Some people have an irresistible charm about them. They never need someone else to tell them to be the reason someone smiles today.
I knew a person who fit this bill. She’s no longer with us. I hope her memory lives on in anyone positively affected by this post.
Dianna was a lightning rod for chaos. She could be both the sweetest old lady in the world and one of the meanest retirees in the entire community. If she liked you (and she liked me for some reason) you could do no wrong.
She was charming too. When she smiled she lit up not only the room, but the hearts of all nearby.
But when she was having a rough day? You better believe everyone knew about it. And If she didn’t like you? Forget even trying. It’s the way she was and “ain’t nothing gonna change her.”
She had a tough life and I give her no fault for acting the way she did. I saw through her shell to the sweet lady within. The only Dianna I really knew was her on her best days.
I’ve missed the chance to do this with most people in my life. I’m trying to get better and not miss these opportunities.
Most people at their core are kind-hearted and well-meaning. For those with hard shelled exteriors life hit hard at some point and bitterness took hold.
No one is ever gone, not completely. No one is so far down in the pits of depression, sadness, or despair we have no chance to positively affect their lives.
“Jordan, the way you looked at me today changed my day. Your smile made me forget what I was dealing with and I felt better. I just wanted to share that with you today.”
Dianna left me stunned as she rolled her way out of my office in her powered chair.
I was struck with the beginning of tears. Even now as I recall that moment in time I’m filled with emotion. Certain moments have the power to shift our thinking and change our life trajectory.
The simplicity of life contained in something as minuscule as a smile hit me with full force. I was blown away. I cried.
My smile at her, her mood shift, her telling me about it.. These moments created a full circle of joy and understanding for both of us.
My life touched Dianna’s that day. Her life touched mine.
The ripples of our actions pulse out from us in ways we can’t imagine or predict.
Let’s make today the day we change a life.
We have the capability to change a stranger’s day with a simple gesture. Be the reason someone smiles today by implementing one of these 10 strategies.
Do so, and you’ll further your mission of becoming a goal getter. Practice the ideas below to build stronger relationships, appreciate positive moments, discover life purpose, and become your maximum potential.
1) Be the Reason Someone Smiles Today: Smile at People as You Walk By
How to be the reason someone smiles today? Smile back. Simple, but it takes the cake.
Smiles are contagious and actually make you feel better. The life changing magic of simply smiling at someone is incredible and it’s one of the first tips mentioned in the popular book How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Don’t just smile at strangers, do this too:
- Smile at your dog or cat the next time you see them. Your cat will probably take a swing at you, but I bet your dog smiles back.
- Smile at your spouse, even if they are driving you crazy.
- Smile at your boss. It might help you get a raise.
- Smile at yourself. Look in the mirror and smile. Smile on the way to work. Smile whenever you feel sad. It will instantly change your mood for the better.
2) Have a Joke Ready to Go
I’m not much of a jokester, but even if the joke is dumb, corny, or just plain stupid, it has the chance, however slim, of bringing a slight smile to someone’s face.
I love this list of 101 Corny Jokes.
My favorites include:
- What did the policeman say to his belly button? You’re under a vest.
- Why did the golfer bring two pairs of pants? In case he got a hole in one.
- Why did the scarecrow win an award? Because he was outstanding in his field.
- What’s brown and sticky? A stick…
- Why can’t your ear be 12 inches long? Because then it would be a foot.
These jokes are bad. Oh so bad. But each made me smile and that’s the goal. Keep a few or ten of these in your mind at all times. When someone’s having a bad day you can be there to brighten the day with your bad humor.
3) Play Pranks on People
Moving my food has become a regular hobby my wife enjoys. She enjoys it even more when I do it to her. Not. 😉
There is something so inherently fun about playing tricks on people, scaring them half out of there wits, or pouring water on their heads for no reason.
Yes, it’s annoying to the person, but after the initial shock you’ll both be laughing and rolling around on the floor.
My personal favorite is to stand just outside the bathroom door silently waiting for her to come out. I don’t even need to do anything and she jumps out of her skin.
Don’t take life too seriously, be the reason someone smiles today even if you have to make them hate you for a few seconds first.
4) Write A Letter or Handwritten Note
I don’t know about you, but all I ever get in the mail is junk. Oh, and bills. And ads for buying a home (jokes on them, I’m a digital nomad). I never get anything good.
Change this for people. Be the guy/gal who sends handwritten notes in the mail.
