When someone points a camera your way, what do you automatically do? Hopefully you smile! But what about smiling throughout the day even when there’s no camera?
One of my favorite books is Dale Carnegie’s classic How to Win Friends and Influence People. As a part of his human relations courses, he asked business people to smile at someone every hour of the day for a week and then come to class to talk about the results. A New York stockbroker wrote Mr. Carnegie a letter about how he had been married 18 years yet seldom smiled at his wife or spoke to her before leaving for work. He was one of the worst grouches to walk down Broadway.
He decided to do an experiment with smiling for one week. Every morning, he would look at himself in the mirror and give himself a pep talk. As he sat down to breakfast, he would greet his wife with a smile and a kind “Good morning, my dear.” His wife was shocked. In all their years of marriage, he had never smiled at her like this before. He assured her that this new smile would be a regular occurrence and he kept it up every morning. That small change led to more happiness in their home in just two months than they had experienced in years.
Can you imagine being that wife and what it would mean to you if your grouchy husband were transformed into a smiling breakfast companion? You may not be half as grouchy as this husband, but perhaps you could benefit from having a morning pep talk to tell your face to smile.
Is it second nature for you to smile at your friends and family members? Or, like the New York stockbroker, could your face use a pep talk? What would help you smile more often?