Starving For A Little Praise!

Teen Leadership and Mentoring Blog


Dan Blanchard award-winning author, speaker and educator

History is filled with names of successful people who grew up starved for a little praise…

It is said that Napoleon’s last words on his deathbed were, “I wonder what that teacher thinks of me now!”

Praise, or the holding of praise, is a very powerful tool in the development of humans, and thus humanity, as well as our collective history as a people.

I’ve always thought people should not be stingy with praise. We should constantly praise other people, and especially kids, every chance that we get. I guess we could consider this positive behavior of praise giving to be our small contribution. Through this small contribution to humanity we can make our tiny corner of the globe a better place to create a history of happier and more successful times. Who knows? Maybe those people who we praised and positively influenced will pay-it-forward and shower our praise in their own voice and words onto others. This compounding effect could eventually spread joy, happiness, and success around the globe at speed of light!

Now if you happen to be one of those people who never received praise at home, from school, or even your community, then I want to say that I’m sorry. However, a-less-than wonderful up bringing still doesn’t give you the right to become bitter and give up on your pursuit of excellence. As I said earlier, history is filled with names of successful people who grew up starved for a little praise.

Some of the more popular ones who were starved for praise that come to mind are Napoleon (mentioned above), Mussolini, Hitler, and many more including our modern day swimming sensation, Michael Phelps. When interviewed, Michael Phelps said that one of his driving forces was a teacher from his past who told him that he would never amount to anything. Hmm…. Do we detect a common denominator for worldly success here?

So now pick yourself up, stop feeling sorry for yourself, and stop making excuses for yourself because quite frankly, excuses don’t get you anywhere!

In contrast, you should have that burning desire deeply singed into you to prove all them naysayers wrong. You should be foaming at the mouth to become that high-quality person that your future family deserves. I know you will shower them with praise of a successful person because you know how the other side feels. You should be determined that your future spouse and children will never have to go through any of the negativity that you might have gone through…

Now if you are one of the lucky ones who receive praise as a child, then you have no excuses and now it’s your duty to grow up as a well-adjusted successful adult who passes on the praise and encouragement to the next generation.

If you weren’t so lucky, then remember that it’s not too late! You can still change the path you’re on. You don’t have to be miserable. Start changing with little things like putting a smile on your face. If you do little simple positive things they’ll lead to other little simple positive things and you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel. If you let the starting of these little simple positive things stop you and you insist on staying miserable, chances are nothing positive will come your way.

Please share how you plan to use this secret of Starving For A Little Praise.


Thanks for your time,


Daniel Blanchard

Author of the Granddaddy’s Secrets series

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