The reason for this article is the book “How to make friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie. He describes 40 principles for a better and happier life, for example, by trying to see somebody else’s viewpoint. My article is about another principle: Smile! How you can smile easier for real and what are the benefits of smiling.
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Two weeks ago, was the first “Yomu” night. We discuss a good book with some befriended entrepreneurs every two months. The reason was that I am curious about what other people get from inspiring books, which techniques they apply, which work, and which do not. Moreover, it fits in well within the activities of my WHY (see my previous Blog about What to do if you discover your WHY).
During the first “Yomu” night (“Yomu” stands for reading in Japanese), we discussed the book “How to Make Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. I have had this book on my shelf for almost 20 years. I was, therefore, thrilled to finally finish and discuss the book.
This article is not a review of the book, and the 40 principles that can help you make your (and others’) lives better. The book is a precursor to many self-help books that I have read in recent years.
This article is about one Dale Carnegie principle. It is one that I have recently taken for granted and therefore applied less. I heard more and more people comment on it, but the decisive moment was the feedback during a workshop that I recently gave for a group of students. It was about the DiSC communication styles, and the students estimated that I was Dominant (and Conscientious). That surprised me enormously because my preferred communication profile focuses on Influence and Stability. So, for example, I came across as being direct and serious, while I am naturally enthusiastic and patient.
In the chapter on how to make a good first impression, Dale Carnegie recommends that you smile more. I realized that I have been smiling less lately—something I used to do very often.
The book is not just any reading book. It is really a book that urges action (implementation). Dale Carnegie writes: Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, “I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you. “
So, I started to smile more, and below I tell you how it helped me.
During the many walks I make with my family; I started to smile more at the people we meet. The result is that others often smile back or stop to chat. It makes me feel happier, and I am aware again that there is a connection and that we are all connected (see my previous blog)
When I smile while I talk, I feel better and feel more confident. I also managed this when calling customers, service employees, but even friends and family. Maybe the others hear my smile through my voice, making the conversation more fun and enjoyable.
As I write this, my sister calls me, and I say “Hello” with a big smile. She laughs loudly (while I have not said anything else).
Do you also immediately notice if someone does not really smile? Do you ever see an insincere smile?
When I look back at the past few months, I have often done that to my family, the cashier, or the courier who brought me a package. They immediately realize that my smile was not a real smile but a mechanical smile.
A heartwarming smile comes from within. I manage to really smile by connecting to my character strengths (such as connectedness, positivism, or empathy). Also, a change in mindset where I am genuinely happy and grateful to see someone helps. If I can feel it and express it sincerely, it has a visible effect on others.
Dale Carnegie encourages you to force yourself to smile, even if you do not feel like smiling at all. If you act as if you are already happy, you will notice that you will automatically feel more joyful.
Is this difficult, or are you alone? Then whistle or hum a tune or sing. Or read the blog with 100 ways to experience more happiness and joy. You can also find inspiration in my blog about how you can almost always be happy.
Regulate your feelings
According to the philosopher William James it seems that action follows a feeling, but really action and feeling go together. By regulating our actions – which is under the more direct of the will, we can indirectly control the feeling, which is not.
Everybody is seeking happiness-and there is one sure way to find it. That is by controlling your thoughts. Happiness does not depend on outward conditions. It depends on inner conditions.
Be more human
When you smile, you are a lot more human. I was not when I tried my best to give my lecture as correctly and seriously as possible without smiling.
The principle of laughter, according to Dale Carnegie and myself, can undoubtedly help you have a happier and richer life (richer in friendships and happiness). You can make your day and someone else’s day a little better by laughing.
How do you make your day (or someone else’s) better? What do you experience when you smile? Let me know in the comment field below. The other readers of this article and I are looking forward to reading from you!
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