From Grouch to Great


I made the mistake of communicating with this mad man and I was lost. My grouch recoiled. It withered as the corner of my mouth twitched in the face of exuberance. Then it quietly died. I left the counter smiling.

As I turned away I asked why he was so happy and he said “it makes the day go by and makes me feel good … and why not?”

As a speaker I know the impact I can have on an audience when I am tuned in and ready to play but what about all those smaller moments in my life? What about the moments in yours?

I impact so many people each day from my children to my wife. The people that ask for advice or want to know if I am OK today or I simply meet in the street.

We all know a smile is infectious. I smile and I infect the person I smile at and they smile. Grouch is also infectious. People can feel fine until you infect them in some way. We make a difference. … and why not … make that a positive difference?  It starts with how we feel and act so I started looking for small things that made me happy and actively tried to let the grouch inducing things go.

My wife has a puppy and when we take it for a walk it is alive with excitement and joy. The ‘happy meter’ siting on its little fuzzy bum wags away … and it makes me smile. I have pictures of my kids around and I take the time to look at them now and remember their little actions and the way they say words … and it makes me smile.

I now register the “thank you” notes and emails from clients instead of glossing over them. I respond with a bit of advice and tell them they can do it … and it makes me smile. And suddenly my wife says “you’re happy today” and I am treated to her smile. And I am reminded that she has one of the most amazing smiles I have ever seen because that particular smile is just for me.

Notice the special things and stop focussing on the grouch. We gain into our lives what we focus on. Revel in how you can impact others and ensure it is always for the good and it will pay you back many times over.

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