Do you have a Smile File?

What makes you feel better on a tough day?

I normally turn first the deepest, darkest chocolate as if I could bury myself in it and the caffeine buzz would carry me through the rest of the day.

But it’s only a temporary delicious fix.

What hands-down always does the trick is looking in my Smile File.

If you don’t have one, I highly recommend building one or two right now. I have a physical folder in my file cabinet and a virtual one in my Dropbox (yes, so I can view it on every device. You don’t know where you’ll be when you need it!).

A Smile File is a place to collect cards, notes, encouragements, testimonials and thank-you’s. We all get them, and unfortunately many people wave them away before really receiving these gifts.

Because when you are appreciated, the other person is giving you a gift. I wrote previously about how important it is to accept compliments.

The Smile File takes it one step further. It says what you’ve been given is so precious you’re going to save it and savor it for a long time. I have birthday cards from years ago still in there because what was handwritten inside felt like I was really seen.

What else is there: sweet comments from Facebook, encouraging texts from friends, and emails from former clients months after we worked together raving about the changes they made and thanking me for being part of it. There’s also this brochure my mom and I were featured in for the cancer center where she was treated in 2015. The look on her face is priceless as it documents the end of a rough period for both of us.

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Every time I dip into the physical and virtual folders, it feels like a nourishing hug.

Don’t get me wrong, it also feels a little uncomfortable. Like I should check the coast is clear so no one sees me look in there, because maybe this is selfish or self-centered and I’m not supposed to save these or need them.

But I do need them, and so do you!

It’s a natural human desire to feel acknowledged, loved and appreciated. The treasures in your Smile File remind you of the impact you’ve had in people’s lives so you can keep going.

It’s a cross between a sports coach on the sidelines cheering you on, and someone you love telling you it will be alright.

Everyone needs a Smile File and everyone has things to put in it as long as you recognize when people appreciate you, receive it, and save it.

What’s going in your Smile File?

I’d love to hear in comments!


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Tired of thinking about it?

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Trying to figure out how you’ll know?

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