Effort Level: Low
Impact on Others: Moderate direct impact and probable extended impact beyond those you talk with directly
Time Investment: 2-5 seconds
Hypothesis: We can infuse positive energy into the world of a stranger
- Today, when you see someone — anyone — make eye-contact, smile and say “Good morning”. Or, “How’s your day?”.
- When you’re on the elevator, instead of enduring that awkward elevator silence, ask, “What are you looking forward to today?”, “Anything you’re looking forward to this month?”
- When you’re outside, exercising in your neighborhood, don’t let anyone pass you without a rousing “Good morning” or a “Great day out here, isn’t it?”
Now, here’s the magic ingredient. This is the secret to your interjection feeling like a blase politeness and having real impact: You must act as if you know this person.
- Treat them as if they’re a pal, a friend, even a confidant. You do not need to run and hug and pat them on the back, but let your tone and body language emulate that this person is not a stranger. If need be, tell yourself that they are a fellow traveler of life and we are all in this together, after all.
Every time you do this, watch what happens.
Many will look your way, surprised out of their introspective stupor.
Some will smile, mirroring the smile you are giving.
Some will emanate discomfort (especially those in the elevator). But, don’t taper back…they’ll notice and it will be even more awkward. Instead, make it a game. Tell yourself you’re an actor on a stage who must, under all circumstances, play your part of the ebullient, outgoing whacko in the elevator/hallway/neighborhood.
Energy is contagious. Every time you do this, you are a spark of light. These greetings are almost automatic for us at this stage in our life. So automatic, in fact, that we often say them without having any meaning behind the words. Automatic means they take very little energy to initiate. However, because you are tossing them out (like positivity grenades) and challenging traditional mores of behavior by acting familiar with strangers, they have deep impact. People are not expecting anything from you. Yet, when you infuse two seconds of positive energy into their world, you create an unexpected connection.
With this experiment, the environment allows for a quick hit. Meaning…none of these encounters are meant to last for much more than 2-5 seconds. That’s why this is experiment #1 — to get you to try something that raises the positivity around you with very little risk. It may feel uncomfortable, but it won’t last. If you do it for a whole day, you’ll have a boatload of data to study about its impact on you and others.
I’ve often wondered how this quick-hit of positive energy changes the day of the stranger who receives it. I have a feeling that the ones who react with a smile deliver a higher percentage of positive energy to others throughout their day. Heck, even a smile raises their own energy level. If your greeting is the catalyst for raising the positive energy in someone’s day and how they view the world…thereby impacting how multiple others experience their day…wow! How freakin’ cool is that and you can control it almost effortlessly.
Let the Nobody Makes It Alone readers and subscribers know how your experiment goes. Leave a comment below, and share this post. Let’s start a movement throwing positivity into the world every chance we get.