“Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom, while discouragement often nips it in the bud. Any of us will put out more and better ideas if our efforts are appreciated.” ~ Alex F. Osborn, Your Creative Power …
Praise is one of the most powerful and effective motivators in life. It is fertile soil for the soul; solid ground into which we can extend our roots to help us weather the storms of life. When we encourage others, we foster creativity, but when we discourage them, we destroy it. And yet, even with this understanding, others cannot help us much if we are simply waiting around for their encouragement and praise. Doing so will most likely leave us feeling discouraged and depressed over time as we are placing a dependence on external catalysts for our happiness in life. And that is why it is incredibly important for us to be aware of the encouragement and praise we are giving to others in our lives, and the positive effects we have on them, especially children, who are at a very impressionable stage of their lives.
And there may be times in which we do not like the creative things others have done, and that is ok. I do not like asparagus or sushi, but that is my own personal choice and that choice does not have to affect others, not to mention that just because I do not like something does not mean that it is not good or worthy of praise or respect. We can still put our likes and dislikes aside and try to focus on building others up for something that is important to them, something that they spent great time and effort creating, for we always have the choice between encouraging and building others up, or discouraging and tearing them down.
The encouragement we give to others is nourishment for their delicate flower of creativity; it is life-giving and supportive, contributing directly to the building and fostering of authenticity, imaginativeness, and creativity in this world. For whenever a person reaches within and takes the risk necessary to create something positive and uplifting, the world becomes richer simply as a byproduct of the creative work of that individual. And the beautiful thing about this is that we all can contribute simply by giving others praise for their creative efforts.
Offer encouragement and praise to others for their creative effort.
Questions to consider:
How do we tend to respond when we do not like something, even if we recognize the creativity and talent behind it?
Why is praise so important for so many of us?
What kinds of praise do you most like to hear? Do you give that same kind of praise to others?
For further thought:
“Most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragement–and we will make the goal.” ~ Jerome P. Fleishman