Smile!

by Lance Ekum on · 104 comments

"If you don't have a smile, I'll give you one of mine." ~ Author Unknown

Smile – it's good for you! Have you ever heard that?  Is it, though, really any better than a straight face, or even frowning? According to a study from the November 2004 issue of General Psychiatry, elderly people, who maintained an optimistic outlook, were less likely to die than those with a more pessimistic outlook.  The study was conducted on a group of adults ranging from 65- to 85- years old.  And among this group, the people with optimistic outlooks were 55 percent less likely to die from all causes than those with more pessimistic outlook.  And, after adjusting these numbers for other factors (smoking status, alcohol consumption, physical activity, and other health measures), the optimistic people were 71 percent less likely to die than the pessimistic people.

"Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing." ~ Mother Teresa

Does that mean that smiling will make your life longer and more fulfilling?  No.  There are no guarantees, of course.  Still, as long as we're here, isn't it better to just feel more genuinely happy?  I think so! We all can choose how we live our lives.  One of those choices is our general outlook we have.  What do you portray?  What do you want to portray?

"Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Today.  Try to be genuinely happy.  Maybe you are already.  Still, see if there's a way you can offer even just one more smile to the world.   You.  You can shine a light for others, just through the simple act of a smile. silly-faces003

Some days, maybe you just feel like frowning.  Maybe something 'bad' has happened.  A loss of some sort.  Maybe you did something you're not proud of.  Maybe the cop stopped you for speeding, and wrote you a ticket.   Maybe you stubbed your toe getting out of bed.  A myriad of possibilities.

"Turn that frown upside down." ~ Author Unknown

As bad as life may seem, as much as we may think "woe is me", we really have it pretty good.  Each one of us.  Can you think of anyone who is worse off than you right now?  I'm sure you probably can.  And that there is reason enough for us to cheer up, and be happy.  It's our opportunity to give a little of this optimism away. pic0005

"I live by this credo: Have a little laugh at life and look around you for happiness instead of sadness. Laughter has always brought me out of unhappy situations. Even in your darkest moment, you usually can find something to laugh about if you try hard enough." ~ Red Skelton

Spread some happiness today!  Offer a smile to those around you!  Show off your teeth!  You may just live a little longer, and you'll surely enjoy the time you have much more.  And isn't that really a big part of it all anyway?  Genuinely enjoy your days…all that they offer. How do you want those days to be lived? Sure, there will be days where we need to be serious.  Where we need to put on our "game face".  In all of that, though, we can still smile. img_5278

And some days… Be goofy!  Act silly! And always… Love life…

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
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{ 103 comments… read them below or add one }

Wendi Kelly-Life's Little Inspirations February 3, 2009 at 8:25 am

Lance,

Have you ever done this? I think it is fun. When you are walking through a crowd at the store or mall and you see a stranger with a dull look or sad look on their face, look them straight in the eye and beam them a very warm engaging smile that says, “I am so happy to see you today” 99% of the time, they will smile right back at you. And if you happen to see them again a few minutes later, they will probably still be smiling. Smiles are contageous!

Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirations´s last blog post..Field Trip

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Stacey / Create a Balance February 3, 2009 at 8:31 am

Great words to live by Lance! Especially in trying times it is so important to smile and to try to laugh. During my blog hack invasion yesterday I eventually started to smile (and even had a laugh) because I realized things could be a lot worse. Having so many people on Twitter supporting me during my hack attack also put a huge grin on my face.

Stacey / Create a Balance´s last blog post..25 Random Things, Facts, Habits, and Goals

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Writer Dad February 3, 2009 at 9:19 am

A terrific smile is a tremendous asset. No doubt about it!

Writer Dad´s last blog post..Deja Vuesday: Sink or Swim

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Daphne February 3, 2009 at 9:40 am

Lance,

Were those pictures of your family? I’m pretty sure I recognised you in the first one at least. I love all the pictures! And the quotes too, as usual. Dale Carnegie devoted an entire chapter in his book to just this: Smile.

I totally totally agree with your conclusion: And always… Love life. So well said!

Daphne´s last blog post..8 Lessons A Nearly-Dead Dog Taught Me About Living

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Dot February 3, 2009 at 9:59 am

Look at that mud! Looks like fun! 🙂 <– smile

Dot´s last blog post..Update on Redesign Progress

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Rupal February 3, 2009 at 10:05 am

Great message and so fitting with the pics here and from your Sunday thought of the day! Savor all the moments in your life. I will definitely keep that close to my heart!

Thanks Lance
~rupal

Rupal´s last blog post..Its the little things that matter most: Running

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Ari Koinuma February 3, 2009 at 10:25 am

Hey Lance,

Cute pictures of your family! This is an advice I can’t get often enough. I am a lover of laughter, yet I also forget. Did you see that I am trying out a blog carnival about laughing?

ari

Ari Koinuma´s last blog post..Disassociating Fear from Your Challenges

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Jeanne February 3, 2009 at 10:40 am

I love all you share.
Smile……….. it increases your face value
Love Jeanne

Jeanne´s last blog post..Amore

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Jay February 3, 2009 at 11:08 am

It is so true. It is impossible to stay in a bad mood when we smile. I have a 30 minute tactic I use to cheer up sometimes. I know it goes against my no tv plan but I turn on a Simpson’s episode, and try my hardest not to smile. It never works, and by the end, I am cheerful Jay again!

Jay´s last blog post..Stop the Silence- Synchronicity in Action

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Jannie Funster February 3, 2009 at 11:13 am

Couldn’t agree more!

In fact,on my old blogsite my tag line was “When in doubt,smile.”

And what I’ve seen of you, Lance — you’ll be living to be 107 (At least!) 🙂

Jannie Funster´s last blog post..Doing It

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rummuser February 3, 2009 at 11:36 am

…Clean up complexion, soften eye lines, soften smile line, add color to lips, trim chin, remove neck lines, soften line under ear lobe, add highlights to earrings, add blush to cheek, clean up neck line, remove stray hair, remove hair strands from dress, adjust color and add hair on top of head, add dress on side to create better line… Total: $1,525.00.

