As part of my job on the railroad, I am required to wear a very specific uniform. Failure to comply with this mandate means that I would be sent home without the ability to work that day. There is no wiggle room regarding this issue.
In the morning, I make sure my white button-down shirt is pressed, that my pants are black, that my tie is straight and that my vest is neat and clean. All the employees in the same position are required to wear the exact uniform. It adds to continuity and looks very good.
There is one other very important component to my uniform…it’s a smile. I have learned that a smile can warm the coldest person, it can soothe a scared child and it can set the tone for the day, not only for me but my customers and co-workers. A genuine smile is the most important piece to my uniform.
I am learning to smile more and to really mean it. I get dressed in the morning and start smiling; I start work smiling, I serve my customers smiling and I end the day smiling. The power of that single gesture changes everything.
Being positive has never been a gift I have possessed. Low expectations meant less disappointment and that is how I ran my life. I was overjoyed when my expectations were exceeded, but I learned to not expect it. In the process, I missed a lot of joy. Shrouding yourself with protective walls keeps the hurt from coming in, but also keeps the unexpected happiness from coming in. I am in the process of breaking down my walls.
The smile I give to myself and to others helps open my heart to new experiences and allows me to meet new people. Smiles attract smiles…and laughter and joy. Those are things I want in my life but have always been afraid of. Seems if I was happy, I worried when it would end and how that ending would come. Happiness was fleeting because I had learned to worry about everything, real and imagined. I missed a lot in my life because I gave up on having faith and started to trust the worrying.
Not every person will accept the smile as a gift, I totally understand that. I was that person. I cannot change them, I can only change myself.
As of today, a smile and positive attitude are now part of my daily dressing routine. I want to be open to those new experiences and learn from them. It is amazing how such a small thing can have such a large impact.
Here’s hoping you have a smile-filled day full of joy and laughter.