If I had a nickel for every time I heard, “I guess good for a Monday,” I’d be a rich woman.
Today was Monday, and the most common response to the question, “How are you today?” that I often get is just that: “I guess good for a Monday.”
What’s so bad about Mondays people?
It’s a brand new start to a brand new week, and you, in essence, get to determine whether it’s going to be a bad day, a good day or a great day.
And not just on Mondays, but every new day you get an opportunity to breathe new air, start afresh, and live a life of intention.
What will YOU bring to the day?
Not what will the day bring to you.
This mentality is not always natural.
Traffic happens. Coffee spills happen. Alarms go off sooner than we would like. Meetings go on. To-do lists grow. Deadlines approach. Job clocks tick slowly. E-mails and phone calls need to be addressed. Tests creep up, ready or not. Groceries need t be bought, laundry needs to be done, bills need to be paid.
The mundane of life marches to the beat of its own drum.
However, with a little bit of initial concerted effort—the mundane can become a great adventure, each and every day, if you dare to let it.
What exactly do I mean?
What if instead of letting the day approach you, things (good or bad) happen TO you…you instead took an active role to the day to be the change you wish to see in the world?
What if, despite perhaps your own worries in the day or the ‘drudgery’ of your Mondays, or your work days, or your school days…you chose to get outside the box and spread positivity to the world around you?
My guess is…that positivity will come right back to you!
Exhibit A: The power of the smile.
Pretty recently, I carved out some time to read a great classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, a “renown” literary classic for its modern human wisdom.
One of his key principles in the book (for ‘winning friends and influencing people’) is becoming a friendlier person.
And one of the ways he suggests this?
The power of a SMILE is enormous.
In fact, did you know: we’re actually born smiling. Using 3D ultrasound technology, we can now see that developing babies appear to smile, even in the womb. When they’re born, babies continue to smile — initially, mostly in their sleep. And even blind babies smile to the sound of the human voice. Smiling is one of the most basic, biologically-uniform expressions of all humans.
You were made to smile…and on days, like a Monday, or another ho-hum day of the week, a smile can be incredibly IMPACTFUL. Not only for you, but those around you.
This is your homework assignment for the week.
Today (or tomorrow) you will SMILE at three people. Three strangers.
And, upon doing this, you will simply note peoples’ response.
They may smile back. They may be taken aback and look away. They may be more open to talking. They may be put more at ease.
I test-run this one for you guys, and boy, it’s amazing the power of a smile. I got:
- A kind ‘thankful’ spirit for the acknowledgement and sweet ‘hola’ from the cleaning lady at the gym
- A conversation with the cashier at the grocery store, who otherwise was used to saying, ‘Next’ in his day
- Awkwardly diverted eyes, not knowing how to intercept a smile that threw him ‘off guard’
- A smile right back
As simplistic as this exercise may sound, it is amazing what a SMILE can do not only for the person you smile at, but your inner spirit.
Think of it as a ‘pay it forward’ moment with nothing more than your pearly whites.
In turn, a day, like a mundane Monday or ‘terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day’, can become (instead) something kind of fun to put a little bit of extra pep in your own step (and others’ lives).
Not to mention– lots of smiling can actually make you healthier. Smiling can help reduce the level of stress-enhancing hormones like cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine, increase the level of mood-enhancing hormones like endorphin and reduce overall blood pressure.
Smiling has also been proven to make you more attractive.
A research study conducted by Orbit Complete discovered that 69% of people find women more attractive when they smile than when they are wearing makeup. And, researchers at the University of Stirling and the University of Aberdeen in the U.K. found that people are deemed more attractive and to have more positive personality traits when they are smiling versus when they are shown with a neutral face.
(Just make sure you brushed your teeth).
On a side note, want to know some of Dale Carnegie’s other principles for becoming a friendlier person?
Take a peek:
- Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
- Give honest, sincere appreciation.
- Arouse in the other person an eager want.
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that a person’s name is to that person the most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
- Make the other person feel important – and do so sincerely.
- The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.