What message is your smile sending?

People continue to amaze me as they tell me what they see in my smile. Recently someone I hadn’t seen in awhile said “You really believe in people don’t you?” I hesitated because I had not thought of myself in that light, but I quickly realized that it’s true. I do believe in people. Then she said “Even when you’re not trying to smile, your countenance expresses a smile.”

Her comments got the wheels turning. I couldn’t help but wonder how I had gotten to the point where it was obvious to others that I believed in people and that my countenance indicated a smile even when I wasn’t trying to smile. Here’s what I discovered.

Believing in people

As I reflected on my belief in the goodness of others I realized that there were several things that encouraged that belief.

As a manager, I discovered that people live up to, or down to, our expectations. I noticed that people’s performance exceeded what they thought possible when I told them I was confident that they could do what I was asking of them. Rarely did they fail to produced the result. After all, who among us wants to disappoint someone who believes in us?

It’s human nature that we don’t want to disappoint people who believe in us. So when we state our belief in the goodness of others, in their ability to achieve more than they themselves think possible, they respond by proving us right. That’s one reason why I believe in people.

The second reason is that I see daily examples of acts of kindness by people who give of their time, talents and experience to help others achieve their goals. Indeed, I’m involved with two groups of business people, e4e (Experts for Entrepreneurs) and Conscious Capitalism, whose primary focus is on helping others grow their businesses knowing that in doing so they are going to grow their businesses as well.

The third example blew my mind. Early in my business, when I was providing part-time CFO services, I was referred to a couple of men whose reputation was such that I didn’t want to work with them. But the referral source was a well-respected company who had sent me several other very good clients and I didn’t feel I could cherry-pick the referral so I accepted them as a client.

Later I discovered that these men were under investigation for practices in another company they owned. One day they told me that they had never told anyone that they were working with me…that they had made sure my name was not associated with them. It turned out to be the day before they fled the country to avoid prosecution. Here were two people who had done some things they knew were wrong, yet they went out of their way to protect me and my reputation. This demonstrates that no one is all good or all bad.

These three examples are the foundation of my belief in the goodness of others. Now let’s look at the countenance indicating a smile comment.

Countenance indicating smile

I lost track of how often people have commented on my smile including recent comments by my 5-year-old grandniece and grandnephew. What I believe people are seeing is joy. I enjoy all aspects of life…even the challenges, for the challenges afford me opportunities to learn.

During my 7-decade journey I’ve discovered that:

  • When it comes to helping others, what I need shows up when I need it…that’s true for what I want as well, what I need always shows up when I need it.
  • While I desire many things, none of them elevates to the level of need. Consequently, I don’t experience scarcity, instead I remain content with life while I pursue what I desire.
  • The challenges I face are simply something to be dealt with. They’re neither good nor bad, just a reality with which I have to deal.
  • I, like you, have always found a way to deal with any challenge I face regardless of how dire the situation might seem initially.
  • I’m one with the universe. I know that a wisdom much greater than mine is available to me to help me and others deal effectively with the challenges we all face. And I’ve discovered how to tap into that power consciously and at will.

These are a few of the discoveries that I’ve made that enable be to present the countenance of a smile even when I’m not trying to smile. That countenance is simply a reflection of the joy I’m experiencing.

For you

My wish for you, and the reason I write this blog and teach confidence, is that I want you to experience the joy I do which translates into a more powerful belief in others…a belief that encourages others and enables them to experience greater joy in their lives.

For our kids

As you lead a more joyful life, your kids will emulate your behavior and experience greater joy as well. Share with them the sources and nature of your joy so that they can readily see daily examples of joy in both your and their own lives. The more joyful we become, the more caring and sharing we become as well. To me, that’s a world worth creating…and it’s in your and my power to make that world a reality.

If you’d like to enrich the lives of others by teaching them to be more confident, check out our Teaching Confidence Instructor Certification program.

2 Responses

  1. Bill Prenatt

    Dale, I love the simplicity of your posts. I learn something every time I read one! You do an amazing job of stating the obvious and keeping things simple. I’m smiling back today as a result of your thought.

    • Dale Furtwengler

      Bill, glad that you enjoy them. We human beings tend to overly complicate things. Life is really much simpler than we imagine. Thanks for the return smile…the more of us there are spreading joy, the better this world will be.

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