Someone smells good.

Hola again, my beautiful and broken amigo...

Last week I was at a cafe' with a client and the first thing our server said when she came to our table made me smile:

"Someone smells good."

My client immediately said, "It must be him." Nodding in my direction. 

Sheepishly (and a bit embarrassed), I said, "Thanks?"

Tipping is not standard in Australia, so I don't think she was working our table. But, maybe, just maybe, this young lady in the cafe' on this particular day knew about the life-enhancing power of paying someone a compliment. 

Those three little words communicated so much. 

For starters, giving me a compliment meant she took the time to notice something unique or special about a situation or person. In this case, me. This requires paying attention. Being present. Which she was.

Giving a genuine compliment also took courage on her part to authentically acknowledge what she noticed in a non-offensive and positive way. 

You see, there's a huge difference between flattery and sincerity. 

Both the giver and the receiver of the compliment benefit neurologically from the exchange if it's genuine. Endorphins are released. Happiness is the result. 

My server was sincere and she genuinely made me smile.

The hidden magic of unsolicited and authentic compliments is they actually change the energy in the room.  They spark something in you whether you're the recipient or the one paying the compliment forward.

It's a win-win scenario. 

And, the best way to receive a compliment is to simply smile and say, "Thanks."

Which is what I did.

It is natural to feel a bit of embarrassment when someone lets you know something special about yourself.

In fact, how you react says a lot about what you think about yourself. If you have low self-esteem you'll question the compliment and disregard it as being too positive because it doesn't match up with the negative view you have of yourself. The opposite also holds true.

Just pay attention the next time you receive a compliment.

Rejecting the compliment is a way to protect yourself against being let down or disappointed. Accepting it reinforces a positive self-image.

Which is really quite interesting when you think about it. 

I'd encourage you to take the gratitude route if the compliment is sincere. You'll feel better and so will the person speaking into your life.

The server at the cafe' passed on a little positive spark to me which impacted me so much I'm now telling you the story. Paying it forward, if you will.

Just something to consider on your commute today.

Here's to paying attention with sincerity...

Steve Knox