Smile, I dare you.

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Tell me. How often do you stroll down the sidewalk seeing nothing but frowns? Or ride in a train car full of people who look lost in their thoughts, seemingly without an ounce of joy upon their face. It’s as if smiling these days has become taboo. Or at least it feels like that. Sometimes I even find myself in that mode. Why are there so many frowns or looks of discontent- I mean are people serious unhappy or is it just me?

It’s as if being happy is a chore. Either people in general are just unhappy or there is a mix up going on, in fact I’m quite sure a mix up has occurred. Has our perception of “happiness” been askew? I think so. It’s not really our fault per say either, though fairy tale stories and made up movies are the culprit. Providing people with unrealistic fluff, which confuses us with regards to the expectations we have for our own lives.

Here is a comparison between the Cinderella fantasy story and real life…

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Our lives drifts along with normal things happening. Some ups, some downs, but nothing to go down in history about. Nothing so fantastic or terrible that it’ll be told for a thousand years. “But because we grew up surrounded by big dramatic story arcs in books and movies, we think our lives are supposed to be filled with huge ups and downs! So people pretend there is drama where there is none.” That’s why people invent fights. That’s why we’re drawn to sports. That’s why we act like everything that happens to us is such a big deal. We’re trying to make our life into a fairy tale. – Derek Sivers on Kurt Vonnegut explains drama

Notice how generally people are along the line of content? It’s practically a choice to be happy all the time.

According to an article I read in Harvard Business Review titled “The Science Behind the Smile” researchers have found that things like a new house, a new spouse or even money can make you happy…Though, not much and not for long.

The journey to true happiness certainly begins within. It starts with loving yourself, actually. As strange as that may sound, if you don’t do this, you can’t be happy with anything or anyone else, and your smile will need greasing to move from a frown to a smile the next time you try.

Here are some ways to work on loving yourself bringing more happiness into your life, and perpetual smiles for your face. Remember, it takes more effort to frown than to smile, so why not take the easy way out. Try smiling at strangers, at work, at home, for a whole day, and see the affects of your smile. It’s contagious, the people around you will start smiling too. Take the challenge and smile, I dare you!

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