Something I have been working on lately is encouragement. In my counseling life, I am fairly good at giving encouragement, but need to be improving in the ways I encourage the people around me on a daily basis.
I've been doing a little experiment in the last few month as I work on this conviction in my heart. Seeing the ways I compliment people and the way they react... it seems to me that everyone benefits from specific honest compliments. These may not be the most grand and glamours words of a poet, but they mean something more. People are unique and they are gifted in certain ways. If you compliment someone on something real and honest, it's meaning is three-fold:
1: Ultimately, you are giving glory to God for a specific thing He has done in someone's life.
2: You are showing that person that you care enough about them to notice something real about their character.
3: You are encouraging the work of God in their lives to continue by praising it.
One example of this in my own life is the way my husband compliments me. He knows that saying "you're beautiful" is appreciated, but when he gives me specific reasons he finds me beautiful that day, he is encouraging my character to grow and appreciating the beauty God has allowed him to see... and I am much more flattered.
My thought for the day is to find specific ways to compliment and encourage people around you. It might take a second longer, but it will make your heart happy too when you recognize goodness in another person.