The invoice for retouching the cover photo of Michelle Pfeiffer, in the December 1990, issue of Esquire magazine, obtained by Harper’s. The photo’s caption reads, “What Michelle Pfeiffer Needs…Is Absolutely Nothing.”

Lance, much as I hate to sound sour, there are two kinds of smiles. One the Dale Carnegie type, totally artificial and insincere and the other that comes from genuine joy. I find it difficult to come across the latter often. The former, you can meet them everywhere.

rummuser´s last blog post..Start Telling All The Truth Now. Pakistan – Afghanistan War.

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David at Animal-Kingdom-Workouts February 3, 2009 at 11:59 am

Often, we can’t affect the world around us. However, we can always control how we react to it. Why not put on a smile and deal with things positively?

– Dave

David at Animal-Kingdom-Workouts´s last blog post..Notes on Joost’s lecture

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Barbara Swafford February 3, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Hi Lance – What a beautiful family you have. They all have the same glorious smile that you do.

Smiling is good since when we age, it’s much better to have smile lines than frown lines. Like your quote – “turn the frown upside down” 🙂

Barbara Swafford´s last blog post..Blogging Support Forums: Do Your Homework First

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Vered - MomGrind February 3, 2009 at 12:09 pm

One thing’s for sure: when you smile, people smile back. It’s extremely rare to smile at someone and not have them melt and smile back at you. When I go grocery shopping, and I notice the checkout person is stressed, I like to smile at them and ask them how they are. Works every time. 🙂

Vered – MomGrind´s last blog post..Women And Body Image: Ten Disturbing Facts

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Julie February 3, 2009 at 1:16 pm

You know how I feel about this. 🙂

As for your statistics: Despite her physical limitations, my great-aunt was always smiling, always chipper and outgoing and interested in everything and everyone around her. She was 99 when she passed. I believe the opposite is true, too. I knew someone who truly seemed to have the dark cloud hovering above him all the time. He was always pessimistic and, lo and behold, “bad” things happened to him all the time.

Smiles really are life’s little rainbows!

Julie´s last blog post..Tag, This is Who I Am

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Annette February 3, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Lance, I loved all the pics 😉 It is so much more fun to smile. At some point before I started my journey, I remember hubby telling me I never smile anymore. That was a big clue for me to wake up 🙂

Annette´s last blog post..HYC Update/ The Hunger Debate

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Jewel/Pink Ink February 3, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Love this thought, Lance.

I feel a complete turnaround just putting a smile on my face…even though I might not feel it.

Sometimes I tell my kids, when they are in a funk, “Smile! Choose to be happy. We have so much to be grateful for.”

And we do!

Jewel/Pink Ink´s last blog post..If You Had to Live The Same Day

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Sagan February 3, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Visiting this site is sure to bring a smile to my face! Smiling is for sure one of life’s greatest treasures.

Sagan´s last blog post..Poll: What form of exercise do you prefer?

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Henie February 3, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Hi Lance!

Now you know I love this! This is the majority of my tweeting! I believe that a smile is the most perfect gift and it is free!

“Smile until your soul starts laughing!” ~Henie~

Love, love this post! Thanks so much!:):):):):):):):):):):):)

Henie´s last blog post..PLEASE VOTE FOR ME!!!

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Kelly Turner February 3, 2009 at 3:25 pm

i dont mean to sound weird, but I kind of wish you were my dad. Despite age and all that, of course, I just wonder what it would have been like to grow up in a family where my parents found fun and love and support to be important.

Kelly Turner
http://www.everygymsnightmare.com

Kelly Turner´s last blog post..POM Wonderful Juice- How Wonderful is it?

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Stacey Shipman February 3, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Even when I’m in a bad mood and someone tries to make me smile, fighting it makes me smile more because I recognize the ridiculousness of my mood!

It’s good to feel all emotions once in a while, but my favorite is definitely smiling/laughing!

I love the photos you shared, too.

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Natalia Burleson February 3, 2009 at 4:50 pm

I’m happy to say that we are having a genuinely happy day at our house today! Our day started out with puppy huggin! Doesn’t get much better than that! 🙂 Great post Lance! Thanks. 🙂

Natalia Burleson´s last blog post..What an enjoyable morning.

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Fit Mommy February 3, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Yes, I just got my braces off for the second time in my life! I smile all the time!

Fit Mommy´s last blog post..No, it’s not dog food, and other ramblings….

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alocalseo February 3, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Thank for the inspiring post. A smile goes a very long way… And lately I have something it smile about!

alocalseo´s last blog post..The 109 Day Link Building Explosion – Day 34

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Henie February 3, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Hey Lance!

Guess what crossed this crazy mind of mine? The name of your site…Jung as in Carl Jung in the “Jungle”

Well at least it brought a smile to this face! 🙂

Henie´s last blog post..PLEASE VOTE FOR ME!!!

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Blake February 3, 2009 at 7:14 pm

Thanks for the reminder Lance. I need to smile more and spread the love. 🙂

Blake´s last blog post..Paint Your Plate

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Karl - Work Happy Now February 3, 2009 at 7:50 pm

Yes! Yes! Yes! Smiling is so much more fun than the alternatives. Of course there are days we struggle, but if we can find that little place inside of ourselves that let’s that smile out then we have a skill that we can always rely on.

Karl – Work Happy Now´s last blog post..Your Big Dream for This Year

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kathy February 3, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Thanks Lance.
I needed the reminder to smile today. Why is it that we need reminders to do this thing we know works so well to lighten our own moods and those around us? One thing I’m learning to do better is to be aware of how my mood and demeanor affect those around me and adjust accordingly.

kathy´s last blog post..Stealth MSG: How to spot hidden sources of MSG (The Lite Version)

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Lance February 3, 2009 at 9:00 pm

@Wendi – I’m gonna try this Wendi! I’ve done it, although I don’t know that I’ve looked them straight in the eye, and came across as warm and engaging! I can see you doing this…And it has to feel pretty good for you too!

@Stacey/Create A Balance – I wonder how I would react were that to happen to me? That’s definitely a great attitude you had – and very true – in the grand scheme of things, things could be much much worse. And the support of others during trying times, that’s a great point – support is so important…

@Writer Dad – A smile sure is an asset…and I see that shining from your avatar…you know it well, Sean!

