When I was interviewing Jo Ellen Soesbee for my podcast, she said something towards the end that I couldn’t stop thinking about. She was driving along and happened to notice that she could see the driver in front of her in his side-view mirror and she thought, “Does that mean that others can see me in my side-view mirror?”
Apparently, the gentleman in front of her did not look very happy. In fact, he looked downright grumpy by all accounts. That’s when Jo Ellen decided to practice smiling. She didn’t want people to think that she was grumpy!
This practice served her well when a client called and said, “I hired you because when I saw you in your truck, you were smiling.” Wow! Landing a job because you smiled while you were driving!
Jo Ellen has practiced smiling so much that on a recent girl’s weekend her friends accused her of even smiling in her sleep! Now that’s some serious smile practicing if you ask me. 🙂
I decided I would try it out and over this last week I’ve simply tried to smile while I was driving. Honestly, I felt pretty silly at first and if I knew someone was close enough to see me I acted as if I was listening to some funny comedian on the radio and laughed out loud!
While I am not perfect at this smiling while I’m driving thing, it has changed my attitude while I drive to be a little more polite and a little more understanding of others while they drive.
I will keep practicing, Jo Ellen! To hear more on Jo Ellen Soesbee come on over to the podcast, Lauri’s Lemonade Stand on Apple Podcasts by following this link: Lauri’s Lemonade Stand Positivity Podcast I bet you won’t be disappointed!
My purpose in writing today is to help you establish some guidelines in your life that will bring you peace, enjoyment and cheerfulness. I love the phrase, “Be Cheerful!”. When I picture being cheerful, I picture myself smiling and enjoying the moment I’m in right there. No time traveling to the day or months or even years before or focusing on the days, months, or years ahead. Just being cheerful in the moment. Right now.
I’d like to make three simple suggestions that if you commit to today will bring you happiness and cheerfulness into your life.
1) No more time traveling. Unless you get a crazy, awesome DeLorean like in Back to the Future, time traveling is not a good idea. I’m not even sure it’s a good idea in Back to the Future, but definitely not good for your thoughts and feelings of today. Yesterday is gone. The mistakes are gone. Tomorrow will never get here so all you can focus on is today. The old adage of One Day at a Time is truly relevant for everyone, not just for those in 12-step programs.
2) Smile. Make a conscience effort to smile, even if no one can see you. About a million and a half years ago I had a job as a telemarketer that lasted for about half a second. Part of the training was to smile during your call. Why? No one could see me! That was just silly and ridiculous to me. But it worked! If you don’t believe me, try talking on the phone without smiling and then smiling. Your countenance just changes…for the better. Don’t take my word for it…try it.
3) Commit to human connection. And no, sitting in front of your television watching other humans does not count. Interacting with other human beings simply boosts your spirits, even if the connection is you having to call and whine to your best friend, or cry on the shoulder of that friend during a visit, make the connection. When I have been truly down in the dumps my gut reaction is to hole up and disappear like a hermit crab in it’s shell. I block out everyone and everything until I feel better. Not healthy to say the least. I still have that tendency, but have beautiful friends who can break my shell and have me standing upright soon enough.
I want to write more suggestions, but don’t want to overwhelm you either. If you have a problem with negativity, sadness, feelings of being a failure, take a minute to acknowledge that moment and ask yourself how you can be cheerful about something else. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it can be done if you focus on these three things. Commit to yourself today. Be in the moment, smile, link arms with your best friend and have a beautiful day!