Freaky Far Out Friday Suggestion: Smile

Smile. Yeah, that is the crazy idea that might just solve your persistent problem. Don’t click away just yet. Hear me out. I think you will be glad you did.

Freaky Far Out Friday features a crazy idea that might just solve your persistent problem. Those that follow Murfield Coaching appreciate that we solve significant problems through innovative thinking. We work to magnify your unique value, not replicate what others do. That requires innovative thinking to solve significant problems. Our clients most appreciate our emphasis on building employee engagement, alleviating employee trauma, and unleashing disruptive innovation. Our research shows that innovation occurs most often within a cutting-edge organizational culture. 

A Small Change – A Big Difference

Significant problems cause us a lot of stress and that releases the hormone cortisol which causes us to shut down our creative process. To do what we consider “impossible” or at least highly challenging, we want to release a pleasure chemical like dopamine.

Let me give you the brief overview of this neruoscience.

When we are stressed, our bodies produce cortisol as a means of defense. That worked great in when in physical danger but not in solving significant leadership problems. That cortisol distracts us, in a way shutting down the pathways to the creative ideas that we need at that moment.

Remember the last time you lost your keys. Notice how you repeated the same gestures and looked in the same place several times (assuming you didn’t find them right away.) Why do we do that? Because we get stuck in the same “hamster on the wheel” type of thinking. Instead, we need to stop, relax and allow the dopamine to flow. This literally opens up a new pathway in the brain that will lead to solving the problem.

When you found your keys, or maybe just before you found them, you probably smiled and remembered the sequence of leaving them in a different place.

Notice the smile. Notice how good you felt compared to the frustration you felt earlier.

This week’s Freaky Friday Suggestion is to move that smile from the back to the front of the problem solving process. Stop and force yourself to smile genuinely. Don’t just turn up the corners of your mouth but smile with your whole face, like the image above. Relax and let the frustration melt. Allow the positive thoughts to flood your brain. Then embrace positive thoughts flow. Soon you will solve the problem, or at least, make a bad situation better.

(c) 2019 Murfield International, Inc.

Blog Schedule

  • Mind Shift Monday features a powerful quote that sets the tone for a week of innovative thinking.
  • Thinking Bigger Tuesday expands on the topic and provides pillar content of innovative thinking.
  • Why Not Wednesday introduces you to books, articles and research that I have found useful in solving significant problems with innovative thinking.
  • Transformational Thursday explores a TED Talk on the topic of the week. These talks are likely taken from the ones I have featured in my TED Talk Think Tank mastermind for radical change over the last five years.
  • Freaky Far Out Friday features crazy ideas that just might lead to solving your persistent problem.

Learn to Listen Effectively




Loren Murfield, Ph.D.

We work with leaders and organizations to solve significant problems with innovative thinking. What problem is frustrating you? Contact us today.

Start learning how you can engage employees during their most traumatic moments in our newly revised and just-released book, “The ROI of COMPASSION.” Watch for the formal release of our new book, “Leading with the Power of Compassion” in late 2019.

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