The “Three Foot Rule”

Many people think they have to have letters like M.B.A or Ph.D after their name in order to succeed. Now, Im not putting down higher education, but there are some very simple things that we can do to increase our chances of success. One of them is developing a Three Foot Rule.

This is probably the easiest and most profitable habit youll ever start. And by profitable, I dont just mean financial profit, although thats certainly there. I mean happiness profit. I mean piece of mind profit. I mean joy profit.

Starting right now, whenever someone comes within three feet of you, smile at them. Thats it. Seminar over. You may have been expecting something more complicated than that. If you were, you, like me, were taught that life is complicated. We were duped.

Life is easy. Taxes are complicated. Trigonometry is complicated. Dealing with a jackass boss who has the leadership skills of Attila the Hun is complicated. Life is easy. Life just is. Dont worry, Im not going to get all group hug, warm and fuzzy with you.

We all are so much more alike than different. We want to be appreciated, respected, loved and we want to have fun. A smile starts each of those things. Smile at people. Not a weird smile. Just a sincere I hope youre having a nice day kind of smile.

It may go nowhere, and thats okay because you dont have some ulterior motive for smiling. Youre just acknowledging people. Few people do this. Youre letting people know that youre aware that youre sharing the same space. Youre respecting them.

If a conversation starts, great. If not, thats fine, also. Do this for the next thirty days. And then sixty days and then ninety days. This is a life habit that will serve you well. I bet that if you and I reconnect a few years or a few decades down the road, well be able to tell each other some amazing stories of friends weve made, people weve comforted and lives weve touched. And thats worth the small effort of a smile.

And make sure youre doing this on Social Networking sites, also. Take the extra second to connect with the people on the other end of your screen. Let them know that youre friendly. You cant see it through your screen, but Im smiling at you. Were within three feet of each other right now. 🙂


Photo by Nicola Albertini

Comments 4

  1. Jerry Funk

    I agree 150%. Back when I was a teenager, (couple months ago, ha ha) my father sent me on an important errand to a neighboring town. I was a rookie driver, having just received my driver’s license. The sun was shining and the skies were beautiful blue. There was absolutely no reason in the world to have a frown upon one’s face, yet as I drove along I noticed that almost everyone was frowning. People appeared angry, worried, anything but happy like this gorgeous day suggested. To frown takes about the same amount of effort as smiling, and so I decided right then and there to start smiling. I decided that when people looked at me in the future, they’d see a smile on my face. Smiling makes one feel better, makes others feel better, and sure can help with one’s business customers. Smiling often can sooze an angry, upset customer. Jerry

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    Thanks for your thoughts, Jerry! Isn’t it amazing how a simple thing like a smile can change things. 🙂

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