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Smiling Connections

As a part of my senior research for college, I decided to reach out to people. I wish I could more narrowly define the scope of my interviewees, but it ranged from University students to retired artists to people who were still working full time jobs while running a start-up non-profit on the side.

I learned from people in every sector of business doing everything they could for the greater good. I was blown away that these people were so willing to drop everything and help out a college student, simply because I had asked for a little of their time.

I was able to talk with people for hours on the phone and I received page upon page of information through E-mail interviews.

I don’t know why I was so surprised by everyone’s willingness to help out, though. I had long experienced the community of helpers ever since I began The Smile Project.

The first connection I made was with Mike Worsman, creator of “a million smiles.” You can learn more about him and the project at the website by clicking here. Make sure to “like” him on social media as well here.

I always had a great time sharing ideas and talking about the direction we wanted to take our work. It was fun to have someone to share values with—especially when you are working on the same goal half a world apart.

The next community I really found myself wrapped up in was the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. I had always loved visiting the website for more ideas as to how to spread joy but it wasn’t until I filled out the application to become a RAKtivist that I became totally obsessed. When your application is accepted, you are put into a closed Facebook group called “RAKtivists.” Here, you are given the opportunity to connect with people from around the world who share similar values. People are constantly posting articles of interest, inspirational quotes and videos, and stories that really brighten my day. I love visiting the page if I’m feeling down, just to be reminded how much goodness is in the world.

The last connection I’ll talk about happened earlier last week when I was contacted by LiLi Roquelin. She is a musician who has just recently released a song called, “Smile” which you can listen to by clicking here. The Smile Project has afforded me so many of these opportunities to find people and be found by individuals who all simply love joy.

It never ceases to amaze me what a powerful community exists around inspiration. There are always people willing and eager to do something good for someone else and on top of that, they are always looking for people to befriend.

That being said, my challenge for you for this week is to connect with someone who shares a common goal as you. Maybe it’s a classmate or a co-worker who is trying to succeed in the next big project just like you are. Help each other out. That’s what makes this world wonderful.

And lastly, if you are in pursuit of your own happiness or know an organization that is, send them my way. I always enjoy hearing about other people’s successes and I think if we all work together a little more often, we could literally be unstoppable.

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