I can clearly remember being in the third grade and observing my mom and dad. I decided on a few things during that time. First, I decided that I would never drink coffee or smoke cigarettes. Back in the day, my parents consumed both together, and I hated the combined smell. Next, I saw the gifts and strengths of my parents, both were quite different, so I decided to be a combination of the best attributes of each of them. 

These early decisions might seem a bit unusual, but consider the early actions of 2022 Masters Champion, Scottie Scheffler. He said, “I wore pants when I was a kid at Royal Oaks because I wanted to play golf on the PGA Tour. I would wear pants and a collared shirt to like third-grade class and get made fun of, and rightfully so. I always wanted to be out here.” Scottie planted a dream in his heart in the third grade and reinforced it with his actions—and it worked!

During a dinner conversation last week, a dear friend, Dave Borden, founder and former CEO of Pharmaceutical Strategies Group, shared a story. As a youngster, he did not have a lot of support and encouragement at home, but he did have a strong supporter in his third-grade football coach. This coach told Dave that he was the kind of guy who would never give up, no matter what! He also told Dave that he was the guy who would always remain calm and help to lead people through challenges. 

Dave believes that the coach spoke these words into existence as he became a man with those same attributes. He used those attributes to bless many employees over 20 years as he built and sold three successful companies. As a client, we saw first-hand his perseverance and steadiness as he led his team through many challenging times and then onto remarkable success.

Words and actions matter at all ages.

  • What words are you speaking to others (even third graders)?  
  • Are your words uplifting and a blessing to the recipient?  
  • What words do you speak to yourself?  
  • Are you designing a positive future with these words?

A few encouraging words now can shape a life forever.