Thursday, 6 August 2009

How Big is your Smile

A comment from a reader made me think about what I’m doing here. I spew all kinds of stuff from my grey cells and hopefully somebodysomewhere smiles.

‘Cos that’s what it’s all about.


There’s so much Bad Stuff out there. We get it stuffed (pun intended) down our throats everyday in every way and we need to remind ourselves that there’s Good Stuff out there as well.

I’ve blogged about this before: how the purveyor of news have decided that “news” means exclusively “bad news”.

There’s a truism that says whatever you focus on in life is what you get. Ergo, focus on the shit and guess what you end up neck deep in?

Put a black box in front of you. Stare at the black box. Put all your focus on that black box. It grows until the world around it shrinks. There will be nothing but that black box.

Ok – that’s a basic metaphor. I’m tired. Stay with me. Black box/TV/Bad news...see where I’m going with this? But the black box could stand for anything negative that you worry/ focus on...a bullying boss, a spare tyre, the shadows under your eyes, the way you hit your head when you were 18 and all your hair fell out (no, I’m joking. I’m a straightforward case of MPB)...etc etc etc etc etc etc – I’m sure you could give other examples.

The problem, as you are no doubt aware is that by blocking out everything but the black box you block out all the Good Stuff. All the colour and the shine passes you by.

It’s time to change our focus, people. As the song goes, let’s accentuate the positive.

Let’s start an online movement.

And I’m now about to go all Pollyanna on your ass...

Here’s a challenge for you. Tomorrow, the first stranger you see give them a smile.

Or...go out of your way to find something positive in your day. Can you make someone else’s day brighter? Ease someone else’s load even for a second? Another truism – help somebody else and you help yourself.

And do me a favour? Leave a comment later on and tell me how you got on.

I’m now going to post this blog before I’m tempted to go all vanilla and duck back down under the parapet of negativism.


  1. Great blog, Michael. There's plenty of smile science out there that supports its benefits to us.

    I'm teased for being perpetually perky and I smile a lot but sometimes when I'm in a hurry delivering the mail I forget to actually smile AT someone unless they are smiling back. So today, in your honor, I smiled at a really grumpy customer who stood with her arms crossed squinting into my mail truck as if I was a thief in her driveway, come to steal the family jewels. No response. So I turned around just before leaving and smiled pointedly, daring her to keep that sour expression. This time, she broke into a reluctant smirk. I'll storm the dark side again tomorrow.

  2. We could save billions of pounds(and lives) if we substituded smiles for the majority of prescription medicines that don't work anyway.

  3. Good work, Marley. Consider yourself an appointed Smile Ambassador for MCN.

    E - you are so right! At the start of the year I was going through a difficult time - so I prescribed myself tv comedy and from the time I came home from work till I went to bed I had a right good laugh

  4. smile and the world smiles with you.
    cry and you cry alone.
    its true! but at times i compromise and laugh when i'm crying. today my niece wrote on her facebook that the musical ice cream truck was in her neighborhood and she couldn't stand the noise. i love that sound. that makes me smile! i advised her to smile instead. she's not usually a grumble bunny. hmmm. hey mike, there is a funny article in the NY Times, a two parter, yesterday and today about telling lies and being deceptive. if you can link on to it, i think you'd enjoy. it's summer in d.c., absolutely fantastic weather. only a week or so to go before congress ends its session and we can enjoy the sounds of peace and quiet. but for now its cash for clunkers, health care reform and the bell for those who voted against sotomayor's confirmation to the supremes. lalalalala