This week unexpectedly turned into a “life lessons” week. The most important part reminded me of how nice it is to make someone’s day.
Today I met Sandy. She was on her way out of the bank as I was on my way in.
I was on a mission. It was 95 degrees out. I had a million errands to get done in the next hour. I was focused on movement- getting things done as quickly as I could without melting from the heat.
Sandy (I didn’t know her name at the time) smiled at me on the sidewalk as we passed. I half smirked back bee-lining for the door. Then I nearly jumped out of my skin as Sandy literally yelled at me, “I see the start of that smile! I see your dimples!”
Yikes! That brought me back to the moment. Being an introvert, someone so outgoing would have intimidated me a few years ago. But now I was just intrigued. So a little less loudly, I responded, “I see you smiling too.”
And that’s how we ended up having a random conversation for the next ten minutes. So much for my schedule. So much for racing to get out of the heat. I just wanted to know how someone so outgoing ticks.
Sandy said that she makes it her life mission to make as many people around her smile as possible. She said life is too short not to enjoy each and every day and she likes to remind people of this lesson. Wow!
I then asked her what makes her smile. She said her dog and her husband. She proceeded to tell me a wonderful story about being an only child and how the boys in her neighborhood adopted her as their little sister. After many adventures, one of those boys grew up to fall in love with her and they’ve been married ever since. And she told me about how proud she was of her son, who apparently grew up to have the same outgoing personality as Sandy.
My random encounter with Sandy was priceless to me.
Here are some things we can all learn from Sandy:
1. Make Someone’s Day.
It takes only seconds to make eye contact with people around you and smile at them. To hold a door for someone. To say hello to a store clerk and ask them how their day is going. To compliment someone on their hair or dress or ring they are wearing. People feel happier when they are noticed. Plus you receive positive energy from the exchange.
2. Be Present.
It’s so easy to be thinking about the next 20 things you have to get done this week and stress yourself out. Remind yourself to breathe and try to focus on that which is right in front of you.
3. Appreciate Your Life.
Life is short! In Sandy’s words, “You don’t know if you’ll be here tomorrow, so you might as well enjoy today!” Bring your attention to all the good things in your life. Surround yourself with loving people.
4. Laugh a Little More.
Perspective is everything. How much easier is your day when you are in a good mood and can laugh at the little things? Sometimes it takes practice. Eventually, you may find you can laugh at some of the big things life throws at you too.
5. Spread Love.
Everyone wants to feel loved and acknowledged. It’s human nature. However, to feel more love, you often have to give more love. Random acts of kindness are a great way to practice this.
I encourage you to go out today and make someone’s day. You may surprise yourself by finding out how much fun you will have in the process.