At a recent conference I attended, one of the speakers touched on the subject of being an influential person. Most of us categorize effective influence by numbers rather than by character. We believe having influence means we need to have a big audience, attend a huge church, know popular people, hold countless degrees, own lots of stuff, or have big bank accounts.
I have none of those things and have rarely considered myself a person with much influence . . . until I heard this speaker’s talk.
It’s my assumption that many of you reading these words believe you have little influence, but you’d be surprised. One of the speaker’s ten points was so simple, yet it left an incredible impact on my preconceptions about the meaning of influence. Today, I hope you will reconsider your influence. You have influence, your influence is powerful, and your influence can change lives everywhere you go.
Give Us a Smile
One of the most powerful ways to influence others happens with a simple smile. Ta-da! That’s it . . . if you give away a smile, you have influenced someone’s life.
Recently, I was pondering the meaning of the smile and made some notes. Just think . . .
- Smiling is attractive. I bet most of us would prefer to look at a smiling face rather than a frowning one anytime. We are drawn to one another’s smile.
- Smiling can make us feel better. When smiling, I’m usually engaged in thinking positively and proactively.
- Smiling—like yawning—is very contagious. When I see someone smile, it’s rare that I don’t smile back.
- Smiling is a stress reliever. Frowning uses 40 face muscles and smiling only 17, so why not choose to smile and avoid the additional “muscle strain”? A smile relaxes your face which results in a more relaxed body.
- Smiling—like laughter—releases endorphins in the brain that improve one’s mood. I have learned this raising a neurologically challenged son. We have practiced smiling so many times, I can testify to the positive effect of it. Endorphins are released not only when we smile but when a smile turns to laughter.
Several years ago, I was in a car accident that caused me serious head and face trauma. I couldn’t get out of bed, so my kids would bring their laptops onto my big bed and show me hilarious videos. Because of the broken bones in my face, I had to be careful not to laugh too hard, but smiling and laughing lifted my mood during those months of healing.
Turn Up the Corners
So, with much excitement, I challenge us all: let’s be agents of influence. It is so simple to turn up the corners of our mouths and give away a warm smile!
Share with me how a smile—either given or received—has changed your day. I promise; if you choose to be a person of influence by sharing one smile a day, you will have some incredible stories to share! As I end this post, I’m sending each of you a huge smile!
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