@Daphne – Yes, those are pics of my family! The whole crew is there! A smile is so easy to do, so easy to give. And yes – love life! I think you exude this characteristic very well Daphne!

@Dot – I wasn’t home the day of the “mud fest” – it did look fun though – I guess I missed out on that one…next time – I’m there!

@Rupal – Hi Rupal. Thanks! If we really go with that attitude – to savor all the moments in our life – it’s hard not to smile most of the time! And that is worth hanging on to!

@Ari – Thanks much, Ari! And I’m going to say “me too” about the laughter the occasional forgetting. So, the reminder is good for me too. I missed you blog carnival – was just over there – very cool – and uplifting – laughter is so good for the soul!

@Jeanne – Thanks so much, Jeanne! And I love that saying – “Smile….it increases your face value”!!! That’s great!

@Jay – Sometimes it’s a switch from the normal that brings out the laughter in us. The “Simpson’s” have a way of doing that! We have some short videos of our kids that bring out the laughter every time… It’s good to be cheerful, isn’t it!

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Lance February 3, 2009 at 9:02 pm

@Jannie – Hey Jannie! I like that — ‘when in doubt, smile’!! I’ll remember that the next time I’m not sure of something. So…by your calculations I’m going to live to 107…woo-hoo!! I’ve only just begun!! And that’s putting a smile on my face right now! So…since I know you’re good for that long too – I’ll catch up with you at the retirement home – you bring your guitar – and I’ll dance — that’ll make everyone laugh (my dancing, not your guitar playing).

@Rummuser – Well, that’s true – someone can smile and not mean it. Still, I like to look at the world and see the positive. And I’ll take that over a frown. I find that just the act of smiling makes me feel better. Getting a true and genuine smile from someone, though, that is priceless, Ramana – and not nearly as common, as you note.

@David – I love that attitude Dave! How we react to that around us IS up to us – and we can choose to do this positively or negatively. Why not do it with a smile – wonderful!

@Barbara – Hi Barbara! Thank you, so much! I’m going to say that the smile are contagious around here. Just like on certain days, so can the frowns be that way. Fortunately, most days are filled with the smiles! And…I’ll take the smile lines over the frown lines any day too!! Thanks Barbara!

@Vered – A smile does usually bring out a smile in others – so simple, so profound. And what an easy thing to do to cheer someone up. So…keep on doing what you do at the store, Vered. You are giving a real gift out to those you touch…

@Julie – I know…you are all about happy – that’s what I find so wonderful about you Julie – you exude happiness and joy!! Your great-aunt is a great example (that’s part of the great in great-aunt!) of the real health benefits of smiling! It’s an overused saying, yet it fits well here to your second point – “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. Some people do (like your great-aunt) and you don’t even realize they were dealt lemons. Others get lemons and see only the sour. And there dark cloud continues to hover over them… You always provide a rainbow here when you stop in Julie!

@Annette – Thanks Annette!! I’m nowhere near the picture taker you are… Your willingness to share your life through the lens – and how personal this makes your site feel – really is inspiration for me to do this here. That is a wake up – when we hear that from someone we trust and love. And sometimes that’s just what we need to hear. Funny thing…you’ve done a 180 then, because I think you’re always smiling now!! Feels great, doesn’t it!!

@Jewel – A simple smile can change our attitude, can’t it! That’s a great message to pass on to our children. Our daughter is one to seem to be perennially happy. I sometimes ask her to frown, and she can’t do it. I do it, not because I want her to frown – it’s to remind me what happy is – seeing her try, and fail (fail at frowning is probably not failing at all!).

@Sagan – Aww, thanks so much Sagan! Know that you’re a treasure to have visit here also. And today you’re putting a great big smile on my face!!

@Henie – Hi Henie! I knew you would love this one! You’re always talking “smiles” – and that’s fantastic that you do! Love your quote too – you have so many wonderful ones – and this one is just awesome. Thanks for sharing it here! And continue to spread those smiles far and wide – you’re touching lives in ways it’s hard to even imagine!

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Lance February 3, 2009 at 9:02 pm

@Kelly Turner – No, that doesn’t sound weird. In fact, I’m very moved by this gesture Kelly. While we can’t change the past – going forward we can choose how we’re going to act. So, I say to you – go out, smile, laugh, have fun – and you’ll be doing good in so many ways! Keep being awesome Kelly!

@Stacey Shipman – I’m smiling just reading this! We all have moments where we’re in bad moods (I certainly do). And the truth is, it usually is ridiculous – whatever we “think” is the reason we should be in a bad mood. That’s a good point about feeling all emotions. Sometimes we’re going to be sad, hurt, happy, melancholy, indifferent, etc, etc. And that is all good – it’s part of life. And I’m with you – in the end – what I prefer is smiling and laughter – it just plain feels good! Glad you like the photos – thanks much Stacey!

@Natalia – Awesome Natalia! Puppy hugging with your little guy – I’m sure he (and you) loved it! Animals sure can have a way of bringing smiles!

@Fit Mommy – Getting your braces off – that is definitely a reason to smile!! Keep on doing that Rachel – show off those nice straight teeth!!

@alocalseo – Your welcome! Keep on smiling…

@Henie – You’re back (that’s awesome!)! You know what…that brings a smile to my face too Henie – I love it!! NOw…can I use that somehow???

@Blake – I tend to think you are spreading love Blake… More is good, though! Here’s to smiles, and here’s to love!

@Karl – Smiling really IS more fun! And it just plain feels good, doesn’t it! There are days when smiling is difficult…still…even if we can get out something small…how powerful that can be! Thanks much Karl – I love this perspective on it all!

@Kathy – I agree, why do we need these reminders? I’m in the same boat – and reminders like this really help to bring it to the forefront. Great point about how our mood can affect others – so true. I’ve been party to this countless times – both as giver and receiver. And you’re reminding me tonight – that I can do my part to not darken the mood, instead to spread light – today, through a simple smile…

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Laurie February 3, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Hi Lance!
I was talking to a very negative person not too long ago, and I told him “If you go into a room and want to notice things that are red, you’ll see tons of red and not notice the other colors so much. But if you are determined to notice blue things, you might not realize all the red in the room.” When we are determined to see the negative in everything, we’ll find it. What you are looking for, you will find. But if you make it a priority to find the positive in things, you’ll find that as well.

