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On Thoughts and Smiles

What we think, we become

There is a quote by Margaret Thatcher that I always recall before I speak to the audience. “Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. What we think, we become.” I have been telling myself that I need to think deeply to control my destiny.

In recent years, I have been giving nearly two hundred talks a year, but I used to find it so hard to speak in front of the audience. When I gave a lecture for the first time, I was so nervous that my mind went blank and I went over my time slot. Ever since then, I have many times felt worried and anxious before lectures.

When I was feeling really low, however, I told myself “I have come down this low. There is no other way but only to get better!” If I could look at my anxiety and a lack of confidence from a more objective point of view, I would be able to change my thinking habits and the results of my actions.

It is easy to give up when we are facing difficulties, but if we can control our way of thinking and speak positively, we receive encouraging feedbacks from those around us. That is how we can gain control over our own destiny, I believe.

We are happy because we smile

“Make yourself smile!” I start my lecture this way, and everyone lifts the corners of their mouth. When we smile, the muscle in our eyes and cheeks move and our brain senses it. Even when we are deliberately lifting the corners of our mouth, our brain sends out the signal that we are happy. We are happy because we smile.

After that exercise, I ask them. “Please turn around and look at the person next to you.” A wave of laughter fills the room, and the atmosphere changes instantly. If we smile at someone, they also smile back. Smile can toss out sad feelings from ourselves as well as others.

Come to think of it, smile kept me who I was when I was hospitalized. I kept smiling, because I didn’t want others to worry about me. Gradually, people started gathering around me. “You give me energy.” “I want to see your smiles.” With these positive words, I managed to overcome despair.

Smile is like a magic, for we can cheer ourselves up. When I see others smile, I feel very happy.

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