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After a long productive day at the office, I am reflecting on the day (whilelistening to the loud melodious snore of my overweight cat) and I find myself thinking about how many people I come in contact with or pass by on a typical day. That number surely has to be in the hundreds for most Americans. Just today alone- I started my morning with my husband (who looked mighty sharp in his tie), my bright eyed and bushy tailed 11 year old and way-too-early rising highschooler. After getting ready for the day, I waved to my next door neighbor as we each respectively got into our vehicles and headed off.

The trusted crossing guards were posted in their spots, the young students with their bright orange vests were on patrol, and teachers, parents and students were all already engaged in their own personal mission for the moment. After a quick kiss from my little guy and a “See ya later Alligator” I headed off to start my work day. On my morning drive alone I made eye contact with other drivers and pedestrians while at stoplights and I even shared a few words (and dollars) with the Skyway Bridge toll attendant. Once I got to my destination I encountered others vying for parking spots, a police officer drinking his morning coffee, and a couple going for a run with their dog. At least 50 people already and it wasn’t even 9:00!

As humans we are social creatures. We live in communities and we seek out packs. Sometimes we can start to feel like our lives have taken control of us and that we are led around by our obligations, responsibilities and routine. Oftentimes what we truly want to be doing at any given moment has to take a back seat to what we have to do at that moment. We may feel like we are going through the motions waiting for the moment that we can relax and do the things that make us happy. This is the underlying emphasis of the phrase TGIF! This can lead to dread on Sunday night knowing that you have work on Monday, burnout and boredom on Monday through Thursday and feelings of disappointment if your plans for your day off didn’t quite rejuvenate you the way that you had hoped. There is, however, one simple thing you already possess to change your world (and the world of others) every single day. This is done one smile at a time.

Your smile is extremely powerful- and better yet- it’s free! You have the ability to change the way you feel, and invoke a positive response from perfect strangers without even saying a word. One of my favorite games that we created with our children was the smile game. (Picking out the “People of Walmart” runs a close second.) When we go to a store we make a personal goal to see how many people we can earn a smile from. We go around looking to make eye contact with others so that we can flash them our big pearly whites- and guess what! 95% of the time they will smile back. Smiling is contagious and you never know what that one gesture of positive energy may have done for someone else, but better yet- you are causing positivity to return to you.

Be a great day today folks…. and don’t forget to check out my website! www.fymcounseling.com