Always carry a spare smile…

June 12, 2019

In today’s post to his blog – Jack’s Winning Words – Jack Freed shared this thought from Dolly Parton – “If you see someone without a smile, give ‘em yours.” Jack went on to Dolly PArtonwrite that recent studies have shown that people are less happy today than they were in the 1990’s. Although he didn’t mention why that is true, he did echo Dolly’s advice about taking the time to listen to those that you encounter during the day and sharing a smile where needed.

As a society, we have become a bit more introverted and insular. I blame the rise of the smartphone for at least some of that. We have allowed ourselves to be captivated andcouple-looking-at-phones captured by a device that steals time away from everything else, including our interactions with other human beings. Me may not even notice the frown or sadness on the face of those that we encounter because we are too busy looking at our phones. We certainly don’t take the time to ask what is wrong, and since we can’t Google that, we just move on to the next attention grabber that shows up on our screen.

So, perhaps the first step to all of us getting better and having smiles would be to put this-is-medown those smartphones and take a good look at what is going on around us. Step two might be to make sure that we put a smile on our own face. I’ve posted here a few times about loving yourself before you can share love with others (see the post Start your day with love and the rest will take care of itself). So take a moment, before you set out on your day, to find that love of self and who you are that will put a smile on your face. Many times that may involve taking time for a short prayer of thanks to God for another day. Acknowledging and accepting the love of God each day allows you to also love yourself and then to be ready to share that love with others.

Back to the thought of the day about sharing a smile. In order to share your smile you need to do a little more than just smile at someone, although that helps, too. Perhaps your smile is the icebreaker that allows you to ask, “How are you doing?” or even “Is there something troubling you that I might be able to help with?” That might be being kind 1awkward with a total stranger, but many of the people that you encounter won’t be total strangers. Finding a way to initiate a conversation will allow you to find out what may be troubling them. Even if you can’t really do anything to help in the situation; just giving them an outlet to talk about whatever it is that is troubling them will help. You can be empathetic and supportive, even if you can’t solve the problem. Sometimes they may just need a shoulder to cry on or a good hug of reassurance.

So, always carry a spare smile and be ready to share it with others who might need it today. You have more and they need the one on your face more than you do, right now. smiling-sunPut away your smartphone and look around you for those who might need to borrow your smile. When you find them and give them your smile, you’ll find that God immediately puts another smile on your face so you can continue His work in the world.

Share a smile today!

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What do you see in your mirror?

March 22, 2019

Today’s entry in the Jack’s Winning Words blog has this quote – “Smile in the mirror.  Do that every morning, and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life.”  (Yoko Ono)

funny face 2Readers of this blog will recall that I’ve posted here more than once about making a funny face in the mirror in the morning to get your day started off right. In this morning’s paper these was a review of the new scary movie “Us” (click here to watch trailer), in which mirrors play a frightening role.

The point of looking in the mirror and smiling or making a funny face is to be more aware of what people see when they look at you during the day. Most of us go through most of our awake lives without any idea what we look like. When we aren’t making asad looking man conscious effort to smile or “at rest” face is what the world sees. It’s not that we are trying to look unfriendly or angry or sad. In fact, we aren’t making any effort to look any particular way. It’s just that, when our facial muscles completely relax, our faces tend to droop into looks that can easily be mistaken for any of those feelings. Have you ever had someone ask you , out of the blue, why you are frowning or what you are mad/sad about? It’s your at rest face giving you a bum rap.

It’s possible to see what you look like by looking in the mirror and relaxing; but most of us would probably still consciously put on some kind of “face” in the mirror.  A better way to see what you normally look like is to have someone take a picture of you when you are not aware of it. You will probably look at those pictures and ask, “I don’t really look like that do I?” The answer is yes. Most of the time the average person’s “at rest” face looks bored, or sad or maybe even a little angry. They are usually not all that inviting and friendly. It takes an effort to smile and when we relax, we don’t make that effort.

What are we to do so that we don’t turn off the world with our at rest face? Well, you can smiling dogstart with today’s advice and conscientiously make the effort to smile in your mirror in the morning. Make that funny face to help you get in the mood. Then fix that feeling of the smile that you are wearing in your mind and try to be aware of your face as the day progresses. You won’t be able to maintain that thought all day, no one can; however, it will pop back into your mind during the day and you can bring the smile back to your face.

