This morning I was listening to Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, on Super Soul Conversations (Oprah's podcast) and his share of The Life-Altering Power of a Positive Mind. It was a share of the power of joy and the difference between happiness and joy. What a fabulous way of starting my day off on the right foot!
He shared something I am going to call the "Ritz Carlton Effect." When an employee of the Ritz Carlton is within 10 feet of someone they smile, and when they are within 5 feet, they say hello.
At the suggestion of Shawn, a hospital recently took on the same approach, and I believe within a year their ratings went up, and the overall patient experience went up — just a simple acknowledgment of the existence of another human being.
I laughed because subsconsciously that's something I've always done. There have been times that my hello or smile has not been returned but overall I'd say most people will at the very least smile back. I've had a few friends laugh and say that I can make friends so easy out of complete strangers but hey I got to sit with the owner at my favorite pizza joint in NYC once :) That's not too shabby!!
A smile costs you nothing but can give back so much... to you and to the person you share your smile and warmth with. Try it - just for one day and see what happens.
Remember change begins with you.