Smile Pedro, nuts about soccer, was watching the live action of a match betweenChelsea and Manchester United. The match was so attention grabbing that he couldnot keep his eyes focused on anything else even for a second. The match camedown to the wire, with Manchester United winning on penalties. Before Pedrocould finish watching the Manchester United team’s boisterous celebrations, it waswell past midnight. He rushed to bed, knowing full well that he had to get up early(5:00 a.m., at the crack of dawn). That did not happen. Instead, he woke up at 9:30a.m., got dressed at breakneck speed, had a quick bite to eat, and made a dash tothe office (with an unintended half-shaved mustache). Once he got there, a bunchof staff people started laughing at him hysterically. Pedro, on realizing his pratfall,decided to quickly take charge of the situation. He rushed to the nearby barbershop and got his shave completed. He felt relieved and at ease with himself.Regrouping and with a sheepish smile, he asked his coworkers in a lighter vein,“Folks, you all enjoyed this hilarious incident this morning, didn’t you?” Theentire staff said in unison, “Yes, we were in stitches over your ‘comedy of error.’ Itwas really a funny sight for all of us. Thank you for providing such a greatspectacle.” “A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.” - Charles Gordy The above one-liner remains a pearl of wisdom even today. A large number of people undervalue the significance of a smile—thatsimple, little facial expression typified by an upward curving of the corners of themouth. It is part of a universal body language that does not require any additionalinterpretation. You do not need to learn to smile. It is a preprogrammed behavior.A smile is free of charge; nevertheless, it is invaluable. A smile takes care of yourphysical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual health. There is solid, compellingevidence that it takes fewer muscles to smile and more muscles to frown. Smilingcan have a positive meaning, which can be as simple as a “Hi” on first meetingsomeone. Give smiles away regularly, genuinely, and attractively. It will make aworld of difference to both the giver and the recipient. Become a proponent ofsmile. Technology has been a shot in the arm for conveying a smile. If you have awebsite, you can put a friendly tone into your web content. You can pass on asmile in your emails. People can read smiles in words, capturing an affable tone
merely through careful phrasing or the right style. Smiley stickers or emoticonsgive us more freedom to transmit our smile. Steel baron Andrew Carnegie knew that to reach the top of the food chain inthe business world, a smile was mandatory. Moving forward with this idea,Carnegie found the smile personified in Charles Schwab, whom he named for theposition of marketing executive. In a way, Schwab became the business sidekick ofCarnegie. Schwab, known for his charm and ability to make people like him,helped Carnegie to earn his billions. And by assisting Carnegie, Schwab himselfgot drenched in money. Message: Never discount the pleasure-inducing power of asmile. Make a huge fortune out of your smile. Fake it till you make it Let us say that you are in no mood to smile. What should you do? Coerceyourself into smiling. If you are alone, think of a past funny incident or hum a tune(I sometimes sing to myself as I work). Pretend that you are already happy, andthat will tend to make you happy. This is how William James puts it: “Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together;and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, wecan indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.” On the “Oprah” show, actor Anthony Hopkins said, “I have experiencedshort spells of negative emotions, alien to my temperament. The kinds of roles(jarring experiences) are to be partially blamed for this. When I get into the skin ofthe character and enact it, my body isn’t aware that I am ‘acting.’ Here lies theproblem. Fortunately or unfortunately, I frequently get a chance to work with aparticular director whose tendency is to take a lot of retakes. In a movie we didtogether, my character was scripted to have a cardiac arrest. Knowing the mentalityof the director, I told him to capture the scene in one or two takes. I knew that as Iconvincingly acted out a cardiac arrest, my risk of actually having one stoked withevery take.” A smile makes a mega difference in job interviews Many job candidates fail to make a good first impression in interviews as they donot flash a pleasant smile. This makes them appear less likable and unconfident. A
smile is regarded as the most preferred quality in a candidate’s appearance (by jobinterviewers), ahead of sharp attire or groomed hair. A somber face surely throws awrench in the works of your job prospects. Example: For the job of sales clerk at amammoth Los Angeles department store, a person who had not finished highschool was preferred over a man with a Ph.D. because of the former’s enchantingsmile compared to the latter’s wooden expression during the interview. What makes a gleaming smile? Once Rodrigo went to a car accessories store to buy a big-ticket item like a stereofor his car. He was greeted by a tall girl with long pigtails, wearing a small goldcrucifix around her neck. She had one upper front tooth that was obviously afake—a large, dark tooth that stuck out. It was extremely distracting, and Rodrigocould not concentrate on what she was saying. Hence, he asked her to show himthe catalogs of different stereos, which she did, and after nearly an hour of lookingat them, he finally zeroed-in on one particular product and bought it. Beforeleaving, he requested her to visit a dentist, and she gracefully accepted his advice. A recent study has found that teeth are the number one facial feature thatpeople would like to change in themselves. This is hardly a surprise, as numerouspeople these days are taking pains to get their teeth fixed, bleached or whitened,and capped for a beautiful smile. Excellent smiles have the following common features: (1) The gum line is smooth and even. (2) The teeth are evenly spaced with no gaps. (3) The teeth are white and smooth. (4) The teeth are straight. An American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry survey found the following: (1) More than ninety-two percent of people regard a beautiful smile as “the” thing for fostering companionship.
