“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” Jodi Picoult
In our YouGotThis Q&A series, we sit down with educators, coaches, athletes and thought leaders to explore the role that Encouragement has played in their lives, and to share their insight into the positive impacts of Encouragement.
Chris McAsey is a co-founder of the YouGotThis app, bringing his passion for sports coaching, digital technology and wealth of fatherhood wisdom into the fold. He is a published writer and editor of travel and lifestyle magazines – Compass, Elite, Humsafar – and co-author of Lonely Planet guides to Brazil & Indonesia.
Q. Have there been moments in your life when encouragement from someone had a significant impact?
A. Yes, there have been a couple of times when encouragement had a real impact on me. Some were more that 30 years ago and I still remember them clearly.
Can you describe one of the situations and the gist of the message?
I’d recently arrived back in Australia after living and travelling overseas for a few years and was struggling to find direction in my life and career. I met an older friend of my sister at Bondi Beach and we started chatting.
He advised me to identify the one thing I was really passionate about and to stick at it. It was a simple message but it resonated at the time.
He was a successful journalist and editor and I was interested in writing but didn’t really know where to start. He suggested a course I could do and said not to expect quick results, but to chip away and it would happen.
How did the message of encouragement make you feel at the time?
It made me believe that what I wanted was within reach.
What made the message significant for you – was it the timing, the content, who it came from, or something else?
It was a bit of all of that – definitely the timing. The message was simple enough to stay with me when I had a lot of different thoughts about what to do next. And it came from someone I respected, who I knew had my best interests at heart.
Were you close to the person who gave you the encouragement, or have you become close since?
I wasn’t really close to him but we had spent time together. He was kind of a calm influence. Based on his advice I moved back to Melbourne and returned to university, so we haven’t seen each other a lot since.
Have there been any lasting impacts from the encouragement you received at the time?
I got through the course and was commissioned to write a travel guidebook not long after, so it had a major impact on the rest of my life.
Do you think we could use encouragement more in our daily lives, particularly with those who are close to us?
A message to someone we care about will always have a positive impact, especially when they’re approaching something that’s important to them. Encouragement at the right time gives a morale boost and some confidence to crack into it.