Making Someone Else Smile

Posted: September 17, 2010 in Joe's Life, What Makes You Happy, Work and Play
Tags: , , ,

Smiles are contagious! They have the ability to transform a bad day into a tolerable day, they’re free to give out and they’re easy to give away. Plus, when you see the right person smile, it has the power to make you share a smile with someone else.

A couple weeks ago, I said the thing that makes me happy is celebrating and supporting my friends. So now it’s time to focus on what makes other people happy. Surprising a woman with flowers or a cup of coffee to a co-worker will almost always deliver a smile, but the cost of buying coffee and flowers can add up very quickly (trust me, I know).  Which is why understanding a co-worker or friend well enough to make them smile on a consistent basis is so valuable.

Do you know someone that can make you smile every time you see them?

If not, let me introduce you to Amit Patel. While it’s commonly believed that making someone smile is an art*, Amit has it down to a science.

Dr. Amit Patel (Specialty: Happiness)

Amit is the subject of this edition of “What makes You Happy?” because he radiates happiness from the moment you meet him. Monday through Friday he’s the guy walking through the hallways of Weber Shandwick with a giant smile on his face, a snap in his step and a story to tell from the weekend. It doesn’t matter if you’re an intern or a senior vice president, he’s loves to swap recipes, discuss NCAA sports (especially Purdue sports) and learn a little bit about your weekend.

Outside the office, he continues to bring energy and enthusiasm to all of the activities he does. My friends jokingly refer to my apartment as “Casa de Piehl” because people are frequently crash on my couch, but the number of guests Amit hosts in a weekend always trumps what I host in a month. His generosity extends beyond his willingness to host friends from out of town and enters daily life through his ability to be inclusive with a “the more the merrier” attitude.

Despite the fact that his accounting background places him in front of a computer and spreadsheets all day, he is a master chef and deserts are his specialty. No worries if you don’t have a sweet tooth, Amit is also perfecting a laundry list of Indian dishes.

Amit isn’t a real doctor but we call him Dr. Patel in good spirit because like a real doctor, he has a gift that helps others. For those of you looking to make more people smile, here’s a prescription to be more like Amit:

1) Smile every day and go out of your way to say hi in the morning.

2) Actively listen to what you’re friends are saying (Even if it’s in a cab at 3am on a Saturday night / Sunday morning).

3) Think about your dream job and everyday try to make it a reality.

4) Be your own man (or woman) and do the activities that make you happy. You’ll be more inclined to make other people smile, if you’re already smiling.

5) Look for reasons to celebrate.

6) Be inclusive.

*I have no scientific data to support the claim that making someone smile is an art. 🙂

Smiling Child Photo Source: Flickr


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