I recenty read a quote that when something like this:
The best things to give away are those that, with its giving, doesn’t deminish its value to you. Some things, when given away leaves you with less than you started with before you gave it away. Give things that don’t deminish what you have.

That’s not word for word, but pretty much what it said.

A smile is something that when given away does not take away from the giver. Great reminder that we can make a great impact with such a small gesture. I’m smiling at you Lance, right now! :o)

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Laurie February 3, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Oh and Lance, you family is adorable!

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LifeMadeGreat | Juliet February 3, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Hi Lance

Wonderful reminder!
So good that you mention it needs to be genuine. Otherwise, it can appear sad.

Juliet

LifeMadeGreat | Juliet´s last blog post..Overcoming The Barriers Of Introversion: Starting The Process

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Bunny got Blog February 3, 2009 at 11:45 pm

Fantastic article Lance!

Love the photos.
Smiling is a great exercise against frown lines 🙂

Cheers

Bunny got Blog´s last blog post..Ooops: Wrong Button

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Davina February 4, 2009 at 2:06 am

Hi Lance. What cute pictures. How could I not smile? 🙂 I have lots of laugh lines so I guess I’m doing something right.

Davina´s last blog post..Guest Post: Emotions — The Universal Language

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Mark Salinas February 4, 2009 at 5:35 am

A smile can put a twist on things for the better. Very good! Thanks Lance!

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Miz February 4, 2009 at 5:35 am

love this.
and shall now butcher a jewish proverb for you which essentially says like soap is for the body laughter is for the soul.

I try and live that every day.

Miz´s last blog post..Spotting, Guilt-free Living, & A Chance To (win) Experience Life.

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Lance February 4, 2009 at 5:48 am

@Laurie – I love that Laurie, it is so spot-on! We see what we expect to see. If we’re looking through the lens of positivity, then that’s pretty much what we’ll find – and isn’t that a comforting thought! And an awesome quote to go along with this idea of giving smiles away – we’re not losing anything ourselves! And we’re helping someone else! I’m smiling right now, too, Laurie. And thank you!!

@Juliet – The idea of being genuine is so important – people can usually “read” us – and tell when we’re being genuine, and when we’re not. And it is sad if we’re just doing it for appearances… Thanks Juliet.

@Bunny – Glad to hear you liked the photos! The smiles are what make them, I think! And, yes, here’s to fighting the frown lines!!

@Davina – Thanks much Davina! Keep on smiling and keep on laughing – those laugh lines are great to have!

@Mark Salinas – I love that Mark – about a smile putting a twist on things for the better, kind of like the upward twist of our smile itself!

@Miz – Hey Miz! I love that Jewish proverb (and I try to do both of them daily!!!). Which reminds me…okay, I’ll be back in a little bit!!

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Ian Peatey February 4, 2009 at 5:58 am

Not much to add to all the comments above .. sounds like you’re preaching to us converted ones!

There was one thing in the stats that confused me though.

“people with optimistic outlooks were 55 percent less likely to die from all causes than those with more pessimistic outlook. And, after adjusting these numbers for other factors (smoking status, alcohol consumption, physical activity, and other health measures), the optimistic people were 71 percent less likely to die than the pessimistic people.”

Does that mean that pessimists lead healthier lifestyles than optimists? Or am I reading these numbers the wrong way (which is most likely scenario!).

Another smile inducing post!
Ian

Ian Peatey´s last blog post..Lament for my world

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LisaNewton February 4, 2009 at 7:10 am

Thank you for adding a smile to my day. This week has been very difficult for me, as my best friend was in the hospital. All will be fine, but it was touch and go there for a few days.

Just the smile of the hospital staff made me feel a little better. You never know how these small things really do spark up a day……………:)

LisaNewton´s last blog post..5 pictures in 5 minutes

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suddenly slimmer February 4, 2009 at 7:25 am

Smile is the best accessory…great happy family pics..and the best part they are smiling make everyone who see this post smiling too

suddenly slimmer´s last blog post..Becoming Alia Balboa : part 2

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Evelyn Lim February 4, 2009 at 7:40 am

I enjoyed looking at the pictures of your family. BIG SMILE TO YOU!!

I haven’t been smiling all that much, with the ton of things to do on my plate in the last 2 days. Your post is like breath of fresh air!! Thanks for the reminder!

Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..My Makeover

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Zandria February 4, 2009 at 8:34 am

Those pictures would make anyone smile! I think I need to put some silly pictures up around my desk at work to remind me of that. 🙂

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Tess The Bold Life February 4, 2009 at 8:54 am

Lance,
It’s great to see an entire family of smiles! You can tell how healthy a family is by how much laughter there is in a home. You definetly have a happy family.

Tess The Bold Life´s last blog post..24 Ways to Beat the Unemployment Blues

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Kathy @ Virtual Impax February 4, 2009 at 9:36 am

Lance,

I’ve done my own “personal study” and found that smiling actually improves performance!!! 🙂

Seriously! My daughter played sports in high school and whether it was basketball, softball or soccer – there were times when she would be scowling – and not doing well by the way! So, as a good mom on the sidelines- I would yell – SMILE!!! EVERY time, she would grin and sure enough – she’d hit the ball – or sink a shot – or score a goal. WITHOUT EXCEPTION!!!

So there’s anecdotal evidence for you that smiling improve performance. Now, go sell your program for millions to a fortune 500 company. 🙂

Kathy @ Virtual Impax´s last blog post..Social Media Marketing – What you don’t know CAN hurt you

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Gennaro February 4, 2009 at 10:47 am

Thich Nhat Hanh is one of my favorites. Smiling is a focus in many of his writings. I think it’s true that people smile when they’re happy, but also become happy when they are smiling for no reason at all. Tough day? Grin a little.

