Spent most of the weekend doing my taxes — or rather, preparing to do my taxes, or thinking about preparing to do my taxes, or walking around stressing about doing my taxes. It’s all the same, really.
When I’m thinking, sometimes I’m not paying attention to the expression on my face.
Bear along with me, this is going somewhere.
So, I’m meet a friend for coffee, and she said something funny, and we’re walking along and I’m thinking about all the things that I need to do, and I forget to pay attention to the expression on my face. So, it turns out that instead of my normally dour expression I am instead walking around with a smile on my face.
But, what is really interesting was the reactions people to me — cashiers, people sitting down at the coffee shop, so on and so forth. I remember thinking, “Why is everyone being so friendly today,” when my brain finally got wind of what my face muscles were up to, and I realized, “Well, I’m walking around with a smile on my face, how strange.”
I think that I get so caught up in the day to day worries that I forget to focus on the here-and-now; but it’s all here-and-now, in the end. So, this is the experiment I propose:
Try to go through an entire day focusing on every person you meet. Go up to the cashier at Starbuck’s, look them in the eye, say hello to them, actually care how they respond; smile at them. Try to make every encounter with every person you meet something special. Sure, many people might not react; for example, surly teenage boys seem to be immune, unless perhaps you have breasts and are under 25. But otherwise, try to elicit a non-standard reaction from your standard encounters.
You’ll be amazed.
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