(2) Eighty-eight percent of people agree that they feel great about a person who is wearing a smile. (3) Eighty-five percent of people subscribe to the notion that an unattractive smile reduces their “oomph.” (4) Seventy-four percent of people believe that an unattractive smile ruins their career opportunities. Strikingly, A mere fifty percent of Americans are pleased with their smile.Exercise that explains the impact of a smile and a scowl on your mind and body First, chill out, for example, by lolling on a nice upholstered sofa (without a bitof tension in your mind).Next, scowl by involving all your emotional energy and its purgatory (the feelingof tension in your body).Switch between smiling and scowling. Continue this cycle a few times and feel thecontrasting sensations in your body.Smile again. Increase the smile until your face becomes crumpled with laughter.Laugh out loud, allowing your body to laugh too.Write down about your positive feelings. A waiter who made a difference with a smile as wide as a rainbow Donte, along with his clan, went to a Beverly Hills restaurant. They were eating àla carte, when Donte noticed a clean-cut, rangy waiter. The waiter was full ofenergy and enthusiasm. He was treating the customers like royalty. Curious as towhat gave him such a “kick” out of his work, Donte called the waiter over andspoke with him. The waiter made no bones about his conscious decision to “put ona happy face.” His smile was the chief aspect of his personality. Everybody wasimpressed by his demeanor.
Real smile vs. fake smile The beauty of a real smile is that it creates a positive impression in the minds ofpeople. A real smile makes your eyes gleam with joy and intimacy. Theunconscious part of the brain causes a real smile to spread on your face. On thecontrary, the conscious part of the brain engenders a fake smile. A fake smile isshallow, and its falseness is easily noticed. It is like a fake currency note that has aglaring, pretentious appearance. Try this out: Flip through the pages of a magazine and observe thephotographs of various smiling faces. Spot the smiles that are absolutely genuine.Are these people smiling from within, demonstrating good feelings and emotions,or just faking it by moving their facial muscles? Then, stand in front of a mirrorand smile. Notice that you are smiling from within. Your expression is brought onby the emotions that you feel and not by a decision to merely turn up the corners ofyour mouth. A smile (of a child or a celebrity) gives greater stimulation than sex,chocolate, shopping, cigarettes, coffee, or drugs. Personally speaking, I like thesmile of a baby because it is always endearing. It is a pleasure for me to behold. Topush this point a little further, my computer’s 200 GB hard drive is crammed withsnapshots of babies. I do not see any reason why you should not be smiling on a regular basis.Take a look at the reasons why you should do this:(1) Smiling is advantageous to the cardiovascular, muscular, immune, andrespiratory systems.(2) Smiling contributes immeasurably to staying positive in life.(3) Smiling perks up brain functioning.(4) Smiling is a great relationship-building tool.(5) Smiling gives a good feeling to others.(6) Smiling reduces pain and stress.