Gennaro´s last blog post..Venice Carnival: Masks And Malvasia

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miruspeg February 4, 2009 at 3:49 pm

I am so far behind reading your posts Lance!
What a wonderful subject “Smiling”.
“Smile and the world smile with you” has always been my philosophy. I am a very optimist person and plan to live to a ripe old age…glad to read there is a study that recognises optimism as a good trait.
On the acronym finder I found the word SMILE:

S piritually
M inded
I s
L ife
E ternal

I have a lovely photo of a smiling boy over at my blog. Love our synchronisation!

Take care
Peggy

miruspeg´s last blog post..Right Now, This Instant

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Evita February 4, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Wow Lance you have such a beautiful and HAPPY family! What an amazing gift and blessing that is!

And your message…to smile… really what could be easier and better. It is so beautiful and powerful and addictive and contagious 🙂

Evita´s last blog post..Movie Review: Wheel of Life

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Diane February 4, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Hi Lance,

Thanks for Making me smile from the inside out!

Be Contagious!

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Mike Foster February 4, 2009 at 5:25 pm

I love this post and those wonderful quotes–they made me smile! Always a good reminder to laugh, smile, and enjoy life, every day. Why, I ask, do we need to be reminded if it feels so good? Hmmmm….

peace,
mike
livelife365

Mike Foster´s last blog post..More Veg Out With Mike

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Henie February 4, 2009 at 7:14 pm

Ooops, I posted in the wrong post! 🙂

Anyway, just stopping in for another SMILE and leaving one!

“Be indescribable…always wear a glowing SMILE!” ~Henie~

Henie´s last blog post..If You want To Be Noticed Be Yourself

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Carla February 4, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Good reminder for me. No matter how I’m feeling, smiling always helps. Great photos by the way!

Carla´s last blog post..The Moon

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Robin Easton February 4, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Oh dear Lance, this post is just absolutely too precious!! I am laughing and ginning as I write this. I just LOVE the photos, the quotes and the writing. It made me feel right at home and I wanted to turn to someone (I’m hone along) and say, “See, Lance is like me.” LOL!! I say this because people have often told me that I am a “Pollyanna”, and said it like it was a BAD thing or unrealistic thing to be that way….INSTEAD of letting themselves enjoy the warmth and love and happiness that is ME. Anymore I refuse to let them put me down and I just look at then and say, “Oh how wonderful! Thank you for the compliment!” LOLOL!! Only I say it with genuine warmth. So I am so so so grateful that you spread smiles, heart and soul everywhere you go. I am right beside you my friend doing the same. Never stop, Lance, because it makes a HUGE difference in your kid’s lives, in my life and other people’s lives. Bless you for being so vibrant and willing to meet life head on. Hugs and love, Robin

Robin Easton´s last blog post..I had a vision…

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Liara Covert February 4, 2009 at 7:35 pm

What a person chooses to get out of life depends on his level of conscious awareness. As a person evolves, his idea of what is “good” changes. The brain plays with information that it has stored. The mind is linked to random, uncontrolled thoughts that seem to wander. Laughter can be mysterious. To permit feelings to bubble up though you enables you to learn a lot about yourself. People laugh for a variety of reasons; for joy, pain, disbelief, sarcasm and others. It is not just the gesture of giggles or smiles that matters, but what it is telling you underneath the obvious.

Liara Covert´s last blog post..Energize your spirit

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Patricia February 4, 2009 at 8:14 pm

I heard that if you smile as you are exercising you lose burn 10 calories per 30 minutes. I smile at everyone as I do my 3 miles around the lake.

Also when I take my blood pressure – smiling and thinking about my blessings always makes it come out at a better spot.

Thanks for another fun post – and wow your pictures are great and very smiley! Thank you for sharing them too

Patricia´s last blog post..I Needs

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Mindful Mimi February 5, 2009 at 1:52 am

Hi Lance,
Smiling is the secret to a lot of things. It sure is one of the steps to happiness and fulfillment. It is not always easy to put a smile on your face when everything has been going bad. But it is easier to do than many other things. Just lifting the edges of the mouth. There. A bit higher. The eyes get involved. If we can’t bring it on ourselves, we can always get a little help on You tube and watch some funny baby laugh it’s deep belly laugh 🙂
I love the pictures you put on! I guess your family knows that any picture taken is bound to be used on your blog. But I guess they don’t care? 🙂 It’s great to see such a happy bunch.
Have a great day.
Mimi

Mindful Mimi´s last blog post..It takes a long time for a man to look like his portrait – James Whistler

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Arswino February 5, 2009 at 2:04 am

Hi Lance, I love this part “We all can choose how we live our lives.”
Thanks for reminding the power and beautiful of smile, Lance and nice to know your family. 🙂

Arswino´s last blog post..The Color Of Friendship

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Lance February 5, 2009 at 4:21 am

@Ian – Well…maybe it’s the way I wrote it! The gist of it all is that an optimistic outlook is much better for your health and well-being. I did good at being confusing I guess!

@LisaNewton – Glad to hear your friend is going to be okay, Lisa. Especially in moments like this – a smile can really be a calming touch.

@Suddenly Slimmer – Great to hear your smiling from this, Alia! Keep on doing that!

@Evelyn – And a big smile right back at you, Evelyn! Glad you liked the pictures. And that this post provided an uplift – that’s the best news of all!

@Zandria – Yep, they definitely make me smile! Tnanks Zandria! And, do put up some silly pictures – every time you look at them, you’ll get a little extra smile…

@Tess – We DO try to laugh and have fun around here! Thanks for stopping in Tess…

@Kathy@Virtual Impax – I love your “study”!! Your daughter sounds just like our kids – into all the sports (the same ones too…well…we have football and baseball for the boys too!). So, I’ll pass this excellent advice on to them. And hey, I can start this weekend – on the basketball court! Oh, and then I’m outta here – off to pitch this to a few of the fortune 500 companies — some of them could use an extra smile anyway, about now…

@Gennaro – Glad you liked the quote by Hanh. Great point you’re making, too, Gennaro. Just the act of smiling can brighten our days. It doesn’t take much to put a little extra kick in our step!

