“Talk Less, Smile More”

February 9, 2016

On my little (unofficial) blogging hiatus, I developed somewhat of an obsession: Hamilton.

I know, I know. I’m not the only one. Everyone and their mother is listening to the soundtrack and clamoring for tickets to see the show in NYC. Even though I’ve only listened to the show on Spotify, I’ve been dying to connect with other fans and heck, let’s be honest, find a way to get to NYC and see that show for myself. (Emily saw it on her trip a few months ago and Mia is going this year. Obviously I’m super jealous!)

But, believe it or not, I’m not talking about Hamilton in this post. Well, not exactly. You see, in the second song of the show, antagonist Aaron Burr gives the titular Alexander Hamilton some unsolicited advice.

“Talk less, smile more.”

At the time, it wasn’t exactly what Hamilton wanted to hear (even though later on, the advice might have saved his life. #spoileralert #notreally #itshistory) But in listening to this song for the fourth or fifth (or 50th) time, it started to take on a different meaning for me.

If you don’t know me “in real life,” and even if you do, you might not realize that I have a tendency to… well… be a hothead sometimes. I sometimes can get snippy and defensive for no reason. I “jump off at the mouth” (as Hamilton might say) and make comments that aren’t helpful. I’ve realized that not only is this making me less of a positive person, but it’s also affecting those around me.

So, I’ve decided that “talk less, smile more” is my mantra for 2016. It’s something that I’ve already tried to implement in the new year, and I hope my friends can see a difference.

Let’s break it down:

Talk less” – Remember that line your parents would say, “think before you speak?” That’s something I’m trying to put into practice. Before I say anything, I want to really think about what I’m saying. Is it constructive? Could it be offensive? If I’m upset, I need to breathe and count to ten. Alternatively, it’s election season and everyone will be sharing their opinion. Before angrily typing out a response to someone on Facebook, I need to think about if what I’m saying is constructive.

That’s not to say that I won’t be talking about issues that are important to me. I’m extremely passionate about certain issues but always try to approach them in a civil manner.

Smile more” – Even though when Burr shares this advice to Hamilton it makes him sound complacent, I’m taking a different approach. To me, this is appreciating everything in life. Take things one at a time and really appreciate what is in front of you. Don’t be aggressive just for the sake of being aggressive. Be pleasant to everyone and thankful for those who do things for you. Say “I love you” to your friends and family. Let your coworkers know that you appreciate them.

So, there you have it. In 2016, I’m going to “talk less, smile more.” What’s your mantra or resolution for 2016?

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