In the first week of August we celebrate National Smile Day, and this has me thinking about living a good life and how to help others live better too.
People, like YOU, can bring out the best in me. And when I know that you can bring out the best in me this acknowledges that there is already good valuable stuff inside. Sure, external people, places, and things can make me feel better, but God hardwired me at the moment of creation with good valuable worth.
Imagine our self-worth as a kind of soft-ware God installed in us. And when we power up with it we are able to connect and interact with each other with crazy-good results: we bring out the best in each other.
And this brings me back to National Smile Day. Smiling releases a flurry of feel good hormones that elevate our mood, decrease stress and reduce anger. And when people see our smile they have brain neurons, called mirror neurons that suggest they smile back.
I love how this day illustrates Sir Isaac Newton’s famous law of motion: For every act there will be an equal reaction. The iconic set of swinging silver balls, called Newton’s cradle. It demonstrates how this law works. Whenever we set something in motion (CLICK), there will be a reaction, (CLACK) – for better or worse.
Not only is this true in our physical world, but it’s true in our relationships as well. For instance, the act of a smile is usually reacted to with a smile. And likewise, an angry action sets off a sequence of more and more angry reactions. Right?!
Sometimes our actions are on autopilot. And sometimes they are passionate or they are impulsive. And sometimes our big egos try to convince us that we have a right to act anyway we want to, no matter the reaction we set in place. This law reminds me to consider that I have a responsibility not just for my actions but for all the reactions I set in motion.
Remember we have brain neurons called mirror neurons and they want us to imitate what we see. But here’s the thing: we can override them when necessary and when we want to. So if someone is angry, we will react. But let’s not let others control how. If someone throws us 50 lbs. of hatred, we can throw back 50 lbs. of something else, like patience, understanding, maybe even a little bit of kindness.
Here’s what matters: forces always come in pairs. We are forever and always connected with each other. The amazing worth we are were created with empowers us to make the world equally amazing with every act and reaction. So smile. This is probably the best habit you can practice because this will change the world.