@Miruspeg – It’s great to see you back here Peggy! I love your philosophy – know that I’m smiling back in your direction right now. Keep spreading smiles! And, thanks for sharing that acronym for SMILE – that is very cool! And here’s to synchronization!!

@Evita – Thank you, so much, Evita. And I love how you’ve said that – “…… really what could be easier and better. It is so beautiful and powerful and addictive and contagious.” — especially the word “contagious”! We CAN spread the “smile bug” from person to person pretty easily!!

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Lance February 5, 2009 at 4:22 am

@Diane – When a smile starts from the inside, it really is a wonderful thing! “Be contagious” — I love that! Like I mentioned to Evita, above – it’s like we can spread teh “smile bug” so easily – and what a wonderful thing TO spread!

@Mike Foster – Keep on smiling Mike! And yes – why do we need to be reminded? Why do we stop sometimes? I do. And yet – it’s free, it’s easy, and it just feels great – awesome reasons to do this as much as possible!

@Henie – I’m sending a smile back your way now Henie! You always leave me uplifted!!

@Carla – Thanks on the photos Carla! I think this is a good reminder for us all. Smiling can lift us up – sometimes when we’re down a bit. And…it helps those we meet – if we share that smile with them. I’m sending a smile your way, my friend…

@Robin Easton – Robin, what can I say. I thought of you as I wrote this post – about you rolling down a hill! You area a constant source of happiness, smiles, and joy. Don’t ever stop being that way. I see you as being a “Pollyanna” — that being a very awesome thing Robin! You exude optimism! So, I’ll make you a deal Robin — you promise to keep on spreading smiles where you are — and I’ll do it where I am! And some day our smiles shall meet…

@Liara – There is so much truth here Liara. What is this smile, this laughter – telling us? There is so much more to it all than what is on the surface. Being aware, how powerful that can be! Thank you, Liara, for this deeper look at joy in our lives…

@Patricia – Just for the fact that it “might” burn more calories to smile – I’m doing it more!! Even if it doesn’t – the good it spreads is way worth it! And about your blood pressure – great evidence (unscientific?) that smiling really is good for our health! Glad you enjoyed the pictures!

@Mindful Mimi – Smiling sure can bring happiness and fulfillment (not to say it solve all the problems we have – although it certainly can make things easier). There are a couple of video of babies on Youtube that I love too! Even having seen them several times, they never stop making me laught! The pictures – thanks Mimi! They’re a pretty great group to work with (I certainly think so!)!!

@Arswino – Thanks Arswino! “Choice” is such a powerful and empowering word – one that really has the ability within it for us to decide….to choose…

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Carrie A Groff February 5, 2009 at 6:35 am

I LOVE smiling!!! I just recently got laid off from work and my co-workers all say that they miss my smiling face every morning because I would always walk around the office smiling and saying “Good Morning!” to everyone. I’ve always been a very optimistic person and it’s nice to meet other likeminded people! Thank you for sharing this wonderful post!!

Carrie A Groff´s last blog post..Snow Day!

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Happiness Is Better February 5, 2009 at 6:55 am

It’s hard not to smile given the pictures alone. Thanks for putting this post together and putting a smile on my face.
Have a great day!

Happiness Is Better´s last blog post..Carnival of Personal Development – February 2, 2009

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Broderick Allen February 5, 2009 at 11:06 am

Thanks for reminding me of this Lance. Smiling is an instant mood changer. It would be hard for someone’s mood to stay down after seeing those photos. Thanks so much for posting this.

Broderick Allen´s last blog post..No Need to Defend Your Point of View

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brandi February 5, 2009 at 4:15 pm

yes!! I adore this post. And you know, some say that you don’t smile because you are happy, you are happy because you smile.

so the action leads to the feeling.

fun to think about huh?? And smile about!!!!!

brandi´s last blog post..I feel obligated to warn you that I’m gathering an army

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Lance February 5, 2009 at 8:45 pm

@Carrie – First off, I’m sorry to hear about you being laid off from work. There has been much of this recently. What I really feel you have going for you, though, is your attitude – full of life and highly optimistic. Wishing you the best going forward Carrie…

@Happiness Is Better – Thanks much! And, I’m glad I was able to spread a little bit of goodness through a few smiles!

@Broderick – A smile really can change someone’s mood! And, for the good!! Glad you liked these pictures, thanks much!

@Brandi – Hey, I love that Brandi! Want to get happy? Smile! Very fun to think about – it’s like a new twist on this whole smile concept. And it’s making me smile…and that’s making me happy…

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Jocelyn February 6, 2009 at 3:48 am

HI Lance! Here’s a smile for you 🙂 It’s really nice to see those wonderful smiles, thanks for sharing

Jocelyn´s last blog post..A Different Prayer Blog Carnival 02.06.08

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Celes | EmbraceLiving.Net February 6, 2009 at 8:19 am

Hey Lance, your post brought a smile to my face! 😀 I agree that a smile always returns more smiles – more often than not, whenever I beam a smile at someone, whether a stranger, friend, or whoever, I almost always get a warm smile back as well. The best thing is when it’s with a stranger, you’ll see a momentarily stunned look (probably because they’re not used to seeing people smiling), after which they promptly return with a wide smile back too. It’s beautiful 😀

PS: Your kids are really cute!!

Celes | EmbraceLiving.Net´s last blog post..How Rich Are You?

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Tabitha February 6, 2009 at 8:38 am

I truly loved reading this! I agree we should smile at others and for ourselves daily!

*Sending a great big smile your way!*

Tabitha´s last blog post..Day 6: Follow Up Give For Little Tuesday

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Jennifer February 6, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Lance, when you’re so busy working to make the world a better place like you do, then you have plenty of reason to smile. Thanks for adding so many smiles to so many faces.

This was such a feel good post. I couldn’t help but feel good reading it – and I couldn’t help but smile. I have noticed over and over again that if I just smile I feel better. Thanks for a reminder to do just that. Although, lately I’ve been reminded about how blessed I am and the smile comes automatically. God has been so good to me.

Jennifer´s last blog post..Thinking Error List

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Sara February 6, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Lance, Reading this post came at a perfect time for me. Looking at the pictures you shared made me SMILE…even the frowning one. Are they pictures of your family? If so, you can see the love and humor in their faces! Thanks for a perfect pick me up!

