Where did you get your start?
I recently had the opportunity to go back to where it all started for me as an entertainer. I did a show on the first stage I performed on as a kid. Several people in the audience had even been there for that first appearance approximately 45 years ago. While this show was a solo performance, that first time I was one of many acts performing as part of a youth talent show.
If you’ve ever experienced a youth talent show, you know that the range of talent being shared on that stage was quite broad. That didn’t seem to matter. I remember that every act was met with enthusiastic applause. Every one of us was made to feel like a star. We were applauded – loudly – for getting up there and giving it a shot.
What I do now would not be possible had it not been for the encouragement I received then.
Being back on that stage in that environment was deeply moving for me. It brought back deep-seated memories. It drove home for me the love and support I have been blessed to receive in so many areas of my life. It reminded me that I would not be where I am now had it not been for the encouragement of a countless number of people along the way.
Who has helped you on your journey? Who has been there with a kind word at the very moment when you needed it most? Who has been there for you to lend a hand, to help you up when you stumbled? Who has been there to cheer you on along your journey?
Where would you be now had they not been there to cheer you on?
Like that early talent show, I’m betting that many times you have been applauded even when your act kind of sucked. But, because of that applause, you kept going. It gave you the encouragement to continue. Perhaps you’ve kept going to the point where it (whatever it is that you do) no longer sucks. You might even be pretty darn good at it.
What if you had not received the applause before your act deserved it?
What a shame it would be if you had stopped. How sad it would be for those who now benefit from what you do well.
Take a moment to remember those who have cheered you on and encouraged you, even at a point in your development when it didn’t seem justified.
Now it’s your turn.
Who needs to hear your applause? Who would benefit from your words of encouragement and support?
Cheer them on. Applaud loudly.