to what it does to receive words of encouragement…it is the extra fuel to keep going (especially during a 340 mile 4 day Pittsburgh to DC trip I did last summer!)….however…..as you point out……we can be agents to fuel another as well!

    • troy mc laughlin

      You’re welcome Bruce. Yes it’s a good fuel to recieve but it’s even more exciting to be “agents to fuel” others.

  • I completely agree Troy. The biggest challenge we have as individuals is not so much about getting encouragement from others, but encouraging and awarding ourselves.

    At this stage in my life I’ve almost learned to let go of the failures and to celebrate the victories, no matter how small or insignificant they seem.

    • troy mc laughlin

      That’s good Les. I love what you said about celebrating even the small victories and letting go of failures. We are faced with choices no matter the situation. Thanks for commenting and sharing.