Friday, February 01, 2013

Light Up Your Face With Gladness

So far this year, I've been bringing you uplifting and motivational messages on Fridays with the hopes that it will turn your bad thoughts and days into great ones. Today, I'm the one who needs this message more than anyone. I haven't checked the calendar so these blues could very well be Shark Week-related, but whatever the reason I need it.

If you're feeling a little (or a lot) less-than-great right now, join me as I take a step back and regroup. Nothing is going to get done if we sit and wallow. (OK, take a day or so to wallow, but then that's it!) For your reading pleasure, noted educator Sal Khan's MIT Commencement Address:

Start every morning with a smile — even a forced one — it will make you happier. Replace the words “I have to” with “I get to” in your vocabulary. Smile with your mouth, your eyes, your ears, your face, your body at every living thing you see. Be a source of energy and optimism. Surround yourself with people that make you better. Realize or even rationalize that the grass is truly greener on your side of the fence. Just the belief that it is becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

View stressful, political interactions as nothing more than a deeply immersive strategy game. One that can be won if you stay focused on what matters most and your emotions and ego are not tied to your argument.

If you find yourself arguing with someone whom you respect and love, try to surrender your own ego to the shared identity you have with that person. In the heat of an argument, do the opposite of what your pride tells you to do. If you have the self-control, stop talking and give your opponent a random, intense minute-long hug.

Make people feel that you care about them. And here’s, a well, a little secret, the best way to do this is to actually care about them.

Make people feel that you are listening to them. Another little secret, the best way to do this is to actually listen.

When you gain or lose material things, remember how silly they really are. How little they mean relative to your health and relationships.

Remember that real success is maximizing your internally derived happiness. It will not come from external status or money or praise. It will come from a feeling of contribution. A feeling that you are using your gifts in the best way possible.

*smooches...smiling so much it hurts*
if it helps, rub some Vaseline over your teeth to avoid the over-drying that occurs from over-smiling; pageant chicks taught me that!