If you want to get One Grip Higher… smile some stupid silly smiles!

Almost every Sunday morning as we drive to church my wife and I pass the “Smiley Guy”.  This guy walks the road we drive in a brightly colored shirt and waves at every car that passes.  We typically see him a hundred yards before we get to him and he is waving and smiling at the car in front of us.  As soon as that car passes him, he turns his head toward us and begins to wave and smile this ridculous, ear to ear grin.  We can’t help by smile back, wave and feel a little bit better about our day.  We then proceed to talk about him for a few minutes.  “Who is he?” “I wonder what he does for a living?” “Why is he so happy?” Then, one of us usually makes some form of the following statement; “I want to be like him.”

That has to be one of the highest compliments you can give someone.  And we don’t know anything about this guy.  But, we want to be like him.  He alters our mood… influences the course of our day with a smile!

There is a person I work with who never smiles.  This person is competent and completes their tasks dutifully and thoroughly. This person is reliable and trustworthy.  But no one wants to be around this person.  I think that if this person smiled, even a little bit, things would be different.  Smiles are like friendship currency! With out smiles no one likes you.  If no one likes you, you have no influence.

Now, I make a conscious and deliberate effort when I go running to wave at every car, neighbor, walker and jogger I pass.  Most give me weird, indifferent looks, then they usually wave back. I have been significantly influenced by a guy I don’t know anything about because he smiles… and you know what, I love it.  I love smiling at strangers.  I hope I am improving their day.  Maybe they tell their wives, “that smiley runner waved at me again today.” I hope so!

The McDonalds menu used to say, “Smiles are Free.” So why do we hoard them?  To be honest, I smile a lot when I run… but not enough at work. Having experienced first hand the impact that a consistent smile from a stranger has had in my life, I can’t help but believe that consistent smiles to people I work with will have an even more significant impact. So now I smile… big, stupid, silly smiles.  It makes me really energized.  I feel it helps generate energy, trust, confidence and community with those around me.  I guess we will see what the impact is long term, but so far, I am liking how it feels.

If you want to get One Grip Higher… get your stupid silly smiles on!

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