I love anecdotes, quotes and old sayings.
I also like bright things that spark light and happiness.
We’re in the business of people. People are our business. So, it is a natural progression that human qualities and attributes are at the heart of what we do, day in day out, but also at the heart of success (whatever your definition of success may be).
There are a few things that I try to live by that I think make a big difference to my happiness in my work life and my life life too.
- Kindness above all: there is no reason or excuse for being unkind.
- Perspective is a wonderful thing: stopping for a moment and thinking about an issue from someone else’s perspective can be insightful, moving and even life changing.
- A smile is exceptionally powerful: ever thought of how much your smile can impact another. I once went into the Supreme Court of Queensland and through the security scanner thingy majig. I smiled at the security guard as he greeted me (a big, meaningful, toothy smile). He smiled back (a big, meaningful, toothy smile), in return. I then overheard him as I walked away (after being suitably scanned) remarking to his colleague how I had smiled at him and acknowledged him and how rare that is and how wonderful it was. It made me happy and sad. Happy because I made someone happy, but also a little sad that it was such a rare experience for the gentleman. It was that moment that made me reason how powerful a simple smile can be.
- If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all: old-school, yes. But valid.
- You never know someone’s internal/personal battle: I try to remind myself of this when i’m faced with someone difficult. While I feel there is no excuse for being unkind, rude, disrespectful etc, there could possibly be an explanation. Either way, we don’t know what kind of battle someone is fighting inside or personally. Nor is it our business. It is our business, however, to forgive, accept and move forward.
- There is always a silver-lining: it may sound unbelievable, but I do believe this. Even in the most horrid of situations or experiences, I try to remember this. I remind myself that while the silver-lining is probably covered in oil and sludge in the back corner of an abandoned 1920s mechanic’s shop, but it is still there. Perhaps it’s maturity, education or insight that we gain. Eventually it will come to light. Sometimes we might just have to be patient.
- The glass can always be half-full: kind of the same as the silver-lining coupled with a little bit of “perspective”.
- Dress for the job you want, not the job you have: this is not a reference to the clothes on your back, but your mentality. Job does not define who you are and what you can achieve in that job.
It can be hard sometimes, certainly. But, it’s worth a shot. Perhaps you can try it out? For a whole week, smile big and toothy and genuinely at your colleagues when you greet them. Even try smiling big, toothy and genuinely at the service station attendant. Sometimes you will get the not-so-happy responder, however, you might be surprised at other responses. Go on, give it a go. What do you have to lose?
Be the spark in someone’s day. People may forget what you say but they will never forget how you made them feel.