Yesterday’s post was about the power of habit. Two powerful habits to develop early that will benefit you for the rest of your life are the habit of smiling and the habit of being thankful. These two habits can really help in situations that people would normally find themselves moving toward depression or anger.
Have you noticed that when you enter a room you naturally gravitate to the people who are smiling? How many people do you know who are attracted to someone’s frown? Smiles can and do help break the ice in most situations. I have made it a life habit of smiling when I meet someone because it helps break the ice and I truly like meeting new people. Smiling lets your inside happiness show to those around you. I also find that when I’m feeling a little bit down – I can smile about a something that happened to me in the past or a funny joke. When I need a genuine smile, I think back to when my kids were born. Each one was such a joy to me I can’t help get a big beaming smile. The point is – a smile is powerful. I’m not suggesting that a person should smile in genuinely sad or tragic events, I don’t believe in the smile through the pain mantra. But when you can – which is most of the time – smile.
The second habit to develop this year is being thankful. There is always something for which we can be thankful. Part of my daily reflection is to think about at least two things for which I can be thankful, and the first habit occurs – I smile. I’m saddened when I see someone agonizing over a first world problem – when they have more than 90% of the planet. I’ve been to many of the poorest countries on the planet and I’ve seen real poverty. I’ve yet to see the level of African or Asian poverty in the U.S. Be thankful – be thankful every day.
A great book to read, despite the somewhat misleading title, is “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. He talks about the power of smiling and the power of being thankful among other things. One of the great ideas from the book is the power of using someone’s name when you talk to people. He says the sweetest sound to anyone’s ears is the sound of their name. Calling someone by their name, looking them in the eyes, and greeting them with a big smile is the best first impression you will ever make. Learn that habit.
“Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.” Henry Clay