Monday, November 17, 2014

Act Enthusiastic and You’ll Feel Enthusiastic

Some of my undergraduate classes took place in the evening, at a community college. After a full day on the job we adult students would traipse into school, tired and perhaps a bit out of sorts, still in our work clothes and work personas. Many of us were the sole support of our households. All of us were responsible, serious adults, determined to continue our educations. Oh, at times we were a grim group.

In one particular class our professor was a human dynamo, about as big as a minute, but as wise as a century. No matter where we were in our moods or our careers, we were all very respectful of her.  When she said “Jump,” we jumped~~~quite literally.
Not at every class, but sometimes, she would walk into the room, take a look at us, and command everyone to stand. Then she would order us to do a number of vigorous jumping jacks, as we all shouted, “Act enthusiastic and you’ll feel enthusiastic!”
A few moments later we would be in our seats, panting, perhaps, ties and scarves askew, but newly energized and eager to learn.
Now, anyone who has ever been in a customer service environment is familiar with such mandates as, “smile when you greet the customer,” or “a smile can be sensed over the phone.” The message seems to be that the smile is for the benefit of the customer. While that is true, it gets even better than that.
By acting as if we are happy, we become happy, since emotions follow actions. Feel free to test this statement on yourself. One caveat: You need to reach into your heart for a real smile. A sickly grin, a sarcastic smirk, will not bring forth your desired effect. Have you ever been advised to, “Have a nice day,” in such a way that you understood it was not the actual message? Then you know exactly what I mean.

And if you have difficulty in bringing up that smile, just stand up right now and do five jumping jacks. Here's to your happy, enthusiastic Monday!
 Jeannie Newman, JZN

No comments:

Post a Comment