“Just whistle while you work
Put on that grin and start right in to whistle loud and long
Just hum a merry tune
Just do your best and then take a rest and sing yourself a song
When there’s too much to do
Don’t let it bother you, forget your troubles
Try to be just like a cheerful chick-a-dee
And whistle while you work . . .”
Source: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
She is singing along to a song being played as background music at the restaurant in Orange Beach, Alabama where we are gathered for lunch. This songstress is our server and I observe her as she hands out menus and utensils folded neatly into napkins. As she returns with our drink orders, I ask, “Are you going to sing for us today?” “No,” she quickly replies, completely unaware that she had been singing earlier while performing her initial lunch routine. I find it amazing that this young lady is unconscious of her own joyful approach.
How nice, I think – someone so engaged in a task, full of joy in the process, yet completely unaware of being noticed by others. It reminds me of my youth when Dad, engrossed in a household repair project, commandeering me into helping. Often, he whistled as he worked. Was he whistling because the repair was being made to his own home, for which he had pride? Was he whistling because he was saving money through a DIY (do it yourself) project? Was he whistling because he enjoyed doing the actual work?
I never asked those questions. But, looking back today, I imagine that the answers might have included all of those elements. Pride in ownership . . . enjoyment of the actual work and a measureable benefit. Great incentives for anyone tackling a project. Do you agree? How many of your ventures contain all of these features? How about your work? What about your daily routines?
While whistling is an easy cue to sense, there exist other less recognized elements that are powerful communicators of our current mental state of mind. The non-verbal, according to many experts, is the most powerful form of communication we possess. And while whistling may reflect a positive state of mind, many choices we have in non-verbal communication can be negative. Or, they can be positive. We get to decide.
How we walk, the way we hold our head or shoulders and the movement of our eyes are all powerful forms of communication. Facial expressions will project a smile or a frown. After years of reading what the experts think on this topic, I have identified one essential conclusion about non-verbal communication: Non-verbal expressions are the most honest and powerful form of communication. It trumps verbal every single day. It is how we really ‘talk’ to others. We do it without uttering a single sound!
When sad, do we slump in our seats? When we are retreating, or have been defeated by some event in our life, is our head hanging down? Is our walk not as upright and spirited? When we are happy or excited for someone else, do we even have to say a single word? No, it’s ‘written all over our face’ – and our hands, and our shoulders . . . and . . . our whole body!
We are always communicating. Even when we do not want to communicate, we are indeed sending a message. We may not even make a sound, like whistling, but the reflection of thought is there. And others recognize it.
Today – What do you want to say to the important people surrounding you? What are you trying to say?
Future – Ten years from now, when you review the relationships in your life and the impact you had, what do you hope others will remember about you? What did you try to say to them?
While non-verbal revelation is the vital engine that performs the real work of communication, it also provides a reliable internal survey about the current condition of our lives. What is your survey revealing?
Are you proud of what you do?
Do you love to do what you do?
Is there a benefit for you and others?
Are you whistling – perhaps even singing? Are these actions a bridge too far? What about your non-verbal communication? Are others aware of your joyful approach? Do you have a joyful approach?
Today, my actions will communicate pride and love and benefit everyone.
I can hear it now!