Driving Mr Minion
Driving Mr Minion

Sometimes I learn really awesome things, and then I forget them.  The great part about that is, I can learn them again.  One of those awesome things is smiling.  I learned it a long, long time ago, and I forgot it.  Then I learned it again pretty recently, and I forgot it again.  Today I learned it again, and here’s to committing it to memory.

When you smile, your perspective changes.  You stop thinking about how much you hate the person driving the car in front of you, and you start thinking about how ridiculous road rage is.  You stop worrying about everything that is and can go wrong, and you start focusing on what’s right.  You become proactive when you smile.  You emit confidence when you smile.  So why would you ever not smile?

Most people in the world let their lives run them, instead of the other way around.  As this progresses, the smiles disappear.  They become upset with their state, rather than bothering to control it.  As more and more people stop smiling, it becomes more of a challenge for you to smile.  You’re the odd man/woman out, when you’re the only person with a happy face in a sea of frowns.  But isn’t that an awesome thought?

You have the power to shape your own destiny.  Although you can’t shape anyone else’s destiny, you can affect it.  Others can beek in your ebullience.  Although it seems like a passive task, it can very possibly turn into something active.  Feeling your warmth, others will desire to emulate it.  Although affecting others is not the primary motivation of smiling, it’s a very powerful side effect.

Try it right now.  Smile.  Smile contentedly, like you just accomplished something you’ve been working on for a long time.  How do you feel?  Do you instantly feel different than you did two seconds ago?  Engaging your face muscles has a magical effect on your state.  Can you imagine how amazing you would feel if you smiled all day?  Sure, some people would think you are crazy (and they’ve though I was), but it’s so totally worth it.

Smiling shows confidence.  It shows that whatever you’re doing, you believe in it.  Smiling can change the way you attack a problem, and it can transform the way you interact with other people.  It can turn your relationship into a non-stop fun-ride.  Seriously.  This all sounds ridiculous, but then again, so does smiling all day, right?

Your Task – Just Smile

See how long you can smile.  One day during the summer of 2003, at a Florida State University Music Camp (sorry, David) I went for 9 hours straight.  My face hurt like crazy, but my soul was flying.  I felt like I had been on an all day run.  Smiling keeps you aware and in the moment.  Your task is to see how long you can smile.

Start yourself off in small increments.  Try to go ten minutes without breaking the smile.  Even if you have to make contact with other people, don’t turn that smile upside down.  That’s really the true test – smiling while interacting with other people.  It can feel incredibly uncomfortable at first, but if you can master it, your interaction with other people will change drastically.

Once you’ve gotten ten minutes down, try to smile during your entire grocery store run.  Make eye contact with other people, and keep your beaming smile on.  You’re bound to make someone’s day.  How would you feel if you were having a schmoopy day, and someone smiled at you as you were walking past them in public?  It would change your state instantly!  You would realize that your problems are usually minuscule in the scheme of life.

Daily Ritual

At least once a day, take a moment to breathe deeply, close your eyes, and smile.  Once you start smiling, just bask in whatever floods your mind first.  Try this for a few days, and see how it improves your productivity, your well-being, and your overall state of mind.

Smiling is contagious, folks.  It feels good, you like to do it, and other people like to see you do it.  It’s an act that we often overlook; however, if you can focus on it enough to do it for a majority of every day, your life will be fulfilling in a radical way.

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