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Lesson #3 – Share Your Smile

She was tragically taken from us, but her legacy lives on.  Every few weeks we will share excerpts from the book.

Alexia was among the most beautiful people I knew on campus. Her beauty was not merely external: it was also internal. This inner beauty shined through her speech, her actions, her attitude, her schedule, her bearing, and her smile. I remember a number of times coming down to the front desk of Honors Hall with questions and concerns, and Alexia was so helpful and kind. She was a hard and determined worker. I was amazed after hearing about everything she was involved in. Her drive was motivating and inspiring. Amidst school and work, Alexia still had time for Honors Hall, her residents, and her friends. Even when she was faced with stress, she dealt with it in a composed manner.

Every time I walked into Honors Hall, and Alexia was in the lobby or working the front desk, she always made it a point to smile or say, “Hi, Julie! How are you?” Even though she probably never realized it, those hellos really meant a lot to me.

At the conclusion of this spring’s semester, a huge number of exciting doors opened in my life. When Alexia heard about them, she gave me a huge hug and a joyful “Congratulations!” I came to Alexia with some problems and I knew that if I ever needed help with something personal and troubling, I could go to her. I felt so comfortable around her. She made herself approachable and available to any who needed her.

The thing that will always stand out in my mind when I think of Alexia Ardeleanu is her smile. Her smile was contagious, so joyful, and happy. It was a very rare occasion to see her without it.

Julie Hagen, Honors Hall Resident

 

My most prominent memory of Alexia is her uplifting attitude. Even when I saw her very busy with a lot of things on her plate, I don’t recall ever seeing her with a negative attitude. She made such an effort to make me feel welcome on staff that I looked forward to running in to her.      Marla Ross

Alexia always knew how to cheer me up with her genuine, sweet smile and words of encouragement that honestly lifted my spirit more than most people could.                         Jennifer Ciocan

 

Lesson: Share your smile.

Your smile is one of the best gifts you can share with the world. It is easy and doesn’t cost anything.  It communicates warmth, welcome, and caring. Your smile is viral and will make others want to smile. Smiling actually releases a chemical in your brain that makes you happier. People who see your smile will instinctually mimic it and it will make them happier. It will then spread to other people who see them smiling. Practice smiling. Share your smile with everyone. It makes more difference than you could ever imagine.

 

Opportunity: Think about whether you are so focused on team and personal challenges that you are walking around with a grimace on your face, or are you taking a few moments to appreciate life and share your smile with others?

 

 

book_imgRW_Alexias_Legacy_book3d Happiness Hacks Cover

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Happiness Hack Smile More

Happiness Hack #17 Smile More

Build Your Happiness by Smiling More

“A smile is the shortest distance between two people.” Victor Borge

Smiles are viral. When you smile, other people catch it and they spread it to more people. We instinctually mimic another person’s smile to help us determine if their smile is authentic. Smiling is like our internal radar. We send out a smile and they send a smile back. We mimic that smile and automatically interpret the results. The results enable us to intuitively know whether this person is friend or foe and what kind of mood they are in. Research also has shown that by measuring the smiles of people in their yearbook photos, scientists could predict how long-lasting and fulfilling their lives would be, how they would score on measures of well-being, and how inspiring they would be to others.

Faking a smile still makes us happy. Using our smile muscles sends positive messages to the emotional centers in the brain. So by forcing our faces to smile, we can activate the areas of our brain that make us feel better. In other words, we don’t just smile as a result of being happy; smiling actually makes us happier. Smiling also increases mood-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and decreases stress-inducing hormones like cortisol, so you become healthier as well as happier.

Most importantly, smiling makes you more attractive to other people. So smile. And if you can’t smile, fake it until you can.

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

 

How to Be Happier in Less Than 1 Minute Per Day

We all want to be happier, but it is hard to carve time out of our busy lives to do the things we think will make us happier. Or we are hoping that if we can just get through our to-do list then we can take time to be happy. We are chasing success with the hope that when we finally find success, it will also include happiness. Unfortunately, happiness is not something we eventually get to once we have achieved success. It is something we need to practice every day. The good news is practicing happiness daily will help us be more successful. So here are 5 tips that take less than 1 minute to implement every day to be a little happier and create success.

 

  1. Be Grateful – Each morning list 3 things you are grateful for. Being grateful helps us start the day with appreciation and optimism rather than dread and worry.
  2. Smile More – Take 15 seconds to practice smiling in the mirror. Then smile at 7 more people throughout the day. Smiling makes you feel better and connects you to other people. It also sends a signal to your brain to be happier. Most importantly, smiling is contagious. Other people will catch it and share it.
  3. Hug – Offer someone a hug. Hugging releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel better. Hint: It has to be a mutual hug. Don’t hug someone that doesn’t want to be hugged.
  4. Remember Your Last Vacation – Pause and remember a wonderful moment from your last vacation. Positive experiences can provide happiness over and over again each time we think of them.   Hint: Spend your money on experiences rather than things.
  5. End the Day on a Good Note – At the end of the day think of 3 good things that happened. We can’t remember every detail of every day. So we usually remember a peak experience and/or how our day ended. A month from now we will categorize our days as good or bad based on those last memories. So end with a good memory and your days will be categorized as good days. Keep it up and eventually, so will your weeks, and months, and years.

 

Hopefully you already do a few of these things automatically. The rest can be added to your list of habits. Start small and don’t try to adopt them all at once.   Pick one of the tips and practice it every day for a month without skipping a day.   Once it has become a habit, pick another tip and work on that one.

 

One more note, the research shows that happier people tend to be more successful. So build these happiness habits that take less than 1 minute each day and not only will you become happier, but you will be able to leverage that happiness to create success.

 

Book Cover 5_27_14

 

 

 

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

 

 

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