Week 37 – The 10-5 Rule promotes ZAMitude.

   At a recent meeting, someone suggested implementing the 10-5 rule.  Of course, the rest of us said “The what rule?”  To which she replied, ” Let me explain.  The 10-5 rule states that when you are walking toward someone, at 10 feet  you smile, and at 5 feet  you say ‘Hello’.”  For a few seconds we sat there in silence.  What was she suggesting?  Not only do we have to look at people, but we have to say “Hello”?  That’s ridiculous.  Or is it?
       Being an open-minded person (at least that’s what I tell myself during my daily affirmations) I decided to give it a try.  So, last week, after a meeting I went for it.  The first thing I had to do was focus on smiling.  This does not come naturally for me.  In fact, in the past, I’ve had many people say to me things like “Turn that frown upside down”.  (I never thought that phrase was very funny, by the way.)  So, I purposefully smiled as I left the building.  In the parking lot, I made eye contact with a gentleman at 10 feet. (So far, so good).  Then, as I approached 5 feet, before I had  chance to say “Hello”, he said “You have nice hair!”  I was immediately taken aback, shocked, surprised, excited and happy all at the same time.  All I could mumble was “Thank you” as I continued to walk to my car.  Wow, that 10-5 rule really works.
         The next day I tried it again.  This time, the response was not so positive.  I’d smile at people at 10 feet, then most would avoid eye contact immediately (I must scare a lot of people or something)  which caused me to skip the  hello at 5 feet.  Big mistake.  Then, one time, I said hello anyway and they responded with a quick and excited “Hello”. 
      Why are people so afraid to talk to strangers?  Is it because of our childhood?  Is it because of the news?  Whatever the reason, wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where people weren’t afraid to smile and say hello.  I’m going to give it a try.  How about you?  What a great way to exhibit ZAMitude!

Z-Tip:  Use the 10-5 rule at least once a day with a stranger and feel your ZAMitude grow.  It IS contagious you know.

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