“So many people get caught up in doing what they think will make them happy but, in my opinion, this is where they fail. Happiness is not about doing; it’s about being. In order to be happy, you need to think consciously about it. Don’t forget the to-do list but remember to write a To-Be List too.” Richard Branson (Virgin)
If looks could kill, I’d be a dead man for sure, and that would be the end of the story before it ever began.
I was a contract worker and had accepted a three-month job with a world-renowned company based out of Fort Mill, South Carolina back in 2008.
I didn’t have a clue I was falling into a rattlesnake pit and that I couldn’t afford to be bitten.
The very first day I walked through the doors to the department, I knew something was amiss, the tension in that room was so high it made the hair on my arms raise up. Just like I was being electrocuted.
An unbelievable negative energy hit me square in the face.
The entire day negativity made me feel like I had my finger stuck in a wall socket that I was unable to pull away from, I thought it would never end.
It was my practice when I first start a new job to go around and shake everyone’s hand introducing myself.
There were 32 frustrated, stressed out, highly ticked off workers in the department, and I was feeling all their poisonous gloom at once.
As I went around to greet each one, it was like I had leprosy.
Some just looked at me ignoring my presence entirely by turning away without a word, a couple just told me to go to HELL, but there were five that hesitantly shook my hand, and said hey.
Man, talk about being a brutal beginning to start a new job.
Without being held in check negative emotions and thoughts can spread like wildfire destroying everything in their path.
Negatives have the effects of a highly contagious virus that filter through the air infecting everyone that comes in contact, breaking down the immune system, leaving the victim immobilized to function correctly.
As the day progressed I kept my eyes and ears open, and it wasn’t long before it became apparent what the issue was.
Distrust and anger were running uncontrolled throughout the department.
Morale was at the bottom of the barrel with no hope for the future.
It had been ten years since anyone had a raise and the company management had incorporated the policy to instill fear of losing one’s job to keep everyone in check.
And it was working, because times were hard, and good paying jobs even harder to find.
That day was so depressing. It was like 32 people had one mindset, cynical, and it was powerful.
I couldn’t believe people would work in such an atmosphere, something had to be done, because I wasn’t subjecting myself to such gloom and doom pessimism.
That’s when it came to me. I’d been researching the topic of attitude and mindset, where all the experts continued to say that a simple smile was contagious and could change anyone’s day.
A healthy positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug. @realhappipappi (Click to Tweet!)
So, if the issue is really out of your control, then take control of what you can and here is where I decided to take control to spread a little love and happiness.
I intended to start a movement of the heart and mind.
My plan of action was simple, every morning whoever entered my space would be encouraged with a smile, handshake, and the phrase; “I’m Fired Up! About living and loving life to the fullest, how about you?”
These greetings were with intense enthusiasm and energy.
No matter what obstacles or pessimism would be thrown back at me, I would stay calm and optimistic.
A Journey Always Begins With The First Step No Matter How Hard Or Easy It May Be…
My experiment started the very next morning, and just as the first morning I had very different reactions, especially to the phrase I was using.
But I would not be discouraged or swayed from my mission of battling the pessimism running rampant throughout the department.
I continued this high-intensity greeting barge every day, and within a couple of weeks, I started noticing a shift in attitudes of some of the other workers.
Some were walking up to me in the morning with their hands stretched out to greet me, and the first thing out of their mouth was, “you fired up today?”
Change Begins By Focusing On The Light At The End Of The Tunnel, You Have To Have Clear Direction In The Path You Take.
You could still see distrust towards the company and management were still very much alive in the hearts of the workers, but they were beginning to regain their hope for the future.
That was just the beginning, afterward, I spent my entire lunch and break time discussing with others how to overcome obstacles by making happiness a habit in life.
I gave those interested a printed copy of my morning and evening rituals, so they could create and modify when needed their daily routine.
Nothing happens overnight, especially when you’re trying to create or break a habit, and this was one aspect I continually emphasized.
It became undeniable within a couple of weeks who had started their daily ritual. Their attitude towards work had changed dramatically.
As others notice a change in some of their co-workers, they also became interested, and before I knew it, we had a Happiness Virus filtering throughout the entire plant.
I was fortunate to work with others outside the department that were also affected by the positive energy that was being created but like most things in life they all come to an end.
The final day of my work contract had arrived, and it was time for me to depart from the workforce once again, but this time it would be an emotional departure that would leave me with new-found inner peace.
There were over 50 people gathered outside the department doors along with the 32 co-workers, that made over 82 people who came to say goodbye that day.
They were all thanking me for the encouragement and optimism that I had given them in my daily actions during the time that I was there.
Many committed how they had learned how a positive attitude and outlook on living life to the fullest every day could help them cope with their daily struggles, not just at work.
That job was a real shock for me, understanding how I could affect so many lives within a short period just with a smile, handshake, and a little positivity in my voice, flat amazing.
We can learn positive Lessons from every negative situation we encounter in life; it’s our choice.
This event in my life was indeed the trigger to begin the quest for true happiness and helping individuals understand the power we all have within to change our world.
I still contract jobs, but over the last ten years, it’s become a worldwide venture instead of just a United States Gig.
