My life currently requires a fair bit of travel but I was definitely surprised by my latest flight as when I walked in I realized that my ticket was in 1st class! This is seldom the case and so I thought it must have been a courtesy upgrade due to frequent travel.
I was traveling with my colleague and remembering a story I had read a few months ago, I quickly decided that I was going to offer the seat to someone else. I mentioned this to my colleague and his response was to do the same! So together, he and I made our way through the plane, Smile Cards in hand, looking for an unsuspecting person to tag. Towards the back, we found a couple unsuspecting young folks and offered an upgrade. They jumped at the chance :)
Once we sat down in our new seat, the woman on the other side of the aisle looked at me and asked 'why would you give up comfy seats to strangers so you can sit back here?' I responded, 'So I could see a couple people smile, and they're not strangers, they're family!' She liked that answer :)
[Posting on behalf of a friend who I met at a recent dinner and was inspired by the intention behind Smile Cards.] Chapter One: It was Christmas Eve for most people – for me, and my longest-standing friend Lanie, it was just another Saturday night. We were going to meet for a waterside dinner on the Northern shore of Long Island before I headed onto I-95 on my way back to Providence. I arrived about 45 minutes early and on impulse popped into the Nail Salon a few doors up from the restaurant. The owner approached me asking what services I wanted. “Manicure” I answered. “Manicure Pedicure” she chirped. “No, just manicure today – I only have 45 minutes.” "Manicure Pedicure," she re-chirped. "Manicure Pedicure 45 minutes!" She walked me to the back of the salon, pointed to a chair, turned to her staff and without a seconds pause, she pulled up a chair ... Read Full Story >>
I recently had the chance to have a meal with some close friends who don't live in my city. The choice of restaurant was a pretty fancy one known for triple digit bills. We had a wonderful time together at the restaurant and approaching the end of the meal, I excused myself. I silently headed towards the waiter and asked him to charge the meal to my credit card, but to also not tell anyone that I did it. I signed for the meal and and quickly went back to my seat, no one the wiser for my trip. When it came time for the check, the waiter came by and told me and my fellow diners that the meal had already been paid for by an unknown person! They couldn't believe it and demanded to know who did it, but the waiter assured them he didn't know :) The response on ... Read Full Story >>
I recently received a story from a friend: So after a recent meditation group gathering, a wonderful soul that I trust and admire asked me to give away a beautifully constructed scarf with a smile card. I mean, living in New York City in the dead of winter, I thought this should be easy. There is a woman who sits outside in the cold, near my office building every single day. I instantly thought, Let me give it to her. She appears to be homeless, it is cold, and she sits there all day, everyday, outside of one of the richest jewelry stores in the world. Excitedly, I went to give her the scarf. She said, "What is it?" I told her, and she said, "No, I don't want it." And in that moment I was both perplexed and humbled. I wanted to plead with her, "It's cold, it’s snowing, you don't ... Read Full Story >>
I have recently got into a habit of catching up with my parents while I'm walking to the grocery store to buy my weekly food stuffs. It takes about 10-12 minutes and I figure its a good time to talk. The only thing is, I always end the conversation as I arrive at the grocery store. It always seemed like my parents wanted to keep talking, but I wouldn't have it. I'd just say "alright, I'm here, we'll talk later". A couple of weeks ago when I said this, my dad was a bit annoyed and said "why don't you just wait a bit?", and so I waited outside and continued the conversation. When it was over, I realized (quite late) that I was operating in too much of a me-centric world to see that my parents wanted to connect more. Since then, I'll still call on my way to the grocery store, but now once ... Read Full Story >>
I'm currently at a conference in Atlanta. The first night ended with two hours of what they called 'speed networking' - eight minutes to have a conversation with someone before a bell rings and you move on to the next person.
I know! It's something that only a business-type could come up with!
So I come into this situation and when the first bell rings you feel the tension straight away. The noise in the hall is deafening. I look to the person sitting across from me and say, "I have a humble suggestion. How would you feel about starting this with a minute of silence?"
After a long day at the conference everyone is tired but after ten of these 'speed networking' sessions and ten minutes of silent contemplation I feel quite fresh and have ten people I feel I connected with and gave the gift of a minute's rest to.
Sometimes the most efficient way to go is to do what is seemingly least efficient - just sit there!