It is one thing to put on a great smile in front of everybody and say you are doing great but realize there is a deeper more genuine smile that we often miss out on.
We are so busy with the ways of the world around us that we can easily forget what a genuine smile means and how it can impact the people around us.
A genuine smile is magical indeed and we all have that magic within us.
One might often indulge in fun activities to try to appear happy but can be disconnected from his/her real self at the same time.
Many will often participate in fun parties and believe they are having fun. There is a deeper level of fun that sadly we don’t dare to act out.
Try to remember when you were a little kid. You used to enjoy little things and find happiness in trivial things. As we grow up, we are told to be more and more conscious of how we behave.
In that process of “growing up” we slowly but surely find ourselves disconnecting from our innocence and the purity in our thoughts and actions.
For instance, you can always drink at parties to shed your inhibitions and have fun, but have you ever tried to enjoy dancing at a party without getting drunk?
The point here isn’t to have a moral conversation about the merits of drinking, it is simply to point out how most people have become dependent on external things to activate happiness.
All it takes is a genuine smile to activate your own happiness and spread it to people around you.
State of Mind
To know yourself and get closer to enjoying a genuine smile, you must first analyze your life. Try to think about small moments in your life that have made you genuinely smile and how those moments have stayed with you.
Focus on what you truly want out of your life, something that you love, even the little things. It can be something as small as figuring out your favorite color.
Suppose you love wearing black. Is it just because that is what people around you appreciate you in, or is that what you like?
Are you simply going with the flow or is what you are doing what you love?
If you truly love it, then step into something black more often. Start with these basic thoughts and actions. If you identify and choose what makes you more like yourself, you will connect to your real self.
The state of mind where you are comfortable and closest to your real self, is where you will find your genuine smile.
Break Out of the Herd
We usually try to live up to the expectations and customs of society. It is hard for us to be unique in the herd. This is what makes us lose ourselves. We are taught to meet expectations and follow certain rules that come with the roles we have to step in, even within the family circle.
What we don’t realize, maybe, is that we can come alive if we choose to be unique. Jamie Lynn Marvin, a coach, speaker and ocean photographer passionate about making moments magical by uncovering joy, strength and calmness in everyday moments, shared some words of wisdom in one of my recent Rant & Grow podcasts.
Dare to be different than the herd and live on your own terms.
If there are certain things that you don’t approve of about your life, then stop doing them one-by-one. That momentum will get you closer to knowing more about your personality and desires.
According to Jamie, once you are aware of your inner thoughts, you can then spend more time thinking about your childhood. Identify your core strengths and beliefs that will help you stay in touch with your authentic self. Focus on these things and make small changes gradually and you will find yourself standing out of the herd.
Cherish your special moments with a smile every time. Irrespective of the group of people around you, a genuine smile conveys your real happiness.
This ensures that people will acknowledge your happy thoughts and it will create a ripple effect.
When you feel good about yourself, don’t be afraid to express it.
Jamie believes that you can brighten up someone’s dull day with a simple smile. When you are hurt, you should express your pain, but you don’t have to be necessarily bitter about it. You should stay connected with your authentic feelings and acknowledge them.
Do not suppress your real feelings. It will help you to stay true, and whenever you are genuinely happy, that smile will grace your face.
Remember, it is the small moments that matter. If you focus on them more and stay true to your real self, you will never get distracted with the pretentious ways of the world.
Hiding or faking your emotions will keep you disconnected. Seek help from your loved ones or even a good counselor and keep in touch with yourself.
You can then express gratitude and love freely among those around you. It will inspire them to be more like you. They will connect with themselves more and you will find a genuine smile on their face too.
Originally published at tulliosiragusa.com.
Tullio Siragusa is an expert level Certified Life Coach, a pioneer of disruptive technologies, an emotional intelligence (EQ) thought leader, futurist, speaker, and author. For the past 30 years, Tullio has built world class leadership teams in technology companies and startups. Tullio currently serves as Chief Strategy Officer at Nearsoft, he co-produces and hosts DojoLIVE! a platform that gives voice to emerging technology luminaries. He also hosts Rant & Grow, an entertaining and heart-centered reality podcast where each episode explores people’s personal blockages and how to powerfully move forward with careers, relationships, and self-realization by developing healthy habits. As a founding member of Radical, a social justice movement, Tullio is a strong supporter of human-dignity in all aspects of life, including freedom in the workplace.
Image courtesy of Brooke Cagle.