May 13, 1992

Taking Action

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● The power of a smile

1. Would you say that you smile a lot or a little or not much at all?

2. Who in your world is accessorized with a radiant soul smile that really brightens up you day?

3. Try tomorrow to smile more and see what happens. To remind yourself, write “smile” on an index card. Or, if you’re more technologically inclined, make yourself a note in your PDA. Take note of how others respond to your cheerful self, and even to how it affects you. Who knows, you might even be able to lower your blood pressure medication dosage!

A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside.—Denis Waitley

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but, scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.—Joseph Addison

● The power of a thank-you

1. Make a list of the top 10 people you’re genuinely thankful for. Commit to sending them a “Just THANKING of you” e-mail or note in the next three days. It will only take a couple of minutes. Start by listing the 10 people here:

2. Set up a file in your computer called thank-yous; file away the notes you sent (above) as well as any that you receive from others. The next time you’re feeling useless or overlooked, check your file for encouragement. Then encourage someone else by sending a few more thank-you notes. That other person may be feeling down, as well, and your note will serve as his or her pick-me-up.

● The power of eye contact and focusing on others.

1. Rate yourself: How good are you at making eye contact with others? Would your spouse and colleagues agree with the ratings you give yourself?

Very good

2. Golden Experiment. Identify the three people in your work circles who are best at engaging others with their eyes. What could you learn from these people? Paying attention to how they do it will not only teach you a thing or two, but will also force you to make eye contact yourself. What a deal.

● The power of remembering someone’s name.

1. How often do you have to ask for someone’s name behind his or her back at a meeting or party? If it’s often, then you need to determine which of your friends or work associates does a great job remembering names. Ask this person for tips or techniques to help you improve.

2. Can you think of anything you could do right now to improve? Write down your ideas, or the names of those you’d like to ask, below.

3. Pick one person a day and determine to commit his or her name to memory.

● The power of a gentle spirit

1. Would you describe your style as a bull in a china closet—or something of a more delicate spirit?

2. When does a gentle spirit just not work so well for you?

3. Does evidencing a gentle spirit mean that you aren’t firm or that you don’t stand up for a position?

4. Name two people who are beautifully accessorized with a gentle spirit.

● The power of listening with your heart

1. Is your heart in tune with the people and circumstances around you? How can you tell?
2. Do you think you understand this accessory?
3. How can someone improve this area?

● The power of keeping your word

OK, the truth comes out. How many promises have you made today? Keep track. Write your promises, agreements, and plans down. Then follow how closely you follow through on your word. Is it 100 percent of the time? 50 percent? Or something even more dismal?

If it’s anything less than 100 percent, you need work. Start by doing something as simple as writing down your commitments—no matter how big or small—on a daily calendar or in your electronic reminder system. Then check each day that you’ve kept your word.

Keeping promises is important to building your character, showing that you’re trustworthy, and in following through in helping others out. People are counting on you. Don’t let them down.

● The power of asking questions

Here’s an easy assignment: Next time a colleague, business associate, or friend asks something of you, don’t say yes immediately. I’m not trying to talk you out of helping others; that’s far from my intention. Instead, I want you to learn to get the details on every situation before you commit to something that would hamper your Power of One.

After getting the details, ask yourself:

Is it good?
Is it right?
Is it true?

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.—Leo Buscaglia

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