A lot of people look at me and think that just because I usually have a smile on my face that my life must be just grand. They imagine me in my super-successful career as a motivational speaker, travelling across the lands, meeting a variety of unique and vastly entertaining people who pay me top dollar to simply “share my story.”
From there, they visualize me going home to my always loving wife and constantly quiet and caring children, where we have this joyous family meal like something you’d see on a Norman Rockwell painting. We’re all throwing our heads back in laughter as we talk about all of the great things we saw and accomplished that day.
Once our tummies are full, we spend the rest of the evening around the table, engaged in a board game in which we laugh some more, enjoying each other’s company and creating great family memories. Certainly, I even sleep with a smile on my face and why wouldn’t I because my life is so perfect I’d be a fool to not be happy. Uh huh. Right.
I am certainly not complaining about the life that I have today as, even though it isn’t perfect, I do find a lot of enjoyment in it. I have a career that I am happy to report is growing stronger by the day, as is my marriage and my relationship with my children. However, just because I smile a lot doesn’t mean that I’m always happy.
In fact, there was a time when a smile would have never crossed these lips. During my divorce, financial hardships, and other battles in my life, I struggled. Just like everyone else.
And even though I made it through those extremely difficult times, I still feel pain and sorrow. When someone I love dies, I cry. When I hear tragic news about a friend or loved one, I hurt right along with them. The only difference is that I don’t let it consume me. I feel my emotions and then I let them go and move on, choosing not to dwell on the sorrows in my world, but on my blessings and the good things that I have going for me.
The great thing about living life this way is that people are automatically drawn to you. It’s almost as if you’re the bearded lady in the circus and everyone wants to take a peak. They want to get real close to see if you’re for real and, if you are, they want to be around you because you’re different. You’re pleasant.
Perhaps this is part of what helps me as a motivational speaker? I’m certainly not a bearded lady, or a bearded man for that matter, but I am positive. I work very hard to keep an optimistic outlook on life as much as I can which, I suppose, makes me different than the average person who spends a lot of time focusing more on what is going wrong in their world than what is going right.
So, why am I bringing this up? I guess my goal is to help you to realize that everyone you meet has their own struggles. Even if they are smiling, that doesn’t mean that their life is perfect and a little bit of kindness extended to them can go an awfully long way. It does for me and it probably does for you too.
Throw a smile their way or extend a friendly hello as you pass on the street. You never know what kind of impact you can have. That is, unless you’ve felt it yourself before. I hope you have. It’s a great feeling.