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“We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving, and we all have the power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing."
- Louisa May Alcott

Tip 49 is on Words of Encouragement. This weeks tip starts and ends with a quote from Louisa May Alcott, a respected author who made a huge difference in my young life when I read Little Women. When I speak to students one of the first things that I tell them as a key to their own success is to make sure that they are following their own dreams. So often our own dreams are quashed by our parents, family and friends when we are told that what we are dreaming isn't realistic or will never earn us any income. Webster's New World College Dictionary defines the word Encourage as "to give courage, hope or confidence to; to give support to; be favorable to; foster; help." What a wonderful great thing it is to offer encouragement. Christopher Reeves once said, "Once you choose hope, anything is possible."

I just returned from a visit with my family up north. What a great Thanksgiving it was to spend time with my brothers and their beautiful and amazing children. I am dedicating this Tip to my niece Ilana and my nephews Allen, Michael and Max. I am so proud of those kids and I just loved to sit and listen to what they are dreaming for their future here on planet earth. How great it is to even have a dream. Imagine what life would be like if we didn't have any dreams for ourselves. Theodore Roosevelt said, "Believe you can and you're halfway there." Most young adults thrive when they have a plan, a goal or a dream. I have seen the lack of motivation in my own adult children when there is no plan and they have no dream. It is really hard to get through the day unless there is something better that we can reach for. Wherever it may take us and whatever it may be. This is a great quote by Henry David Thoreau, "If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Ilana wants to be a writer and stand up and aspires to one day be on Saturday Night Live. I told her, research the prior cast members and follow in their paths. Find out what schools they went to and how they got their start in comedy. Contact the current staff and see if you can get an internship there. What is the worst they can say? "NO" A silly little word that only has 2 letters which happens to scare a lot of people away from even trying. Remember, NO always means not now. It does not mean NEVER. Allen also wants to be an actor. He has been acting since he was old enough to try out for the local theater groups and summer camp plays. He has not only acted in more than a dozen productions, but he has had many leading roles. He can sing, dance and act and he does it with passion. Every single extra dollar he can spare is spent riding the train to Manhattan to see Broadway and Off Broadway shows to study his craft. He is not someone who needs a dream, but he could definitely use a little more encouragement. We all know how hard it is to succeed in this business, so figure out a Plan B to help get you through until you make it in show business. Here is a great quote by Confucius, "It does not matter how slowly you go up, so long as you don't stop."

Michael is the sweetest of the crowd. Never great at books and homework but he has a love and passion for computers. At the very young age of 13 he managed to get himself an internship with a computer company giving him enough confidence to launch his own computer repair side business. With the right encouragement and a little help from cousin Joey maybe one day he will be offered a job with Microsoft. One never knows - Why not dream big. Max the wild one of the bunch is a soccer maven. Not only playing, but now refereeing games. He is mature, confident and sure of his calls even at the young age of 15. He one day wants to work with FIFA and at the rate he is traveling (warp speed ahead) I have no doubt this young man will accomplish every single one of his goals. A great quote by Craig Venter, "I don't know if the optimist or the pessimists are right. But the optimists are going to get something done."

We all come into this life with the sole purpose to make a difference in the lives of others. How great an opportunity to start at home with our own children giving them a reason to believe and hope. My own 21 year old son has lost his way and took a semester off from college. We spent many a night talking about his interests and what "turns him on." We talked about business, college, armed forces, technical schools, police force and EMTs. We covered many topics and researched some of them more. I believe he lacks a dream and a plan for himself in the future. Just finishing college is not exciting unless you have an idea of what you would like to accomplish with that degree. I do my best to love and support him with words of encouragement and hope. I am certain he will eventually find his way. James R. Cook once said, "Do just once what others say you can't do and you will never pay attention to their limitations again." I believe that he can do whatever it is that he sets his mind to. We discovered that he does have a dream to be in criminal investigation..., stay tuned.

If you don't have children or our children are already grown look for other opportunities to encourage others.Today in Toastmaster's Dan spoke of his grandfather who took Dan aside upon graduation from High School and taught him the art of making a plan. Sitting down with him to teach him about Goal Setting and how to make "SMART" goals. Wow! Dan was so lucky to have someone in his life to encouragement him to set goals and teach him the proper way to set them out. Dan has used this to teach many of his staff how to set proper goals to help them achieve their dreams. We all want to be successful and earn a lot of money, but we need a specific plan to provide the road map. Dan is now teaching others to create their own road map. Dan is living this quote by Mark Twain,
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see them, and try to follow where they lead. - Louisa May Alcott


Wishing you all that you wish for…,

Tammy Saltzman

Helping You Achieve Your Dreams!