Why Encourage People?

When I drove Mandy Evans back to the airport, she asked me an interesting question:

“Have you always encouraged people?”

She had spent four days with me and observed me encouraging complete strangers to go for their dreams.

There was an author at a booth and I bought his book and advised him on how to market it.

There was a waitress struggling to get to all her tables and I tipped her more than the bill to encourage her to have a great day.

There was the newbie restaurant owners that I encouraged by designing and distributing an insert ad to tell the locals about their great food.

There was of course Diane Watson, who is now The Property Hugger.

So Mandy wanted to know if I was always encouraging of others.

“No,” I instantly replied. “When I was younger I was angry at the world and didn’t encourage anybody. I was into survival and focused on trying to write, get published, and just generally survive.”

I knew what question was coming next, and I knew I didn’t have a quick answer for it.

“Then when did you start encouraging people?”

I thought for a long time. I honestly couldn’t come up with an answer by the time I dropped off Mandy at the terminal.

But I’ve been chewing on it ever since.

I told Nerissa about the question. As I free associated an answer, she said she heard the word “love” used a lot.

“Love is part of why I do it,” I said. “I love seeing a person come alive with the passion they secretly want to express. But I also know that when you love a person with total acceptance, they feel free to become whatever they desire.”

But I still couldn’t pin-point the time when I began to do this encouraging on a regular basis.

Pat O’Bryan and I had dinner one night and I told him the above story. He then began to probe, trying to get me to narrow down the year and possibly the event that caused me to become encouraging of others.

“I remember reading books that awakened me to the idea that if we focus on the good, we’ll get more good,” I explained.

Marva Collins is a school teacher in Chicago who taught me, through the stories and books by and about her, that when you focus on the positive in a person, and nurtured and encouraged them, they would blossom.

Marva took inner city kids that were considered retarded, special, and/or illiterate and transformed them within months into kids who read Shakespeare and tested at grade levels five times higher than kids of the same age.

Decades ago I was teaching adult education classes in Houston for a company called Leisure Learning. I would try the Marva Collins approach in my classes. I marvelled to see people get excited, take action, and go on to write and publish their own books. They needed encouraged, not just informed.

Pat listened intently as I went on to explain that I also studied Win Wenger, the creativity genius who teaches people how to raise their IQ with simple exercises he created.

Win taught me that whatever you focus on expands. This was long before the movie The Secret or before the Law of Attraction hit mainstream media. Win called it the first law of psychology.

Whatever you focus on will expand.

“It didn’t take long for me to begin using these methods on myself,” I told Pat. “I’d encourage myself and focus on what I wanted. As it worked for me, I realized it would work for others. So I started encouraging people.”

I was also lucky enough to have been married to a woman who was supportive of every idea I came up with, even when we were broke and taking risks could have been seen as a bad move. But Marian focused on the good in me, saw potential, and watered it with her love.

Over time it became easier to encourage people because it felt good, I saw results, and people loved it. So few of us get support that when we suddenly have it, we drink it up like a starving person in the desert.

I’ve taught my Miracles Coaches this same general idea. It’s the prime directive of my life: Find the spark in a person and encourage it to come out in full glory.

Find the spark in a person and encourage it to come out in full glory.

During the meal, the waitress came to Pat and I and asked what we needed. Neither of us needed a thing. We were in the moment. We were happy. But I decided to ask what she needed.

“Nothing,” she said. “One day I want to open my own restaurant but right now I’m just waiting tables.”

Pat and I exchanged glances and he winked. He knew this was my opening. I turned to the waitress and began to encourage her to do something, anything, to make her dream come true.

I have no idea if she’ll actually do anything, but she smiled big and thanked me for the encouragement.

In your own case, as you sit there and read these words, you might ask who is encouraging you and who are you encouraging?

Who are you encouraging?

If you want encouragement, consider my Miracles Coaching program. There’s nothing like constant support and encouragement to achieve your goals and intentions.

If you want to encourage others, begin right now. Listen, really listen, when people talk to you. You’ll often hear their secret wish. When you hear it, focus on it, if only for a moment.

It’s how dreams come true.

Ao Akua,


PS — I thank Mandy for asking her great question. I still don’t know exactly when I started to encourage people, but I’d guess around 1982. Yet Mandy’s question led to some deep self-reflection, some deep conversations, and to this blog post. If you liked it, please share it with others. Who knows, you just might encourage someone to dare something worthy

Note: Pat O’Bryan interviewed me about this topic last night for his weekly online TV show. It was recorded and you can view it at www.portableempire.tv/ Simply look for the 6-17-08 show with me. Then click on it. Enjoy.


