Have your ever thought, “If I can JUST get through this, THEN I will be HAPPY?
I sure have! Many times throughout my life, I have gritted my teeth and endured whatever I happened to be doing in hopes of future happiness. (In fact, I now where a bite-guard because I used to grit my teeth so much. True story!)
What I’ve found through a colossal amount of teeth gritting is that gritting your teeth leads naturally to more gritting your teeth because it’s often easier to keep doing the same thing than to change what you’re doing.
Luckily for our teeth, the opposite is also true – Smiling leads naturally to more smiling.
As a writer, I feel the above sentence sounds simple and catchy, but I also realize that I need to offer an example if it’s going to be of much use to any of us (myself included).
Something as ordinary as buying groceries can be an emotional experience of either teeth gritting or smiling. By emotional experience, I don’t necessarily mean tears and drama, but I think that how we choose to use our emotions in the grocery checkout line will affect our emotional experience and the emotional experience of those around us.
Check it out! (And pardon the pun!) A smiling person could go through the grocery checkout line, ask the clerk “What’s amazing about your day?” and have a wonderful short talk.
On the other hand, a person who happens to be in a teeth gritting mood could say teeth gritting things to the clerk like “Your groceries are way too expensive! How do you expect your customers to live? Shame on you for working here.” This person might say these things in hopes of the future happiness of easing their stress about grocery shopping and maybe even getting the grocery store to lower their prices.
Both the smiling and gritting customers will be able purchase their groceries, but the feelings around getting their groceries and eating the food they bought will probably be completely different, not to mention the feelings of the clerk. It’s very likely that the experience the customers have next time they go in the store will be completely different. Which customer will the staff in the store be more happy to see?
In addition, it’s unlikely that the teeth gritting customer’s comments will do anything to lower his stress about shopping or get the store to lower its prices.
If just going through the grocery checkout line can be an emotional experience of smiling or teeth gritting (or somewhere in between), think about the power of the emotions we consistently feel as we go about achieving our goals and dreams.
Game of the Day
When do you notice you smile as you pursue your goals and dreams?
When do you notice you grit your teeth as you pursue your goals and dreams?
What’s your next step?
Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker. He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska. He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset. For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.