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THE IMPORTANCE OF A SMILE

By:  Z. Ziglar

The dictionary says that to smile is to “look joyous,” or “to have an appearance to excite joy; to contract the features of the face in such a manner as to express pleasure, moderate joy, or love and kindness.” 

Generally speaking, the first thing we notice when we meet a person is the smile—or absence of same—on their face.  A favorite compliment is, “You certainly have a beautiful smile.”  Factually, there are very few things that influence for the good and give more encouragement than a sincere smile.  Henry Miller said, “There is power in a smile.  It is one of the best relaxation exercises I know of.”  Joseph Addison said, “What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.  They are but trifles, to be sure, but, scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”

Several years ago a study revealed something that most people have known for a long time.  After weeks of testing the appearance, personality and attitudes of subjects and their influence on others, the professors at Yale University discovered that a smile is the single most powerful force of influence that people have.  That’s good news, because all of us can generate enough energy for a smile.

A smile has been identified as the “little curve that sets a lot of things straight,” and we’re often told that if we see someone who does not have a smile, we should give them one of ours.  However, we must do more than smile if we’re going to be successful in having a long-term impact on other people. 

If we’re really going to influence people after we’ve gotten favorable attention with a pleasant smile, we must communicate with sincerity and honesty.  Now, obviously, a university study should not be required to know that, because the saying is still true that you communicate what you are.  In summation, a warm, friendly smile is a very fine thing.  Think about it.  Better yet, try it.

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