I was 17-years-old when I first put joy into words.
Hi, everyone! Liz Buechele here. I’m the founder of The Smile Project, a nonprofit dedicated to spreading Happiness through youth empowerment, intentional acts of kindness, and daily gratitude practices. But before The Smile Project became a certified 501c3 organization, before the creation of SPARK Clubs in educational institutions, and before the infamous #SmileProjectRoadTrip, there was one single car ride that changed everything.
In 2011, I was your regular high-school senior driving home along Western Pennsylvania backroads when I had a crystal clear thought, “Day 1: Happiness is.. those perfect car rides where the radio just plays all the right songs.” And, like all 17-year-olds in 2011 who think they have an idea that’s going to change the world, I went home, logged into a shared family computer, posted those words on Facebook, and promptly forgot about it.
What I didn’t realize at the time, was that that action was going to change my life.
Every single day since then, I have recorded a single daily joy, what I call “Happiness is.”
Now, it’s your turn. The Smile Project Ambassador Program is your opportunity to be part of a collective movement for joy. We believe that simple changes make a big difference and we know that when we are at our best, we have more to give to our loved ones and our communities. By joining the Ambassador Program, you are embracing the challenge to look for the good each day and to encourage others to do the same.
Smile Project Ambassadors are joy recorders. When you commit to finding something positive in each day, your mindset shifts to one of gratitude and awareness. Ambassadors are encouraged to share their daily joys on social media to inspire others with positivity. When you sign up for this free program, you receive 1 full year of personal development content designed to help you grow through gratitude.
A few weeks ago, on a video call with a dear friend, words were flying through the screen a mile a minute as I explained to them the launch of this program. Finally, they cut me off and said, “Why?”
“You mean why should someone join?” I asked, shifting tabs on my laptop, “I just wrote the copy for that today, one sec—”
“No,” my friend said. “Why are you doing this?”
I paused. I closed my eyes for a moment. And I remembered 17.
“Because,” I began, “even though it is something that I now–in so many ways–take for granted as just an inevitable part of my everyday life, it wasn’t always that way. Because I remember how, when I first started recording them, Happiness wasn’t on my radar. I know what it’s like to—after 1 week—think you’ve covered absolutely everything there is to smile about.”
“And more than that, I know how much it changed my life. I’m obviously not who I was at 17 (now at 26) for a multitude of reasons. But honestly, most of them stem back to that. This changed my life. It’s such a simple thing, and it radically changed every aspect of who I am. So, if I can give someone else this gift... I can’t imagine anything more important.”
We hope you’ll consider accepting this gift. Fill out this form to join the Smile Project Ambassador Program today.