Oh, Won’t You Smile a While For Me, Sarah?
Sitting at a conference recently, a female colleague watched as a fellow attendee we both know walked by. When she passed us, my colleague remarked, “She needs to smile more.” It started a quick discussion about the person in question and how it always seems that the weight of the world was on her shoulders and her face displayed her dismay. For the rest of the conference, I noted the person’s expression and realized the comment was 100% correct. Engage her in conversation and there was light in her eyes, but otherwise, it was as if she was trying to do long division in her head and her life depended on the correct answer.
Contrast that with another attendee. At a cocktail reception, a gentleman and I locked eyes as he walked by, but only for the briefest of moments. There was something about this guy that was engaging. He looked happy and I wanted to know why. I introduced myself as did he. I asked him about his company and it started a conversation that was boring in content (sorry, but a detailed description of the technical specifications of a 5 color press?) but electric in his delivery. His eyes sparkled and his enthusiasm could only cause me to smile as I listened to him. Every time I saw him he was smiling, even if he was just standing alone.
What a difference.
Have you ever seen someone who knows a secret? It’s like a surprise birthday party or a flash mob is just about to begin dancing and they carry the look of anticipation in their eyes. One look and you want to ask, “What do you know that I don’t?” That’s the look you want to have as your default. It’s engaging. It’s inviting. It’s free. And it is no doubt hard to do if you are not inclined to choose your attitude. But unless you make that conscious effort, life will choose it for you. Don’t let that happen. Exercise your right to display happiness.
Make it your brain’s screen saver.