Monday 23 September 2019

Lesson 1: Some days, it's very hard to smile

Brendan O'Connor: Smiling is the best possible way of fooling yourself into thinking that everything is great.
Brendan O'Connor: Smiling is the best possible way of fooling yourself into thinking that everything is great.
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

What I need is a producer. In fact, there is a sense in which we all need a producer in this life, someone whose job it is to make you the best version of you that you can be. Just as the opening music was ending on the Saturday Night Show, the producer at one time used to say one word into my ear - "Smile!" It's not that I'm an unhappy person. I just need to be reminded to smile. And when I do I'm always glad. You never regret a smile.

We all forget to smile sometimes. I need someone to walk around behind me not reminding me memento mori, but just to say that one word - "Smile". I was thinking I might write it on my hand, but that would be even weirder than walking around smiling sporadically and randomly, as I currently do.

Luckily most of the people I see in my day-to-day life do remind me to smile. They ask how the smiling is going, which causes me to remember to give them a big cheesy grin. And I have to say, people seem to get a smile out of it. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say they laugh at me. But I'm OK with that. A prophet in his own land and all that.

While it's still a strain to smile and I'm still forcing, it's getting a bit easier. As I write, I've only been actively smiling for 10 days and there is definite progress. So possibly we could dare to hope that with 20 more days to go, smiling may yet have become the natural set of my face by the time the month is out.

Two key tips for this week: TIP 1: Some days it is very hard to smile. Some days, when the world is grinding you down and everything is conspiring to stress you out, smiling feels like the last thing in the world you want to do. It doesn't even cross your mind.

Which brings us to the second tip. TIP 2: Those are the days it is most important to smile. Those are the days you really have to try and remember and those are the days you really have to force it.

Yesterday was one such day. I think I barely smiled until I got home to the kids. But I learnt an important lesson. And I will not let a day like that get on top of me again. Next time I will smile my way through it. Because it really does change everything. It's very hard to feel angry or pissed off when you are smiling. Smiling is the best possible way to fool yourself into thinking that everything is great.

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