An interesting thing happens when people encounter you with a smile on your face, instead of the frown that your normal “at rest” face presents. Instead of avoiding you handshakebecause you look unhappy, they will engage you to find out what you are smiling about. You will look upbeat and people want to associate with upbeat people and not with the Debbie Downer’s of life. A smile presents a mystery to the world that they will want to share, while a frown just says, “you don’t want to know what’s bothering me”.

So, take Yoko’s advice (or mine) and start the day with a smile or a funny face in your mirror and see if your day doesn’t go better because of it.

this-is-meOh, look at her; I wonder what she is smiling about?


Start off each day with a smile

October 24, 2018

The headline for today’s post came from the Jack’s Winning Words blog for today.  Jack started off writing about Confucius and ended with that line.

That piece of advice resonates on several levels. Starting your day with a smile forces you to consider your attitude before you encounter people. Stand in front of a mirror smirkand smile at yourself. See if it doesn’t immediately force the question, “What am I smiling about?” into your mind. The mind has the interesting ability to immediately find an answer to that question. You will either remember something that is smile worthy – something that happened to you or something that you saw or something that someone said to you – or you will look at that smiling face in the mirror and stop taking yourself so seriously. In either case, it will set a tone for the start of your day that is way better than walking out to face the world with a frown on your face.

Most people don’t realize that their “at rest” face (the default look that just sets itself on your face) is not all that friendly looking or inviting. Most at rest faces droop into a frownHenry Thomas Buckle or an unhappy look. It’s not that yo are mad or really unhappy, it’s just that your at rest continence does not have a pleasant smile on it. Ask a friend to take a picture of you sometime in a normal setting when you are not expecting it to see how you look. You may be surprised how unfriendly you this-is-melook.

So, make the effort to start each day with a smile. Not only will it make you look more attractive and inviting to others, but making that conscience effort will make you feel better, too. You may also find that more people say hi or try to start a conversation with you. They are curious why you are smiling and want to share whatever is was that made you smile. That will make you smile even more.

So, before you leave home this morning; find a mirror and put a smile on your face. Waitanimated-light-bulb-gif-22 for your mind to let you know why you are smiling and then carry that with you the rest of the day.

You’re already on your way to having a great day!


Make the world a happier place…

July 12, 2018

Today’s post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog is so good that I have to repost the whole thing…

“Happiness starts with a smile.”  (Sent by Carol Stanonik)  When you’re on a bus or subway laughter isn’t what you expect.  A Belgian ad agency, working for Coca-Cola, hired an actor to start laughing on a crowded train, with today’s quote as the tagline.  The result showed how happiness can be contagious.  Even a simple smile at someone will often result with one in return.  This world, at times, can be unkind.  Let’s help to make it a happier place.    😉  Jack    Coca-Cola: Happiness starts with a smile – YouTube

You’ve got to play the video.

I recommend that you save that link to the video and play it back every morning before smiling-sunyou start out on your day. It may help put a smile on your face and that will start the process of making the world a happier place.

Be a contagious carrier of happiness today…put a smile on your face.


Be unforgettable today, in a good way…

July 24, 2017

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” —Maya Angelou

Maya’s quote about how you make people feel works two ways – you can make them feel good or an encounter with you can make them feel bad. I would hope that most of us would prefer to make the people that we meet feel better for having met us. Sometimes we do just the opposite by doing nothing at all and not even acknowledging those that we meet. Doesn’t it make you feel bad to be ignored? It causes a little pain if we make eyearrogant contact with someone and they look away or choose not to even acknowledge that they see us with a little smile or a nod, perhaps even a quick “hello, how are you”.

Nat King Cole had a wonderful hit “Unforgettable” that his daughter Natalie re-recorded as a duet with her father (on film). You can be unforgettable is a nice way by just making the people that you encounter during the day feel better. It’s not that hard to do; just acknowledge them with a smile and perhaps a quick hello. If you have time, stop and talk to them, ask them how they are and then really listen to their reply. It’s not magic. It’s empathy, concern, love, understanding and compassion all wrapped up in simple gestures that really don’t take that much of your time and it can have a magical effect on the other person.

So, tear your eyes and attention away from your smartphone and look around you for this-is-mesomeone else that you can say “Hi” to and you too will become unforgettable. Just remember that when you are not making that effort you may become unforgettable in a bad way and be considered to be aloof and unapproachable, or worse. I certainly don’t want to be unforgettable in that way. Do you?


