“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” - Unknown
Recently I made an interesting discovery while running – a simple act that made a dramatic difference and helped carry me through the most challenging segments of long distance runs: smiling. This inspired me to embark on a journey to uncover the untapped powers of the smile.
Smiling is not just a universal means of communicating, it’s also a frequent one. More than 30% of us smile more than 20 times a day and less than 14% of us smile less than 5 times a day. In fact, those with the greatest superpowers are actually children, who smile as many as 400 times per day!
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
Really, go out of your way today to make someone smile. You get extra points if the person you make smile really needs a smile, but it will suffice to make anyone smile today (by going out of your way).
What do I mean by going out of your way? Well, challenge yourself to do something you don’t normally do. Step outside your comfort zone. If you typically walk down the street looking straight ahead oblivious as to the people you pass on the street, then that’s a great place to start. Look up at someone and give them a nice smile and keep on walking. Did he or she smile back? If not, it’s ok. It wasn’t a rejection of you, per se. Maybe the person on the receiving end appreciated your gesture, but didn’t trust your motives.
If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Someone will respond to your kind gesture and smile back. And I can promise that when it happens you’ll feel great inside.
The previous example is an easy way to start this exercise. Over time, hopefully you smile more and more in public and it becomes second nature to you.
But the point is to challenge yourself to do something you don’t normally do. And by definition, this exercise is positive and gratifying. Maybe your smile will be that person’s highlight of the day and that person could be one of the people who gave you a funny look! You never know.
In my case, I love doing this with the elderly. It has often led to fun and interesting conversations.
People may even perceive you differently from this simple act. It takes guts to walk down the street, look strangers in the eye, and flash them a smile. Some people may perceive you as a bit creepy or crazy, but once you’ve perfected your technique you’ll appear calm, happy, and confident!
This exercise seems very simple on the surface, but it really does take guts. But as you know, no guts no glory. TRY IT! I’m so sure this technique will work that I’ll even include a 30-day money back guarantee.
How do you challenge yourself to make someone smile every day?
Share your technique in the comments section below!
Now go out and flash a Smile :)
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