I was working in my office today, and needed to erase the whiteboard you see in the picture above. I busted out the windex and paper towels to take care of what I thought would be a 2 minute project. Except it took longer. Much, much longer. I needed a scrubby-pad-thingy-what's it, too. And elbow grease. The quantity of which may have just given me tendonitis. Great, there goes my professional tennis career.
Mid-cleaning it hit me.
I had written the notes that were on the board a while ago. It was an important section of a book I am currently writing. I left it up, because I knew I would be referring to it a lot. And when my elbow began to feel like it was going to explode I realized something.
Consistent messages are hard to ignore.
That made me think of high school and college students. Specifically, our responsibility to speak life into them on a regular, consistent basis.
The words we use impact how they see themselves.
The actions they take based on those words multiply those results. Either for good, or...well, not so good.
We need to be intentional about the words we are pouring into the next generation.
The ones they think about themselves. The ones they use to describe themselves. The ones that act as a mental GPS to the actions they take.
And that's on us.
Just like the words on my whiteboard were not easily erased, neither are the ones we speak into the next generation. My whiteboard had encouraging words. But think about the many, many times that the emotional whiteboard of a young adult is getting filled with negative words. And then our first reaction is to blame them for acting on the only teaching they've ever known...negativity.
Millennials are listening.
And every time we lob the softball of "they are just an entitled generation", we highlight our unwillingness to be part of the solution. Actually, we also do a fantastic job of contributing to the problem.
Stop complaining, and start solving.
Stop putting down, and start pouring into.
Stop, stopping, and start, starting.
Be willing to spend the time scrubbing the emotional whiteboard of a Millennial clean, so that you can fill it back up with encouragement.
Unleash their potential, by bringing words of wisdom that are intentional.
Teach them the power of words.
Teach them how to leverage the momentum that comes from understanding WHO they are, and WHY they exist. Teach them to rely on values, so that WHAT they believe comes alive in HOW they act.
Every mind is like a whiteboard.
Fill it with great content.
Words are hard to remove, so make sure they are worth the time you are taking to say them.
Every word matters.
And one last thing...
The consistency of your delivery will either be part of the solution, or part of the problem.
We also have to be intentional about our commitment over time. Just because we said it once, doesn't mean our job is done.
There will always be a competing message for limited space in the minds that we are teaching.
Keep writing words of encouragement, life, challenge, love, hope, etc...on the hearts of the next generation.
That way when someone tries to fill it with the opposite, they will see the value in not listening to it.
Well, I have to run.
I have a whiteboard to fill with more notes.
Positive, life-giving, inspiring notes.
For the next generation.
I hope you will join me in doing the same.
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.