Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘smiling is contagious’

Your Face Speaks Volumes!

The other day I read the following, ‘It takes only 13 muscles to smile but a whopping 64 to frown.’ The math could be slightly off but the point is well taken. Remember being raised with words of advice such as our expression is the most important thing we show to the world, because it tells a great deal about who we are inside and what we think about ourselves. Look in a mirror today. Do you see a face looking back at you with hope, belief in the future and positive intent or one of fear, anger or remorse? The point here is that you can choose…happiness or sadness – belief in tomorrow or regret over yesterday. Free will allows us to decide and to then act out our personal script to create our own reality.
Everyone has regrets. It happens. But it doesn’t need to ill effect your attitude or erode your confidence in yourself. I can’t imagine meeting a person who said they had absolutely no regrets in their life. Sounds rather delusional to me. The important thing is to accept what you cannot change and look for the lesson in it. What you learned makes you stronger and wiser for the future. Rather than beat yourself up over something from the past let’s use it as a stimulus for change – for a more positive view of ourselves.
It’s true, you have to choose happiness – it doesn’t choose you. As a case in point, I read about a bus driver in New York who had a full load of tired, stressed out passengers trying to get home from work at the end of the day. The weather was cold and rainy with traffic jams everywhere. The bus was barely inching along. The negative atmosphere in the bus was palpable. The driver who would also be home late due to the weather challenges could have simply turned a deaf ear or blind eye to the situation but instead he spoke through his intercom to the bedraggled travelers and said, ‘I can’t fix the weather or the traffic problems but one thing I can do is reach out my hand to you as you get off the bus and ask you to drop your troubles in my hand. Please don’t take them home to your families. I’ll be sure they get disposed of properly.’ Interestingly, as the story goes the passengers responded – some with smiles some with tears but they followed through on the driver’s request. This amazing man helped people by this simple but profound gesture because he choose happiness and decided to pass it on. 
Tomorrow if you run into an unsettling thing, just stop and remember the bus driver then check out your face in the mirror. What attitude are you displaying? Try smiling even at the absurdity of it all. Then extend your hand as a gesture to remind yourself that you have a way to drop your frustrations and troubles and believe in the power of personal choice to change your view of the situation. All it takes is a heightened awareness that you and only you have the power to ‘make it a better day!’

The other day I read the following, ‘It takes only 13 muscles to smile but a whopping 64 to frown.’ The math could be slightly off but the point is well taken. Remember being raised with words of advice such as our expression is the most important thing we show to the world, because it tells a great deal about who we are inside and what we think about ourselves. Look in a mirror today. Do you see a face looking back at you with hope, belief in the future and positive intent or one of fear, anger or remorse? The point here is that you can choose…happiness or sadness – belief in tomorrow or regret over yesterday. Free will allows us to decide and to then act out our personal script to create our own reality.
Everyone has regrets. It happens. But it doesn’t need to ill effect your attitude or erode your confidence in yourself. I can’t imagine meeting a person who said they had absolutely no regrets in their life. Sounds rather delusional to me. The important thing is to accept what you cannot change and look for the lesson in it. What you learned makes you stronger and wiser for the future. Rather than beat yourself up over something from the past let’s use it as a stimulus for change – for a more positive view of ourselves.
It’s true, you have to choose happiness – it doesn’t choose you. As a case in point, I read about a bus driver in New York who had a full load of tired, stressed out passengers trying to get home from work at the end of the day. The weather was cold and rainy with traffic jams everywhere. The bus was barely inching along. The negative atmosphere in the bus was palpable. The driver who would also be home late due to the weather challenges could have simply turned a deaf ear or blind eye to the situation but instead he spoke through his intercom to the bedraggled travelers and said, ‘I can’t fix the weather or the traffic problems but one thing I can do is reach out my hand to you as you get off the bus and ask you to drop your troubles in my hand. Please don’t take them home to your families. I’ll be sure they get disposed of properly.’ Interestingly, as the story goes the passengers responded – some with smiles some with tears but they followed through on the driver’s request. This amazing man helped people by this simple but profound gesture because he choose happiness and decided to pass it on. 
Tomorrow if you run into an unsettling thing, just stop and remember the bus driver then check out your face in the mirror. What attitude are you displaying? Try smiling even at the absurdity of it all. Then extend your hand as a gesture to remind yourself that you have a way to drop your frustrations and troubles and believe in the power of personal choice to change your view of the situation. All it takes is a heightened awareness that you and only you have the power to ‘make it a better day!’

The other day I read the following, ‘It takes only 13 muscles to smile but a whopping 64 to frown.’ The math could be slightly off but the point is well taken

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emember being raised with words of advice such as our expression is the most important thing we show to the world, because it tells a great deal about who we are inside and what we think about ourselves. Look in a mirror today. Do you see a face looking back at you with hope, belief in the future and positive intent or one of fear, anger or remorse? The point here is that you can choose…happiness or sadness – belief in tomorrow or regret over yesterday. Free will allows us to decide and to then act out our personal script to create our own reality.
Everyone has regrets. It happens. But it doesn’t need to ill effect your attitude or erode your confidence in yourself. I can’t imagine meeting a person who said they had absolutely no regrets in their life. Sounds rather delusional to me. The important thing is to accept what you cannot change and look for the lesson in it. What you learned makes you stronger and wiser for the future. Rather than beat yourself up over something from the past let’s use it as a stimulus for change – for a more positive view of ourselves.