If you have the time, notecards, and a few stamps lying around send out a few letters to your mom, grandmother, mentor, or close friend. They will most certainly be smiling from ear to ear when they receive your note!
5) Make it a Goal to Give Out One Genuine Compliment Daily for a Week
Don’t you love hearing nice things about you? Of course you do! Even the most humble among us like it when someone pays us a compliment.
Make it genuine and heartfelt.
Nobody truly likes flattery. Give a compliment which shows you know the person’s interests and understand their values.
For me, there is no better compliment when someone notices me doing something that aligns with my core values or my projects.
“Hey Jordan, I loved your book, it made a world of difference for me. I appreciate how you shared from the heart and weren’t afraid to be vulnerable.”
Get to know someone and then think about what they need to hear. Don’t do it as a means of getting brownie points, but give them deep satisfaction when you notice something they do well that they obviously care about very much.
More ideas for great compliments:
- A reader: “Hey, I noticed you love reading, that’s super impressive. I wish I could read like you do!
- A boss: “I really like how you handled Adam in that meeting. He was being a jerk and you made him feel heard and were able to move the discussion forward.
- A spouse: “Honey, I appreciated (the small thing they did). Thanks for doing that it means a lot to me.
- A close friend: “Thanks for chatting with me the other day. You listen better than most people I know.”
Giving compliments is not about seeking praise. Don’t make it about you. Make it about the other person and share something you truly appreciate about them.
6) Send an Amazon Package to Their Door
Amazon makes it ridiculously easy to send packages to anyone. Shopping for someone else is more fun than picking out stuff for you.
Go do it right now. Go to Amazon and type in awesome gift + (random hobby your friend/spouse/boss likes). You are almost guaranteed to find a hit.
Here are three I found:
You get the idea. You can find something cool for just about anyone. And with free shipping none of these small gifts break the bank.
7) Bring in Food to the Office
My wife and I brought in pastéis de nata for our coworking friends while in Lisbon. You’d have thought we gave out $100 dollar gift cards to Amazon with the amount of praise and smiles all around.
The Portuguese really do love their sweets and oh boy are we in the right place. 😅
For 13,20 Euros we were turned into heroes. It shocked us, but it was a candid reminder that what we do to make others smile and create happiness does not have to be complicated. It can be as simple as bringing treats in for coworkers and sharing with others.
8) Reach out to Someone You’ve Wronged and Say Sorry
This one isn’t the most fun on the list, but it can be the most therapeutic. Make a list of everyone you’ve never said sorry to and shoot them a quick text (or call/invite to lunch).
You don’t need to make a huge deal about it, but just be honest. Tell them you are sorry and then either rekindle the relationship or move on. Life is way too short to worry about spilt milk, but do your due diligence to right any wrongs.
It takes guts and a high level of vulnerability to take this step, but doing so will relieve any bad will and will lead you toward your own forgiveness of those who’ve wronged you. Don’t let things go unsaid that need to be said.
9) Give Double Your Bill in a Tip
Tipping isn’t required in Europe, or Southeast Asia. For that matter, is it the norm anywhere outside of the US?
Still, next time you get the bill, consider giving double. This is especially simple when the bill is low. Consider this the next time you go to a local cafe, grab a coffee, or eat brunch.
Once again, we have great power to change the moods of those around us. With something as simple as giving a little bit of an extra tip, smiles are gained and lives potentially changed.
10) Leave a Box of Treats for the UPS/Amazon/Fed-ex Driver
This holiday season one of the coolest things happened. A Delaware woman left a box of treats and a note for the delivery drivers during the busy Christmas rush.
It reminded me once again that kindness and love can be shared simply by anyone. It doesn’t take a ton of money, a fancy degree, or all the time in the world. All it takes is a creative approach to giving back to others.
In this post you learned how to become the reason someone smiles today with these ten ideas:
- Smile at People as You Walk By
- Have a Joke Ready to Go
- Play Pranks on People
- Write A Letter or Handwritten Note
- Make it a Goal to Give Out One Genuine Compliment Daily for a Week
- Send an Amazon Package to Their Door
- Bring in Food to the Office
- Reach out to Someone You’ve Wronged and Say Sorry
- Give Double Your Bill in a Tip
- Leave a Box of Treats for the UPS/Amazon/Fed-ex Driver
Implement some or all of these strategies to be the reason someone smiles today. You’ll begin to see the change within yourself, your local community, and the world around you.