I recently picked up a book titled "Find a Way". The book shares about the life story of Diana Nyad, a lady who made history in the arena of marathon swimming when she swam 110 miles from Cuba to Florida in 2013. It was a motivating record of human strength and will, despite failing four times (her first attempt was made when she was 28), she tasted success at the age of 64 years old. [Most professional athletes would have been retired by age 30]
The book records a very interesting account of her life story, all the ups and downs, what she valued as an individual and the relationships she had that played key roles in her success. Among all the juicy bits of information, there was a part that stood out to me. When Diana was five, her stepfather told her that she would be a champion swimmer and this is her destiny. From that moment onwards, the word "champion" etched deep in her memory and followed her till today.
Words are Powerful
How would you choose to use your words? To bless or to curse? To encourage or to tear down? "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits" - Proverbs 18:21
Authority Figures Possess Additional Power
What stood out even more for me in Diana's account was that it was her stepfather who said those words. Now consider this, if a stepfather has this effect on a little girl's life, how much more our natural parents and even more so, our Heavenly Father!
Sam - the dancing Starbucks barista
Here is another example of the result of affirmation in a person's life and career. Sam is a barista with Starbucks who is based in Toronto, Canada. Sam is autistic with a movement disorder that makes it difficult to keep still, but through hard work he was able to channel his movements into dance. While to some extent it was hard work that made Sam overcome his challenges, it was actually belief and affirmation that came from his manager Chris that empowered him to succeed. You can watch the video on youtube below:
Choose to Affirm with Your Words
Has these couple of stories inspired you to make a change to your leadership and parenting style? Right now, whether you are a boss, parent or someone who is in authority, you have the opportunity to build the champions of tomorrow! Make your words and actions count!