On my drive back to Nashville yesterday, I was thinking over some of the things I was taught as a child that I still live by. Here’s the result of that line of thinking:
1. It doesn’t cost you anything to smile.
When I was a kid, my mom used to tell me that “it won’t kill you to smile at someone when you meet them in the hallway.” My mom told me that because I was shy and was prone to looking at my feet when we met people in the hallways at school. But the lesson stuck with me. I smile at my coworkers. I smile at people I don’t know at the mall. I smile. I’m not talking about going around with a psychotic, fake smile on your face. I’m talking about a pleasant small smile or just a pleasant look. You’d be surprised at how much better people respond to you when you smile. A few weeks ago, a coworker and I discussed the power of just having a pleasant look on your face. She said once saw a picture of herself and she was scowling. The problem? She wasn’t unhappy or upset. It was just her face at rest. But the message she was sending to the rest of the world was that she was upset, angry, or didn’t want them to talk with her. So, think a little bit about what your face is doing. Then smile! (Maybe your face will freeze that way!)
2. Slow down!
I’m fairly sure this lesson had more to do with tearing through the house at top speed, but these days, I apply it to life itself. Slow down! Don’t hurry through experiences, seasons of life, or moments wishing for something different or the next big thing. You’ll miss out on some really good relationships you never expected or fun times you never would have planned if you’d gotten your way.
3. Do unto others as you’d have done unto you.
The Golden Rule was stressed in my Sunday School classes and even elementary school as a child. But it’s something I live by today and it’s worth it. If someone were to do something to you and it would hurt your feelings, don’t do it to others—whether it’s inviting them to something, showing up when you said you would, or whatever else it may be. You have the power to bless someone else. Take advantage of it! (This would be why I went to eat with people at a restaurant I didn’t want to go to instead of gathering a group of friends and going to another restaurant I preferred a few weeks ago.)
That’s honestly all I have time for today. Off to get something accomplished!