Make life worthwhile and smile…

April 29, 2017

From a recent post to Jack’s Winning Words come this little bit of advice – “I know I’m not perfect, but I can smile.”  (Dido)  A follow up to this quote might be…”I know that life’s not perfect, but I can smile.”  Charlie Chaplin wrote the song, Smile, which begins: “Smile though your heart is aching” and ends with “You’ll find that life is still worthwhile if you’ll just smile.”

Most of us don’t realize it, but our normal, “at rest” continence is not a smile; in fact, it can look downright uninviting and even angry. If you don’t believe that just let your faceJohn Boehner relax as it normally would be if you weren’t trying to put a look on it and then look in the mirror or have someone take you picture. You may be unpleasantly surprised that your “at rest” face looks so unfriendly. I always thought that Representative and House Speaker John Boehner looked angry all the time; although, if you Goggle him you’ll see many pictures of him smiling. His “at rest” face was not a smile. How about yours?

Sometimes we smile when we think of something good or pleasant that happened in our lives. It’s also possible that putting a smile on your face will cause you to recall a pleasant moment that caused you to smile originally. Try it.  “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy” – Thich Nhat Hanh

smirkA smirk is not a smile and may be on our faces for all of the wrong reasons; yet even a smirk can look better on your face than a frown.

Sometimes we smile at inappropriate times, because something that others are taking seriously at the time hit us as funny and brings a smile. That’s when we may hear the phrase, “Wipe that smile off your face.”

If you need more inspiration to put a smile on your face, here are some great quotes that I found about the impact of your smile on others –

“A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside.” –  Denis Waitley

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing” – Mother Thersasmiling-sun

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” –  P.S.

And as for yourself, consider this quote –

“Before you put on a frown, make absolutely sure there are no smiles available.” – Jim Begg

And finally –

smiling dog“A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose.” – Tom Wilson

So have a happy and smiley day; you’ll make your life and the lives of others better for making the effort to smile.


Put a little humor into your life…

June 8, 2016

“People with a sense of humor tend to be more humble in moments of success and less defeated in times of travail.”  (Bob Newhart) – from the Jack’s Winning Words blog. I always liked the approach to humor that Bob Newhart took.

In times of travail, disappointment or failure my wife and I often say to each other, “Someday we’ll look back on this and laugh about it.” Just that little reference to the humor that might be found in the situation is usually enough to relieve the moment or smiling doglighten the mood.

I’ve always found that a good sense of humor and of the humor that may be found in life is a great coping mechanism. Whether the humor is found in the thought, “What was I thinking to do that?” or perhaps in reflecting on my over-reaction to the situation; there is usually something in every situation that can bring a laugh or a smile to my face. That smile usually breaks the mood and helps me get through whatever it is.

Sometimes we all take life and the situations that we find ourselves in way too seriously. There are few real life and death situations or decisions in our day-to-day lives, even timidthough we make many of them out to be that serious. The young are especially prone to over-reacting to events, since they have no real base of knowledge or wisdom to draw upon. To many of them every moment of crisis is an OMG moment. Later in life they become “been there, done that” moments, which your wisdom helps you understand didn’t kill you the first time and probably won’t kill you this time either. Being rejected for a date or getting a pimple before the big dance is not life-ending.

Self-depreciation or the ability to laugh at yourself is important too. It keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously or thinking too highly of our self-importance. Humility in the face of success is based upon seeing the humor in the alternative outcome or perhaps the happenstance that led to the success. The humorless man is said to have hubris instead.

lady under cloudSometimes the situation at hand is so dark or sad or overwhelming that we might have difficulty finding any humor in it at all. At times like that I often think of the Al Capp character Joe Btfsplk from the Little Abner cartoon. Joe walked around with a little dark rain cloud over his head all the time because he was the world’s worst Jinx. Bad things always happened around Joe. Instead of feeling like Joe, I find a little spark of humor in the thought of Joe that helps lighten my mood.

Do you find humor in life’s situations? Does humor help you get through your day or through bad situations? It can, if you let it. I’ve written here in the past that I make a sillyfunny face face in the shaving mirror almost every morning as a way to start my day with a little humor and a mechanism to help me not be so serious all the time. Try it tomorrow morning and see if that doesn’t put you in a better mood to start the day.

Put a little humor into your life. Someday you’ll look back on the things that are troubling you today and laugh about them.