Is your light on?
"I once read a story about Marilyn Monroe which said that she was conscious of turning the light on. She could walk down the street with her light turned off, and no one would even notice her. Then, she would consciously turn on her light, and could be seen like a brightly flashing neon. I read this many years ago, and think about it often. I tried it, and it works."
This quote by Carmen Colombo made me think. I work on the phone with customers who have suffered some unpleasant event (can you guess I work in an insurance company?). Many of them phone with the attitude that some dreary official is on the other end of the line, bored with everything and definitely not interested in helping them. And I admit sometimes the days are not all that pleasant, but I try to use this "putting on the light" -method on purpose. When the phone rings I take a deep, calming breath and decide this will be a good call, and I will help the customer to the best of my ability. And apparently you can hear that decision in my voice. Angry and nervous customers relax and quite often I even manage to make them laugh as well.
Also the funny thing is that this works with animals as well. When I see a dog in the street, I don't say or do anything visible. I just "put on the light" and think what a beautiful dog it is. Most dogs react to this immediately. They start pulling their leash and head my way. I have done this while sitting inside a car in the traffic lights and a dog walking by suddenly jumps against the window, tail wagging.
So switching on this inner light of empathy and kindness can be surprisingly effective.
Have you ever noticed the effect of switching your inner light on? Would you like to share your experience in this daily Happiness Journal? If so, send your story to