Photo by Emuishere Peliculas.
It’s so easy to underestimate the power of little tiny actions in our lives. It’s not until we actually apply some of the simple things that we realize what an impact they can actually have. Today’s suggestion for Something Good is to take one of the smallest, easiest actions and let it have a positive effect.
So, I braved the mall today, specifically because I was craving a certain fast-food sandwich that’s probably not very healthy but is oh-so-tasty (we’ll blame the baby). I kind of groaned a little when I realized I was leaving the house right before noon. There were sure to be long lines at the food court at lunchtime on a Friday afternoon. Still, my hunger told me I just couldn’t put it off until the crowds would have died down.
When I arrived, I found that my fears were grounded. Of all the greased-soaked stations, the line in front of my restaurant was the longest. I was a little disappointed, but nothing was going to keep me from that sandwich. I sighed and got into line.
Looking around, I realized that pretty much everyone else there seemed kind of annoyed, too. Aside from territorial glares that said, “Don’t cut in front of me,” people weren’t even making eye contact with one another. Everyone seemed to be in their own world, despite the fact that we were packed like sardines in a can. It just felt . . . sad to me.
So, I reached out and tapped the lady standing two people in front of me in line. She turned around with a defensive look. I smiled and enthusiastically said, “I love your glasses.” She thanked me and went back to waiting in line.
Now, I have no idea if my compliment changed the course of her day at all, but it did change mine. After we spoke, I found that I was still standing in a super-long line full of impatient people, but that I was actually smiling as I did so. It was the smiling that felt really good, and when I noticed it starting to fade, I went ahead and convinced myself to smile again. Suddenly, my outlook seemed brighter. Rather than think of the people around me as a nuisance, I began wondering about them. I’ll bet those two ladies work together and decided to duck out for lunch today, I thought. I wonder if that’s her son or if she’s babysitting while his mom’s at work.
Try this as an experiment:
- Sit or stand with your back straight and shoulders back
- Lift your chin
- Take a deep breath
Now, go about your normal routine, but remember to keep this posture. If your smile starts to fade, put it back on. If your shoulders start to droop, pull them back. Keep yourself smiling for the next five to ten minutes and see if it doesn’t become genuine. Just as our mood affects our physicality, our physicality can affect our mood.
As I said, today’s suggestion is incredibly simple, but it’s also really, really powerful. Do Something Good: SMILE!