Be Better With A Smile

17 Apr

Be better with a smile - P190414

Hi Everyone!

Due to Good Friday and Easter everything got a bit messed up in my time schedule and I totally forgot to write my post (Mainly because I kept mixing up the days)! :O I know, I cannot imagine how that happened either! Oh, and as you may have noticed I am tweaking the design of the website a bit. Again? Yes, sorry it is getting a habit but I do it to make is easier and more structured for YOU! So any comments please let me know below or visit the contact page to write to me personally. Due bare in mind that I am still in the process of tweaking, meaning I am not done yet ;). Soooo, remember the tasks I was testing for you the past two weeks? If not, here they are:

 * Concentrate these weeks on the edges of your mouth. Are they down? Pull them into a smile.

** Write down at least twenty things you are good at. Take three of them and develop them further.

Face the world with a smile on your face

Trying to keep this in the back of your mind all the time turns out to be not that easy. Not even for me, even though I was more aware of smiling already before this task and in general I smile a lot :D. There were two situations in which I generally did think about this task. One was while I was biking, mostly to and from work and the other situation was during my yoga exercises. It takes me between half an hour to 45 minutes to bike to work. While biking I try to stay in the presents and being aware of the traffic, next to this it is the perfect moment to be aware of smiling. Mostly because either I am not paying any attention to my face and the edges of my mouth are just down, or I am actually frowning because I am concentrating on the traffic. Really in both situations it is nicer to smile. It definitely increases how happy I arrive at work in the morning if I was smiling on the way there or not. A little warning: I did have a bad day, unbelievable but even I have those, and I tried smiling on my bike to cheer myself up and I am sure it looked like a grimace. Not a pleasant thing to see, (I am pretty sure I scared some pedestrians) and it also did not make me feel any better. So if you are truly having a bad morning, do not try this :). Making sure I smile during my Yoga exercises helps me to relax and to dive deeper into the postures I am doing. It helps me to let go of all the extra tension that might still be left. Smiling while you concentrate feels a lot nicer than having your face all folded and tense. Really a nice tasks to try.

Something for you? If you are going to try this tasks, first of all do not be too hard on yourself for not remembering it all the time. We simply have the habit of thinking about other stuff and habits are difficult to change. However, it all starts with awareness! The more you do recognise that you could be smiling, the easier it becomes to think about it. As a little tip: maybe first start with one particular thing or a particular moment in the day you would like to do this task. For example, on your way to university or work or while doing the dishes. Being more concrete about the time and place might make it easier to stick to it.

Be good, be better, be at your best!

Twenty things I am good at, twenty! As I said in my last post, I still think twenty is a lot. I almost started a whole philosophical discussion about what it means to be good at something answering questions like: ‘Can you still be good at something if everyone else is better at it’ and stuff like that. Than I thought that for once, let’s not overthink and just to this. So here is what I got after a lot of brainstorming:

I am good at:

  1. Writing poems (that one was the most obvious)
  2. Holding speeches (preferably once I have written myself)
  3. Telling stories
  4. Talking (who would have guessed that? :D)
  5. Listening (at least there is a counter balance)
  6. Cooking
  7. Cleaning (I must have been the perfect housewife in a previous life)
  8. Giving advice
  9. Enjoying life
  10. Biking
  11. Creating and holding presentations
  12. Academic paper writing
  13. Asking (critical) questions
  14. Organising
  15. Being on time
  16. Being authentic (being true to myself and act accordingly)
  17. Complimenting others
  18. Making others feel comfortable (to be fair I think I am also pretty good at doing the opposite)
  19. Finding something to be grateful for/something positive in every situation
  20. Having faith that everything turns out right

I think that is about it. You can see a little shift somewhere in the middle to academic and work related things I am good at. These are most of the skills I write down in my applications and mostly due to my years at UCM :). The task also asks me to pick three of these things I am good at and to develop them further. I do not know if I should pick the things I find most important, which is definitely 1. being authentic 2. finding something to be grateful for and 3. enjoying life. Or things that I am already good at but I can improve a lot, which would be 1. Cooking, 2. Telling stories (and writing them down), and 3. Organising. I think you can always do those things better. I think I am going for cooking, because I just have a new cookbook and I want to eat more healthy and self-cooked meals (Big thanks to Jamie Oliver for making it so easy!). The second one is: Telling stories. The reason for choosing this one is because there is this one story that is stuck in my head for ages and really needs to get out. And the third one is: Having faith that everything will turn out right. This one because a lot of change is going on and exciting new projects are waiting, which is always just as scary as exciting. Therefore being a little better at this last one will surely not hurt.

Something for you?: If you need an ego boost, definitely write down 20 things you are good at. Do not feel bad if you do not get very far; take some time to think about it. You are probably good at several things you find easy and these are things you never thought about as you being good at it. You can also ask the help of some friends, which will also increase your ego boost. Paying a little extra attention to these things you are good at never hurts and surely makes it fun to do :).

Neeeeeeeeeeew card! Yes, let’s see which next tasks I am allowed to try out for you:

Task 55:

Write down the things about which you ruminate often. Make a deal with yourself to have one moment once a day or once a week when you are allowed to ruminate. Outside of that moment, stop ruminating.

This is a very interesting task and I am excited to try it out. A while back I would have said that there are no things I ruminate about. To be honest I am not a very anxious person, which was confirmed only recently as it turned out I was the only one who was not anxious about death or the nothingness that might come with it. This was in a course of spiritual psychology, and might need a long explanation for you to understand it. Basically I am not an anxious person and ruminate only very seldom. This has increased though, from never to seldom, mostly because the future is coming closer :). Maybe this exercise will help. Let’s see!

Task 56:

Count how many times a day you are laughing. Double that amount.

For my laughing is very strongly connected to social interaction. When my social life was flourishing in the middle of my student life I was laughing very often. This decreased a lot since I moved to London, mostly because my social life didn’t move with me. This all sounds a little sad, but nothing to worry about, building up a new social life just takes a while. The amount I laugh at work has increased a lot over the last couple of weeks. I don’t really know what was the trigger, but we are chatting and joking a lot more, which results in a lot o laughing. It makes the work atmosphere so much better and I enjoy my work much more on those days! I will start counting now to see how often it actually is.

Have a wonderful time, be healthy and feel good!

Lot’s of love,


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