A Genuine Smile goes a long way

This weekend I was fortunate to help out at Ireland’s first ever WellFest. This is a festival, which focuses on people’s wellbeing and helps introduce them to new types of training, nutrition and ways to help live a healthy lifestyle.

My job at the festival was to look after the WellStrong tent. This was the area where various workshops took place. It included introductions to Olympic lifting and Crossfit, Strength and Condition with Niall Ronan and more unique forms of training called Animal Form and The Viking Method.

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Not only was I to make sure all those who’d signed up got a place in the workshop I wanted to make sure that everyone enjoyed themselves in the process.

Thankfully I got to deal with so many people who were eager to learn, who were willing to take part and who genuinely happy to be there. Some people weren’t there to take part and just wanted to soak up the atmosphere and see what all the fuss was about.

One of those particular people managed to find his way to the WellStrong tent. Now, let me try paint a picture for you, this man was mid to late 50’s. He’d grey hair, fairly thin; tough skinned wrinkled face and a cork accent. He had a blue and yellow rucksack, he was wearing tanned chord pants, a navy and red checked shirt, and was eating Glensk yogurt he was given only moments ago by the stall beside me.

Our conversation was quite short, I asked him if he was enjoying his morning and how was the yogurt, with which he replied

“I’m having a wonderful morning thank you very much.”

We spoke briefly about the event and the occasion when he followed this by saying to me,

“You’re a very happy person aren’t you?”

I was surprised he said that to me, not that I’m unhappy but because I didn’t think I was any happier than normal. My reply to him was,

“Yes I am happy, sure why not on a day like today, it’s great.“

His retort was,

“But you’re really happy, you’re not pretending to be happy, I can see it in your face that you’re so happy, it’s so nice to see.”

With a big smile I said

“Thank you very much, its lovely that you noticed”

Now to be honest, I was overwhelmed by his words and compliments, it actually made me even happier. (If you’re still reading please don’t get sick)

He then went along his merry way eating his yogurt and I continued talking to others that were surrounding my table at the time.

My point in this story is that a genuine smile can go such a long way, we don’t even realise we are doing it because when you’re being genuine you’re being 100% you.

It reminded me of a story my old chairman Gary Brown told a group of us when he joined Target McConnells – He said to us

“What’s the one thing you do every morning when you wake up? You choose the clothes you’re going to wear and those clothes reflect you and how you want to be perceived by others. Similarly when you wake up, before you leave your home you can also choose your attitude, you can choose whether you’re happy or whether you’re going to be sad, because happiness and sadness are a state of mind and you have control of your own state of mind”

His story struck a chord with me.

We’ve all been hit with bad news and tough choices in life and that’s why its not always rosie, however, we do know that life is not a dress rehearsal, so in work-life, family-life, social-life and personal-life its so important to give it your best shot and if you can do it with a smile let the butterfly effect take flight, without knowing you might just make someone else’s day that little bit better.

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