Sara´s last blog post..A Facebook challenge with a twist!

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Tom Volkar / Delightful Work February 6, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Just reading Red Skelton’s name made me smile. What a legacy! You are following right in his footsteps.

Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s last blog post..Off Kilter, Pissed and Real

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Lance February 6, 2009 at 5:40 pm

@Jocelyn – Hi Jocelyn! It was fun to share these smile – glad you enjoyed them too! And thanks for the smile…it beams from your picture here!

@Celes – Awesome Celes, that’s what I like to hear! Isn’t that a great thing about smiles – you give one out, and you almost always get one back! And with strangers…and the initial strange looks, before a smile – awesome! And thanks on the pictures!!

@Tabitha – Thanks much Tabitha! And I’m taking your smile in, and sending one right back at you!

@Jennifer – Jennifer, you are way way too kind to me (although it is making me get this big ol’ grin across my face!). Your comment reminds me of what Brandi said, up above – about the action (smiling) leading to the feeling (better/happy/etc) – I love that thought. It really says to me that we can bring those better feelings on by just simply smiling. And of course, when we think of the blessings in our lives – that can make the smiles come pretty easily. I have much to be thankful for – and that makes me smile too! God is great, isn’t He!

@Sara – Ha! I’m glad you like the frowning picture too! We were doing that on purpose – really a goofy picture of all of the boys in the house trying to frown! Yes, these all pictures of my family – my children and wife. Glad to hear this was a ‘pick me up’ for you Sara!

@Tom – Hey, glad to put a smile on your face Tom! Although, I kind of think there’s one there quite a bit, anyway! Thanks much Tom!!

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Henie February 6, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Stoppin in to leave you and your family a big Friday SMILE!

“Wanna know what really makes me SMILE? People who SMILE for no good reason!” ~Henie~

Henie´s last blog post..Friday Focus

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CG Walters February 6, 2009 at 6:31 pm

…..bless you, Lance.
Yes, smile! Time flies when you’re enjoying yourself, until one day, you realize, ‘What? I’m 95?! I never even noticed, I was having so much fun!’
peace and wonder to you and all your dear ones,
CG

CG Walters´s last blog post..CelebraZine 06Feb09

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Patricia February 6, 2009 at 6:46 pm

I have to respond to CG-
Just before my mum’s 94th birthday one day she said..”Life is no longer fun since I fractured my back. Time flies when you are having fun and enjoying life – even the problems give you life! I must be ready to let go, cause it is no longer fun” I wrote it down on her daily chart…and she let go 3 months later.

Patricia´s last blog post..Observation Point

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Robin February 6, 2009 at 8:18 pm

I think it’s great to smile, as long as we are feeling it authentically. Being happy is a wonderful goal to have.

Robin´s last blog post..The Genie That Keeps On Giving

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meleah rebeccah February 6, 2009 at 8:46 pm

I’ve lost my smile. Can I borrow YOURS?

meleah rebeccah´s last blog post..Friday Funnies:

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Cricket February 6, 2009 at 9:18 pm

You make me smile. I have to say you are one happy family!

My day is not complete without having a smile and sharing a smile.

Cricket´s last blog post..Frosty the Snowman continues

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Giovanna Garcia February 7, 2009 at 12:47 am

Hi Lance

I love this post. You have bring so much joy to so many people:-)
“A smile starts on the lips, A grin spreads to the eyes, A chuckle comes from the belly; But a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, Overflows, and bubbles all around” ~ Carolyn Birmingham
Thank you for this.
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

Giovanna Garcia´s last blog post..An accident became an invention that sold over 250 million.

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Lance February 7, 2009 at 5:28 am

@Henie – Thanks for the smile Henie! I’m gettin’ in on Saturday, and that works too! They’re good any day of the week.

@CG Walters – Maybe that’s a part of the ‘living long’ theory… if you’re smiling then you’re having fun. And if you’re having fun, then time is just zipping right by – until you’ve reached a ripe old age, and still have much to be thankful for. Thank you CG!

@Patricia – Wow, what a perfect example of this – thanks for sharing it here Patricia. Happiness at work…and then the opposite. How quickly life changed when it was no longer fun. You mother’s life does sound quite full and joyous, though, and that is good news.

@Robin – Authentic smiles are the best. Being ‘real’ is what it’s all about, after all. However, sometimes just the act of smiling is enough bring some extra jo into our lives. Thanks for reminding me Robin, just how important being authentic is…

@Meleah – Oh, you certainly can have mine. It was meant to be given away. And I do want to see you find joy and happiness in your life, Meleah. It’s out there. This smile…it’s all yours, my friend.

@Cricket – Thank you Tammy. Smiling and sharing a smile – great things to be able to do everyday – keep on doing that Tammy. In fact, you leave a smile here whenever you visit – and my day is brightened! Thanks for being ‘you’, and for stopping by and leaving a bit of your sunshine!

@Giovanna – Hi Giovanna. Thank you for your wonderful words. And for sharing such a fitting quote to go with this post. Smiles are good things to have. A good laugh – that’s a real joy and can also really spread goodness!

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Michelle February 7, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Thank you for this post Lance, I believe that a warm smile can brighten anyones day and help them live longer. I wrote about my great-aunt on my blog, she is 101 years old and the happiest, most energetic and optimistic person I have ever met. She is fit and healthy and she looks about 70 years old, or younger.

Thank you for sharing your families wonderful smiles.

Michelle´s last blog post..Live Full, Die Empty (Part 1 of 2)

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managed first aid services February 7, 2009 at 5:19 pm

This is really a superb post……Thank you
first aid cabinet

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Lance February 8, 2009 at 4:06 am

@Michelle – Hi Michelle. Your great-aunt is a shining example of happiness and it’s benefits as we get older! Awesome! Staying fit and healthy are also great ways to sustain life as we get older. What a wonderful example in so many way – thanks for sharing Michelle!

@Managed First Aid Services – Thank you!

