written by: Kevin Hustek
Before getting into 2018, I feel it’s important to preface this entry:
In late 2016 I was challenged by my leadership coach Dan Hickey to choose #OneWord that would become my focus for the year 2017. While trying to decide, I kept gravitating back to the word encouragement. So what is encouragement and why was I stuck on it? According to Google, encouragement is “the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.” Encouragement is something that every human needs in every aspect of their life. Whether it’s from their spouse or significant other, from their family and friends, from their coworkers, from their bosses and superiors; we all need to feel supported in our endeavors, confident in our actions, and have hope for the future.
I think one of the reasons I kept gravitating back to encouragement is that I felt a lack of it in my own life. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of champions in every corner of my life, but sometimes small doses of encouragement make the biggest difference in a persons life. So by the nudge of my leadership coach, I set out on an actionable goal for 2017. Take every available ounce of energy and turn it into encouragement for every interaction with every person. While I sometimes failed, I never lost sight. As I reflect back on this past year, I am filled with joy knowing that I was able to provide much needed encouragement to others, especially in times of need. It’s crazy to think how powerful one word can be.
Fast forwarding to the present, I’ve decided that my focus word for 2018 will be inspire. Although I will continue to foster encouragement, I’ve found myself in a unique position to inspire others around me through my words and actions. Several years back during my graduate studies I read an eye-opening book titled “The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters“. Just before break I decided to read it again and was nudged towards choosing the word inspire as my word for 2018 (just a quick note, if you haven’t read the book, I’d strongly suggest you do).
Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes, and can change often. My inspiration comes from the people I surround myself with. Often times family is the biggest source of inspiration; my wife Nicole and son Aiden are a perfect example of this. But this past Fall I began a journey down a new path and connected with many students and their families through various homecoming activities. Honestly, it was probably one of the biggest highlights 2017. The different interactions I had with each student, parent, and especially with our host family, has helped me to realize that I have much more to give. My hope is to one day inspire each and every person who has once inspired me.
Now, I challenge each reader of this entry to choose one word to focus on for 2018; believe me, it will change your life. I’d love to hear what word you’ve chosen! Leave a comment down below or wherever you may have seen a link to this blog entry.
P.S. I cannot believe that February 2016 was the last entry in this blog. One of my personal goals for 2018 is to pick up where I started and blog more often. I might just need a little bit of encouragement or inspiration 😉