Taking me to places like Mexico, Canada, Taiwan, and Japan which has given me more insight into my happiness quest by seeing and living first-hand different cultures and understanding their beliefs.
What’s so intriguing about being able to interact with people of different cultures is that I’ve been able to sit down to talk with them about happiness and how they pursue this highly sought-after emotion.
Surprisingly enough I’ve learned there’s not that much difference in their approach to acquiring this happy experience in life.
There are standard practices that all these and other influential individuals live by that have opened doors to a more consistent feeling of happiness and achieving success.
So, it doesn’t matter what confronts you be it rattlesnakes or electricity they’re no match for the three lessons learned from this experience. Implementing these practices will change your life.
Lesson Learned #1 – A Simple Smile Produces Powerful Positive Energy and Is Highly Contagious.
When you put a smile on your face be it genuine or fake your brain releases four happy chemicals that filter down from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet.
The Happy Feeling Chemicals:
Dopamine – (encourages new goal setting)
Just the expectation of reaching a reward triggers this feeling good chemical in your brain and releases the stored energy you need to achieve that reward.
It’s like a lion hiding in wait for a zebra to cross its path, food for its survival, dopamine is released in the lion’s brain to give it the extra power and stamina to run its prey down and make the kill.
Serotonin – (Belief in yourself)
We are like all other mammals we want respect, and when we get it, serotonin is released. It’s a social dominance thing we inherited from our ancestors we want to be at the top of the hierarchy of our society.
We strive to be the ALPHA male or female because of the beautiful feelings we get not to mention it builds our self-confidence. Therefore, we continually want to one-up our co-workers, family members, and anyone else in the world around us because it stimulates our serotonin.
Oxytocin – (Build trust consciously)
We are social beings, and that’s why we get married have children live in communities so that we can be close to others like us. We embrace touching and communicating with one another.
Social bonds are essential to us because in days gone by we could fend off predators more effectively as a group, another survival thing we inherited.
Endorphin – (Make time to stretch and laugh)
Endorphin releases through our pain.
I know that’s not what you want to hear, but it’s the facts. When you hear about someone having an “endorphin high” it’s like when a marathon runner pushes past their limits to the point of distress.
It causes a brief euphoria that relieves the pain. In nature, it helps an injured animal escape from a predator that’s looking for its next meal. It also helped our ancestors mask the pain as they would run for help when injured.
Lesson learned here is when you smile you release energy and power within your body that makes you feel great plus others around you sense that burst of energy and feed off it in their bodies, that’s why it’s contagious.
It’s like this; you have a drug pharmacy within your brain that you can get a happy prescription anytime and anyplace you desire, all you have to do is smile.
Lesson Learned #2 – A Hand Shake Is More of a Bond Than Just a Greeting
As I mentioned above bonding is essential it releases oxytocin. Researchers of nonverbal and emotional communication at Arizona State University say that when it comes to bonding with someone even a total stranger we feel more connected if they touch us.
Tiffany Field director of the University of Miami School of Medicine’s has linked touching to several amazing benefits including better sleeping, increased sociability among peers, and reduced irritability to name a few.
Self-caressing, which we do hundreds of times each day, has been proven to be a calming mechanism. Tiffany notes. That our most common behaviors like massaging our foreheads, rubbing our hands, or stroking our necks calm us.
Her evidence now supports the idea that it’s a very effective health remedy: Self-massage lowers your level of stress and frustration by reducing heart rate and the levels of stress hormone cortisol.
Lesson Learned #3 – Powerful Positive Affirmations Overcome Negatives
“I’m Fired Up! About living and loving life to the fullest, how about you?”
Affirmations are positive declarations that can help you minimize your self-destructive negative thoughts. By repetitively speaking them enough on a continuous bases plus you believing in them, you can start to make positive changes.
Self-affirmation has been associated with help in mitigating the effects of stress as well.
So, you see in all reality you can change and influence your world around you with a simple smile.
Rattlesnake & Electrical Shock Neutralizer – Works Every Time
Put a smile on your face that releases your happy chemicals in your brain and take two to three minutes focusing on someone or something you love. Looking or concentrating on a picture of the loved one or what you love is even more powerful.
Within that two to three minutes of meditation your stress, worries, fears, and frustrations will diminish if not eliminated.
It’s totally cool if you disagree with my interpretation of the lessons learned and what I took from this experience. I’ve done my job if it has you thinking.
But I would like to know if you’ve had similar experience or have something that works for you in a situation like this. Please comment below and share your insights.
Keep on Smiling and Live Life to the Fullest on Your Terms,
Gregory L (aka Happi Pappi) Henderson
Gregory L Henderson is just an ole country boy who has all the certs and diplomas but would rather show you how to find happiness to begin living and loving life to the fullest on your own terms. Shares his knowledge and happiness practices learned over the past ten years or so with all who care to listen. He’s been dubbed as Happi Pappi by his peers and firmly believes, Happiness is in Your Hands! You can check him out at happipappi.com which is spelled with (i’s) instead of (y’s) because he believes you’re in control of all the WHYs in your life. You can also connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.
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