Have you ever been lifted out of a bad mood when someone makes an unexpected compliment about how you look? Have you found yourself wearing a big smile after a stranger wished you a good morning? It’s infectious, the positive feelings from people around us. It also presents an opportunity to challenge yourself.
A personal challenge doesn’t always have to be a monumental task, like finishing a marathon or securing a paid writing gig. Challenges are meant to push you a little, learn new things and perhaps discover a hidden talent. Some challenges are just a matter of reminding yourself about the impact you can have on the world around you.
Your challenge, should you choose to take it, is simple. Say hello to everyone you pass in your day. From the dog walker you walk by when taking the kids to school to the person waiting to catch the bus, just say hi or hello or good morning. That’s it.
Notice how your simple greeting changes that person’s demeanor, how a smile appears. They may even greet you back or start a conversation with you. Take notice at how you feel based on their response. I bet that feeling is pretty nice. And if that person you greeted is now in a better mood, perhaps they too will greet the next person they meet. And so on and so on. That’s a pretty incredible thought, all based on you simply saying hello.
I talked about how I stopped carrying my cell phone with me when I walked the kids to school. That having it resulted in me focusing on my phone, reading emails, sending messages, interacting with my social media networks, but not socializing or being present with my kids. Challenging yourself to say hello to everyone you meet will also make you more cognoscenti of the world around you; being present in the moment.
It all sounds so easy but it’s harder than you think. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, live in the big city or small town, we seem to have become a society of ourselves. We avoid eye contact and showing signs that others are around us. This protects us. It protects us from awkward moments, rejection, or lack of acknowledgement. Sure, not everyone will greet you with a big smile. Some will roll their eyes or ignore you but that’s the challenge. Stop thinking about what could happen and just do it; just say it; just connect with those around you. I think if more of us did this, everyday, we would all be happier and perhaps a little more confident in whom we are and that’s a challenge that’s worth taking.
So throw caution to the wind and challenge yourself to simply say Hi!