  1. June 18, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Hey Joe,

    Thanks for sharing this with everyone last night on http://www.portableempire.tv. This has really inspired me to encourage others even more. I really appreciate all the work and effort you put into making this world a better place. Keep up the good work.

  2. Frank-Reply
    June 18, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    Joe, I was sitting here watching Pat’s TV from last night and your email came in Encouraging me to watch it. While watching the show I had a major insight into something I have been doing with every job I have ever had that does not serve me. I “Identify” with the product/company I am working on/for when in fact they are not mine. This inevitably leads to me being disappointed or worse because they are not “My Dreams” or My products they are in fact someone else’s. My Insight is that while I can do a great job and build great products for other people I need to reserve the time I spend “Identifying” with products for my products and dreams. Thanks for the “Encouragement” that lead to this insight.

  3. June 18, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Thanks Joe,

    I’m the middle man here. I am encouraged by so many wonderful people, including you, and like you…. And I also encourage a great number of people in many inspired ways.

    Thank you for the dose of inspiration that you shared here and the countless other encouragements that you share with me and others.

    See you soon,

    Mr. Twenty Twenty
    http://www.exhostage.com – Free at Last!
    http://www.2020motivation.com – Exposing the Myth of Motivation

  4. Natalia-Reply
    June 18, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Hello Joe,

    I absolutely do share these ideas. I think I learned it from my father who is just naturally very accepting, warm person. He was always so supporting of us (my older brother and me). Just about 4 years ago, my father and I encouraged my brother who was a hard working (and a very talanted!) engineer to leave his office work (many hours, no benefits, not such a good pay) to express himself artistically. Ever sinse then, he creates such truly inspired and profound artwork!! He started as a wood carver (taughed himself an ancient Russian art of birch bark carving and quickly became one of the most unique, amazing artist in this field… I know it because I am a professional art dealer of birch bark artwork). He has been also creating wonderful illustrations for a fairy tale I wrote in Russian. You can say just by looking at his illustrations how deeply he was touched and how deeply he GOT the story. But… even though we all are truly talanted and encouraging of each other, we still have not found a way to make a decent living with what we have to offer.

    Follow your dream, this is the most important in life. I now teach this wisdom my 5 year old daughter. She of course very often knows it better than myself. She is so brilliant. So amazing. I know that we can only teach our children by actually LIVING this way… I know it with all my heart. All my husband and I heard on The Secret was very encouraging and inspiring, although not new to us at all, we both know it for a very long time…

    Why it is so hard to get things moving? Why we actually need to be so brave? I don’t want to be brave. I just want to have a quiet and comfortable life doing things I love most! When the struggle part of this journey will be done?

    Thank you a lot in advance.

  5. June 18, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Thanks Joe,
    I was at a chamber of commerce networking lunch today and the speaker was talking on the subject of NLP (nero linguistic programming).
    One of the subjects she focused on was, “Whatever you focus on will expand.”

    I instantly thought of you and Anthony Robbins.
    It is funny that I would get home and find this blog post.
    Just a coincidence?.. I think not. 🙂

    Thanks Joe, for the insight and wisdom you bring to the world.

    BTW I love the new hypnotic marketing.

  6. Vall Gordon-Reply
    June 19, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Looking for encouragement. Im in a junction looking north, feeling hands pushing me, need some hands to pull me. Become my mentor Joe Vitale. this will result in a person spreading this movement in the Caribbean. Thanks Mandy for asking the E question.

    Gordon ion Grenada

  7. Christopher Spear-Reply
    June 21, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Thanks Joseph, No doubt…it works and since on a larger plane we are one, when we encourage others we are encouraging everyone…even ourselves.

  8. June 22, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Just finished listening to Attractor Factor (book on tape), fascinating! Couldn’t stop listening after I completed the first chapter. The story where Joe helped a local restaurant owner touches me.

    Now, reading this blog was a treat! I will be reading it again.

  9. Debbi Baird-Reply
    July 14, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Speaking of encouragement, Joe, I wonder what you would do in my situation right now.

    I’m looking to publish a book or even a series of books and have been looking at what’s available online for self publishing. I’m dizzy just going over all the options!!:shock:

    If YOU were getting ready to publish your first book right now, what would you do and how would you do it? I know that I can self publish by making it into an ebook, but my target market is OFFLINE – showing people how to GET online and use their computers properly! So it needs to be a printed- “in hand” book that people can place next to their computer and follow along!

    I already have a great Hypnotic Title (thank you!) so I know that it will garner interest!

    Perhaps you can do a blog on this subject and what’s available that you would recomend to people who want to put their books into paper format!

    Thanks! LOVE YOUR WORK! Have at least 5 of your books!


Leave A Comment