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Ribbon February 9, 2009 at 6:41 pm

I like your blog! 🙂

Ribbon´s last blog post..SNAKE

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Lance February 9, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Hi Ribbon, thanks for stopping by, and for your kind words!

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Dayflyer February 10, 2009 at 6:59 am

Hi Lance, great post and love the family pics.
Smiling is great, and giggling is equally good, and highly infectious.
We went for a walk Sunday and ended up on the beach. I decided to climb around some rocks, misjudged it and found myself up to my ankles in water as the waves rushed in.
It just started me giggling and I spent the rest of the walk grinning, despite soggy jeans and shoes.
Another happy memory to add to the stocks.

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Dr. J February 10, 2009 at 10:06 am

Hi Lance!

Thanks for commenting on my column!

I’ll never forget the day, when walking through my fitness center, I saw a very old man being helped along by two young folks, each holding up half of him! He had this wonderful smile on his face, which is not typical of most of the older folks I see. Maybe his face got stuck there like his mother warned him about, but it sure got stuck in a nice place 🙂

Dr. J´s last blog post..Nibbles: Watching TV as a teen leads to poor diet later, diabetes drug recalled in China and eating during and after “The Biggest Loser”

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Lance February 10, 2009 at 10:08 pm

@Dayflyer – Thanks, it was fun sharing some photos of us! Giggling – that is a great offshoot of smiling – I love it! And, I love your story – you could have easily looked at this through a negative lens – yet looking at it and laughing – what a much more uplifting way to view it all. Wonderful story, and it fits here so well – thanks for sharing it! (and I hope you’re soggy no more – but still smiling and giggling!!)

@Dr. J – Hi Dr. J! Great stuff you have at your site – I’ll be back!! Stuck with a big ol’ smile – great story – and great attitude on life! That’s how I want to be when I’m much older – remain positive even if I find my body failing me…Thanks for the story!

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Kevin February 12, 2009 at 2:03 am

In principle, I couldn’t agree more with your article and many of the comments.

Just a note for those travelling, in some parts of the world you may get an unexpected reaction from strangers if you smile at them in public. In France, and particularly in Paris, for example, people may think that your smile is a “put down” about their appearance.

Kevin´s last blog post..Bikini – Swimsuit Tendance

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Lance February 12, 2009 at 7:23 am

Hi Kevin – That’s an excellent point – what to one culture might be a gesture of love or acceptance – to another culture that can mean an entirely different thing. Thank you for pointing this out. In this case, here in the United States – the smile is looked upon very positively. When in other countries, it’s important to understand the culture.

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Mike King February 14, 2009 at 11:30 am

Wow Lance, a great topic with a ton of smiles added through the comments. I had to add mine as well.

A point about smiles is how contagious they are and it fits with your point that it’s tough to be mad or unhappy while smiling. Same applies to others, so go out there and give some smiles in life to strangers, to colleagues and to family…

Mike King´s last blog post..What Does Working Hard Mean to You?

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Lance February 17, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Hi Mike: The more smiles the better!! And, they’re an easy gift to give away – we always have one with us (even if we’re not always showing it)!

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Jenny February 17, 2009 at 10:14 pm

Just reading this post made me smile! Also your comment on my blog from before, that made me smile too! Sometimes it’s the simplest gesture that can make a person’s day!

Keep it up Lance!

Jenny´s last blog post..Not My Omega

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Lance February 18, 2009 at 4:35 am

Hi Jenny. And a smile is a great thing to put on! I’m smiling now, too, because of you and your comment here – thank you Jenny!

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Julie Ellis April 6, 2011 at 11:54 am

Good afternoon Lance~
I stopped by the Jungle today, to read some past posts and I was greeted with an oldie but goodie …{Smile!}
Where you are, you are probably still getting snow! Outside my window, most of the snow is gone again. It is gloomy & raining…your {words} & smile, and the grins from your family, {brightened my day!}
Take care, friend!
Julie 🙂

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Lance April 6, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Hi Julie!!!
{smiles…to YOU!!!} –> which you’ve just brought to me, as I soak in your comment…

The snow has stopped!! (…and mostly melted, too!!) Warm weather, though…we’re still waiting!!

Glad to bring a smile on a rainy day (…and rainy and gloomy here, too…so it’s a completely two-way street)!

Have a wonderful, wonderful afternoon…

Big hugs,
Lance

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Chris Barba April 7, 2011 at 8:25 am

Lance – Today is a day that I needed to read this post. They say that even forcing a smile on your face can actually elicit some positive emotion.

It comes down to that very simple point you made. Our time is limited – do you want to be sad or happy? I’ll go with the latter.

Smiling gets you the most bang for your buck. It’s simple and easy, and can create some truly amazing outcomes.

I love how you weave quotes into your articles! Great stuff.

Cheers!

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Lance April 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Chris,
A smile sure is powerful, isn’t it!! And, yes! – with the time we have here on earth, how are we choosing to spend it? Let’s spread the happiness!

It’s great to “meet” you!! And…I love quotes, too!

Have a GREAT one!

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Sagan April 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm

There is so much happiness and love in a smile!

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Lance April 7, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Hey Sagan!!
Yes, there sure is!! And you’re a spreader of much happiness!!

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Jannie Munster-Monster April 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm

“elderly people, who maintained an optimistic outlook, were less likely to die than those with a more pessimistic outlook. ” So smile and you’ll live forever?? 🙂

Ahhh, we live forever anyway, but a smile does make the journey more pleasant.

xoxo

And fun how you linked this from 2009!! whoooohoooo
Jannie Munster-Monster´s Last Fabulous Post ..Some Feet- a poemMy Profile

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Lance April 11, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Jannie!!!
I’m going with the “smile and you’ll live forever” motto! And hey ~ even if it’s not forever (you know…here on earth, in the form we’re in now) – we’ll be happier during our time here (…and that’s pretty darn cool!)!!

It’s like I’m going retro, isn’t it!! Hmmm….maybe that’s a stretch!

x’s and o’s to you, sweet friend…

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Make You Smile April 25, 2015 at 3:27 pm

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I am going to bookmark your blog and keep checking for new details
about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.
Make You Smile´s Last Fabulous Post ..Make You SmileMy Profile

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