My dad always told me that you can say anything to anybody if you are smiling. I took that advice to heart. A smile is a powerful thing. When you smile, people usually smile back. Smiling and laughter are good for what ails you. And when the going gets tough, the tough smile back.
Work and life does not have to be a struggle, but it is sometimes. People invest a majority of their lives in working, so wouldn`t it be great if we liked work, and if we all got along.
Years ago, when I was a young planning zealot who believed in the joy of the balanced scorecard and the power of connecting people to purpose, senior managers would sit back with their arms folded across their chest, glaring at me. Actually they were quite often gritting their teeth, hunkering down in defiance. And their faces showed it - lines so deep they could be river systems.
I remember times when I would walk into the building, push the elevator button and tell myself to smile. I would smile all day, through thick and thin and not let them ruffle my feathers.
Here`s what is terrifying about gritting your teeth and wearing stress on your face to survive or eek out an existence. People inject Botox into their face to smooth out those ruts. Here is a description of what`s in that stuff.
Botulinum toxin (Botox) is a protein and neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botulinum toxin can cause botulism, a serious and life-threatening illness in humans and animals. When introduced intravenously in monkeys, type A (Botox Cosmetic) of the toxin exhibits an LD50 of 40–56ng, type C1 around 32 ng, type D 3200 ng, and type E 88 ng; these are some of the most potent neurotoxins known. Popularly known by one of its trade names, Botox, it is used for various cosmetic and medical procedures. Botulinum can be absorbed from eyes, mucous membranes, respiratory tract or non-intact skin.
Now I smile for different reasons. Not because I am gritting my teeth, but because I do what I enjoy. Some days are challenging and every day is a open ended sentence with a question mark, but the Botox savings alone are worth it.
I wonder why we endure as we do. The answer for many is a combination of money, influence and a sense of belonging. While those things may be important, what we do with them is more important. Health and wellness are the most important thing we have and life is too short to deal with people who move through the world irresponsibly affecting others.
Not this flamingo. Nope. I like my face, and my smile, sans Botox. I work with some great leaders to demonstrate compassion, integrity and respect at every turn. Everybody should have that.