Friday, November 28, 2008

Smile and Move

I was in New York City recently to do a presentation for a Training Magazine sponsored event. As I was riding up the elevator, a young man looked me in the eye, smiled, stuck out his hand, and said hello to me using my name.

My first reaction was – OK, how did he know who I was? I have no idea who this guy is, but he sure seems to know me.

You know how sometimes when you go to a conference and forget to take your nametag off – and you’re caught off guard when someone calls you by your name? So I immediately looked down at my lapel – and duh, no name tag, I hadn’t even signed in yet.

He explained to me that he recognized my picture from the event brochure, and introduced himself as Sam Parker. I wasn’t sure what he did, but I noticed he had this kind of positive, confident, and authentic way about him.

Afterwards, he told me he’s an author, and founder of a company called Give More Media. And true to his company name, he gave me a copy of his recent booklet, called Smile and Move. It turns out I’m very familiar with one of his other publications, 212 the extra degree. I heard about 212 from our sales managers - they use the video and books as a way to fire up the sales troops. I told him I’d take a look at it and possibly mention it in my blog. I actually don’t do many book reviews – I’ll use them for contests, but don’t take the time to read and review each one. So I was really just being polite.

I read Smile and Move on the plane on the way home and really liked that little booklet. It’s a simple message – to be happy and do something – but described in a way that both inspires and instructs. And having even just briefly met the author gave it added credibility. Sam did what he wrote about- he made an impression on me with his positive attitude, and moved on the opportunity to talk to me about his book.

Here’s an excerpt, with a good Thanksgiving message:

Be Thankful

So many of us are lucky in some way. Some, even more so.

Occasionally, we'll have moments that remind us of our luck.

The positive moments...
- Our work is recognized as meaningful by a colleague, manager, or customer.
- A good friend or family member calls and brightens our day, reminding us of the wonderful people in our lives.
- We're finally able to buy that special thing we've always wanted.

The challenging moments...
- We'll see someone who appears less fortunate, or hear of a friend losing a job.
- We'll see someone working in a job that seems physically difficult, or learn of a friend or colleague's new illness.
We're reminded, but... a little time goes by. A few distractions play out. A couple of things get in the way of the easy, and we find ourselves back to less than thankful (perhaps even complaining... again).

Ever caught yourself beginning a sentence with "Knowing my luck..." and concluding with something negative?

For many of us (even you), perhaps it should be "Knowing my luck, I'll win the lottery."

"I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection".
Thomas Paine (1737-1809)Political theorist and writer

Research shows that, people who are encouraged to express gratitude report feeling happier, more excited and joyful, and even have fewer headaches and colds.

—"Counting blessings vs. burdens: Experimental studies of gratitude and subjective wellbeing in daily life," by R.A. Emmons and M.E. McCullough (2003).

We need to more consistently approach our days and work with gratitude and remember that we're not entitled to either – that they are gifts.

And the most powerful way to express our gratitude is by serving others as well as we possibly can, to put their needs before our own (in whatever role we're in).

To be unable to work, to serve, and to have meaning to others... that is truly unfortunate, unlucky.

We should be more thankful for the opportunities we're given.

Sam has an interesting business model; he actually lets you download the entire book for free from his website. He’s hoping if people like it, they’d be willing to buy the booklets in bulk for others, as well as maybe a few t-shirts, hats, duffel bags and other gear.

Makes sense. The booklet would make be great handout for your company’s service givers, and the Smile and Move message would make a good theme for a conference or meeting.

Take a look, and let me know what you think.


CherryPie said...

It is always a bit uncomfortable when someone greets you by name and you don't know who they are!

marty mcfly said...

Aw, I really enjoyed this post.