Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The woman at the grocery store

There is a Stop and Shop in Arlington where I buy groceries - once a week or so. Most of my interactions with cashiers at the checkout counter are pretty normal - say hello, ask how you are, tell them that I want paper and plastic bags (or use the bags I brought), get groceries packed efficiently and go out of the way.

This woman - who's name was Ami - was different. She said hullo to me, and asked where the Mrs. was. Now I did not remember Ami - but she remembered my wife and I. When I told her that the Mrs. was at home, with the baby, she said that oh yes, she remembered that last time she ran into us, my wife Kerri was pregnant. Since Simran has turned 5 months ago, the incident was more than 5 months ago, likely longer. I got home, and asked Kerri if she remembered Ami - she did.

Why am I saying all this? It's simple - Ami tries to remember all her customers, takes interest in their lives, is pleasant. She doesn't do this with an objective in mind - she does not get paid any more for being friendly. She does it out of a choice - it makes her happier, it makes other people happier. And it's the right thing to do.

We often get caught in a vicious cycle - thinking that things will make us happy. A bigger house, a fancy car, a promotion etc. Happiness is a choice. The foremost drive of happiness - our own inner self-talk, and our relationships with others - which are also majorly affected by our own inner self-talk. So start with being happy - and other things will come into your life when they are supposed to.

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