Image makeover is not a replacement for a winsome smile Braeden has spent a bushel of money on cosmetics, fancy hairdos, snazzy outfits, and body improvement procedures to look über-handsome. But this well-intended action has only ended up as a cry in the wilderness. He is basically a grouch. He finds it acutely difficult to give a radiant smile. People even call him “a mannequin” because of his deadpan expression. Smiling is a handy tool for: (1) Cheerfulness (2) Sociability (3) Cordiality (4) Attachment Dr. Charles Garfield, in his book Peak Performance, reported on his work with the Russian Olympic weightlifting team. Garfield noticed that when team members lifted to the point of exhaustion, they would often scowl at this agonizing endeavor. In an experiment, he urged the athletes to smile when they reached the stage of exhaustion. This seemingly minute difference made them add 2–3 extra reps to their performance. Let us face it: When you do not nip your frown in the bud, your body produces stress hormones like cortisol, adrenalin, and epinephrine. The proliferation of stress levels makes you melt in crisis situations. Your life turns dreadful. At the other end of the spectrum, smiling causes the brain to synthesize health-enhancing hormones like endorphins and neurotransmitters that make your spirits rise. You become full of zest for life and establish a feel-good factor for yourself. Kade has been a successful medical practitioner for the last thirty years. Hehas mastered many skills in his profession except for one: He does not know towrite a prescription-strength joke for his patients. He does not know the brand oftonic that will benefit his patients by making them smile. He does not know the“magic pill” for a free-flowing smile.
The alpha and omega of the above discussion is: A smile is an individualized,self-produced thing. I do not always carry my wallet with me. I do not wear a watch all the time. Icarry my cell phone on certain occasions. I do not go to the gym daily. I do not gothrough my mail routinely… but I carry my smile everywhere, all the time. A lesson from my 5-year-old cousinI have a 5-year-old cousin who is always coloring and playing with an 11-week-oldpoodle puppy. Sometimes, she reproaches me, yet recently, I bought some stuffedtoys for her. What makes my cousin dear to my heart? I have thought about it azillion times. Is it “sisterly intimacy?” Irrespective of the number of times herweeping has interrupted me while I was regaling my friends with my stories, tryingto reach a top shelf (for a Hillerich and Bradsby baseball bat) using a stepladder,keeping love notes in a box on the dresser, or listening to a radio program of aBritish ventriloquist, I still find myself, on occasions, forgetting about thedisruption almost immediately after she gives me a dazzling smile. I took a page from my cousin’s book on giving eye-catching smiles andspreading the sunshine around. Without a doubt, I want to look attractive with asmiling face. As someone rightly said: “Your smile is the rose of your personality,its fragrance is the balm that obliterates the thorns.” Sense of humor A sense of humor is a person’s ability to view life from a humorous angle ratherthan to be stuck in what is going on. People with a sense of humor do not feel theheat from the situations in life. They enjoy every moment and participate in itsgoings-on with vim and vigor. Humor helps integrate both hemispheres of ourbrain, for the left hemisphere is used to read the verbal content of a joke while theright hemisphere interprets whether it is comical. Remember, a person without asense of humor is like a car without shock absorbers. In the United States (mightier than any other imperial power in history), somehospitals are hiring “humor nurses.” The job of these nurses is to make patientslaugh (in regard to the United States, it is the most litigious society in the world).
Here is a bon mot from Thomas W. Higginson: “There is no defense againstadverse fortune which is so effectual as an habitual sense of humor.” Good one! Use humor to improve your life: (1) Watch a lot of side-splitting movies. (2) Enjoy the mad, strange activities of comedians like Dave Allen, Dane Cook, David Feldman, Neil Mullarkey, and Don Rickles. (3) Form a group with humorous and fun-loving people. (4) Revel in healthful humor. Say “No” to hurtful humor, such as sarcasm, put-downs, ethnic jokes, and “anti jokes” (anti-men, - women, -religious groups, -nationalities, -ethnicity, etc.). (5) Increase your exposure to jokes and funny anecdotes. (6) Engage in self-deprecating humor. This reminds me of Allen Klein, who used a funny line about himself, stating, “Because of my lack of hair, I tell people that I am a former expert on how to cure baldness.” (7) Develop a “comic element” in your day-to-day verbal communication. With a few exceptions, the smile has lost its significance in modern man’s life.It has become somewhat passé. For this reason, maximum importance has beenplaced on the need to smile. The demand is growing more than ever before. Sostart your day by wearing a big smile on your face. That will set the tone for therest of your day. A smile is a reflection of personal confidence, self-esteem, andgood health. By any stretch of imagination, smiling is worth the effort. Make aconscious effort to smile—when you meet someone or when you are having atelephonic conversation. A smiling face is liked by one and all. Princess Diana wasa paragon of this virtue.