Smile More and Judge Less

Smile

Stress comes from not doing what we know we should be doing. ~ Rubén Gonzalez

Marshall Goldsmith conducts a unique exercise in his workshops. He did this activity with us in the 2-day workshop at ISB Hyderabad in January this year. We were asked to identify 1-2 minor changes in our behaviors that would have a major positive impact on our lives. We had the latitude to choose any area of life namely health, fitness, relationship, leadership etc.

Once we wrote two things on our notepads, Marshall asked us to frame one sentence to encapsulate those behavioral changes in 6 words. This was a tough task! It really made me focus and shave all unimportant words in my sentence. I took around 10 minutes to meditate on my words and finally settled with the sentence ‘Smile more and judge less’. This line acts as a constant reminder for me to find joy in life and to be aware of the fact that perceptions create realities (my two behavioral changes).

It’s been 90 days since I wrote this line and the message still rings in my ears once in a while to focus on new behaviors. I also have this posted on my message board at work!

Since then I have tried this exercise in 1:1 coaching and group workshops. Let me list a few lines people wrote in my workshops. I really love the way this activity piques people’s creativity.

Eat less and be healthy

Relax and Embrace Life

Enjoy more and complain less

Breathe deep and speak with a smile

Listen better and ask questions

Run and have more fun

Be happy

Let go and enjoy the inevitable

Talk less and accept more

Enjoy doing what needs to be done

How about you? When you do this exercise – what two things would you write? What would be your one-line slogan to remember? Go ahead and do this exercise. I appreciate if you can add your one-liners as comments on this blog. Before I sign off, let me reiterate mine – ‘Smile more and judge less’.

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