It’s true, you have to choose happiness – it doesn’t choose you. As a case in point, I read about a bus driver in New York who had a full load of tired, stressed out passengers trying to get home from work at the end of the day. The weather was cold and rainy with traffic jams everywhere. The bus was barely inching along. The negative atmosphere in the bus was palpable. The driver who would also be home late due to the weather challenges could have simply turned a deaf ear or blind eye to the situation but instead he spoke through his intercom to the bedraggled travelers and said, ‘I can’t fix the weather or the traffic problems but one thing I can do is reach out my hand to you as you get off the bus and ask you to drop your troubles in my hand. Please don’t take them home to your families. I’ll be sure they get disposed of properly.’ Interestingly, as the story goes the passengers responded – some with smiles some with tears but they followed through on the driver’s request. This amazing man helped people by this simple but profound gesture because he choose happiness and decided to pass it on. 
Tomorrow if you run into an unsettling thing, just stop and remember the bus driver then check out your face in the mirror. What attitude are you displaying? Try smiling even at the absurdity of it all. Then extend your hand as a gesture to remind yourself that you have a way to drop your frustrations and troubles and believe in the power of personal choice to change your view of the situation. All it takes is a heightened awareness that you and only you have the power to ‘make it a better day!’

Life is 650,000 hours!

According to Bill Bryson in his book, ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything,’ the average human being lives about 650,000 hours which amounts to a little over 74 years. Of course this is simply an average but it does give a person pause when you think about our life span in that context – reduced to the concept of hours. All of a sudden every hour we spend living in the past or worrying about the future takes on a whole different perspective. One hour gone …how many more do we have left?

Each of us is carrying a load of rocks from our past in our invisible backpacks. If we perseverate on them the rocks can become boulders and cause us to slow down and even bend under the weight. The question is do we have the extra time and energy to continue to carry around anger, regrets or disappointments from the past? Or is it time to decide the next hour, day and week of our life will be better than ever because the clock is, indeed, ticking.

A simple practice of training ourselves, immediately upon awakening, to think about one thing to be grateful for and put a smile on our face we start our day off with more physical and emotional energy. It doesn’t cost a thing but will reap tons of benefit. It also helps us bring our ‘a game’ to the moment, the hour in which we are living. You may be thinking to yourself that you’re not a morning person. You don’t have to be. Simply getting into the practice of waking up with a thought of gratitude and a smile can be a game changer for the day. You still don’t have to talk to anyone until you have had that first cup of coffee or tea. This practice just seems to help get our own internal house in order for the new day. After all, you are still alive and have another chance to realize your purpose and make a difference in life. That, in itself, is a big reason to be happy.

It’s a matter of intention and self awareness. The next time you pass a mirror glance at it and honestly decide what your face is showing to the world. Does it project warmth, positive energy and welcome others in? Can you see a smile in your eyes? If not, the good news is that you can decide to change. Since it takes less energy to be positive than negative it seems like a no brainer to me. Yes, it takes honest self reflection and a bit of effort but we can change just about anything in our lives if we so desire. No cost involved – just a choice to become more aware of our own happiness index and do something about it.

Living is not resisting and merely existing but rather evolving by learning, growing, and polishing the rougher edges of our personality. We all have them. We can become happier, more energized and the person we always wanted to be when we have the courage to take stock of our lives and choose to do something about it. Self improvement is time incredibly well spent. It fuels the body, heart and soul.

Today you can choose to make a difference in life – one step at a time- starting with yourself. Now that is something to get excited about!

Have a great few days!

Increase Your Face Value

Have you ever thought about the power of an authentic smile? It is the one thing that defies a language barrier! I find it impossible to feel badly or worry about life when I have a genuine smile on my face. It just seems to lift me up, give me a surge of energy and lightened my step. A real smile truly is contagious.

When referring to a smile, I use the words authentic, genuine and real for a reason. Everyone sees through a fake or forced smile and withdraws in response. A true smile cannot be forced. It must be felt by the heart and is received accordingly.

When we see children playing, or people greeting each other at the airport we see and feel the energy radiating from them through the smiles on their faces. It seems to me that a smile is the most cost effective therapeutic technique that we can engage in during our daily lives. It is a visible sign of perceived self-confidence.

When we read that it is the simple things that give us pleasure in life I relate that to a smile. It costs us nothing yet returns to us double and triple fold a feeling of happiness. From such a simple gesture we can make our own day and the life of others just a little bit happier.

Being a people watcher I am amazed at the difference something as simple as a smile can make on others. Sales clerks, struggling with checking out people who are in a hurry will actually stop and seem a bit amazed when you take the time to smile and thank them for their service. They feel valued, appreciated and who knows it might be just the thing they needed most in the world to face another day. In fact, research has found that people receive more help when they exhibit an authentic smile. The latest brain (neuroscience) research tells us that when we are introduced to someone and we smile at them their memory retrieval (of us) is enhanced! That’s quite powerful don’t you think?

It is so easy to become wrapped up in our own lives and forget that all of us are simply looking for that universal sign that indicates that life is good. Joseph Addison said, “What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”

Do you have the time today to increase your face value by passing on a smile to someone … maybe even to yourself?

Have a great few days!