One of my very favorite ways to stay in touch with people during the peak busy season is a quick text. Just a little nudge or reminder that I am thinking of them right at that moment. Depending on the day or the person, I will either send a thoughtful note, a motivational quote, or I will ask a quick question. And 99% of the time, I get an immediate reply.
One of the questions I often ask in a text is this, “What’s the best news of the day?” In most cases people will respond with some kind of good news or great news, something fantastic and sometimes even so powerful it motivates me as I read their response. There are a few people who may get caught off guard and reply with a question back. And it reads something like this, “I don’t know, what is the best news of the day?” They anticipated that I had some great news of my own that I wanted to share. Once I explain what I meant, I typically get a very favorable reply even if they have to search for something to be considered the best news of the day.
Now in a very few and isolated cases I have caught people in a bad mood or in a very difficult or challenging time. And when this happens, the reply I receive is either a quick, “Thank you, now is not a good time,” or “Michael, it’s been a bad day, let’s talk tomorrow.” And I respect where they might be and understand that a motivational quote or a question asking for the best news of the day could be a little off-putting. But in every case, I acknowledge their response and send a reply back with something like, “Understood, sending you love and support,” or “Understood, let me know if I can help with anything.”
This actually happened last week. Someone replied to my question, “What is the best news of the day?” with this text, “Nothing, it’s been a tough 48 hours.” My reply, “Understood, let me know how I can help.” Their reply, “Well, your offer to help is now my best news of the day, thanks.”
Like a good joke, motivation and inspiration require the right timing and delivery or they can seem off-putting and offensive. Some may find that hard to believe, however life brings real challenges and trying times, and when we are in one of those seasons of life, what we need is more hope and encouragement instead of motivation and inspiration. They are very much the same, however, certain situations call for one more than the other.
Now we need to remember what Zig Ziglar said about motivation, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well neither does bathing, that is why we recommend it daily.” What a great quote and reminder for anyone needing a little pick me up. And I can share with you that there is no better way to get motivated and stay motivated than by being a source of motivation to others, offering hope and encouragement whenever we can.
So how about you? What is your “Best news of the day?” I would love to hear you story at firstname.lastname@example.org and when we can stay connected and offer our love, support, hope, and encouragement, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a resident of Manasquan, the Executive Vice President of Sandler Training, the President of the Zig Ziglar Corporate Training Solutions Team, Strategic Consultant, Business and Personal Coach, and Chief Ice Cream Evangelist at Norton’s Main Scoop.