On a sunny boulevard in Cannes, I heard somebody say: “That is the first French person I meet, who is smiling”. Which was meant to be ironic, as he referred to a clochard, standing next to the beach with all her belongings and reciting something whilst broad smiling.

At that point in time I was in a kiosk, buying some sun cream. As the day turned unexpectedly blue and sunny I did not want my little girl to get sunburned. When I went for my morning jog I decided to pause and buy some lotion as precaution. That’s when I heard the comment.

The sparking blue sea always within 3 miles reach

Whilst continuing my jog -let’s be honest we can barely call it running- I looked around and saw: palm trees, the sparkling blue ocean always less than 3 miles within reach, whilst the scent of fresh pain-au-chocolat entered my nose. The comment entered my mind again: the first French person I saw smiling. Wow! I could not get over it. All I noticed was my surrounding: this beautiful, stunning place with sun, sea, beach and palm trees. Yet this man, who I heard speaking, had not taken notice. He had only focussed on something he apparently was not seeing. A smile. Happiness.

While I was still thinking about this, an old lady came jogging towards me. I guess we had the same pace. She smiled at me. On our way up, I had seen her as well and I managed, to grumble: “bonjour”, under my breath. She now replied: with a lovely smile.

A smile is spoken in an universal language

Everyone understands a smile. A smile is the most universal language on this planet. No matter what language you speak, when you smile most of the times this will be replied with a smile. Perhaps this gentleman, who was complaining, was not aware that sometimes you have to take the first step to get the desired end result. Smile and the world smiles back at you.

You can make your own happiness

This one little sentence I heard reminded me again: you can make your own happiness. If you’re walking on the boulevard of Cannes, in the sun next to a bleu ocean, than you are doing all right, isn’t it? All you have to do is to enjoy yourself. Focus on what is there, right in front of you, and do not look for what is missing. It occurs to me that this gentleman is not the only one. A lot of people tend to notice the things that are missing and talk about these things and use them not to be happy. I would suggest turning it round: be happy with what is there, enjoy it. The more you’ll focus on it the more beautiful and splendid things you will see to enjoy. Happiness is makeable; sometimes all it needs is taking the first step.

Amaze Yourself

I am Yvonne Dam of Amaze Yourself coaching. I assist people who have little time with getting more energy, creating time and choosing the life they want to live. In order to enjoy life and embrace it fully; that is why my programme is called Embrace Life, which is also my personal motto. I love travelling and where I can; I will be out and about. This time we were away for a weekend in Cannes, France. We enjoyed the good life, drinking champagne, eating French cheese and looking at the beach and the sun. Do you want to learn more about how I assist people to get more out of life; or would you just like to receive some great tips? Follow me by

I welcome comments to my article.

Yvonne Dam

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