Always Go First

August 20, 2016

Out of all the podcasts and inspirational shiz I listen to, someone once talked about the concept of, “always going first.” I started thinking about this all the time and decided to implement it into my own life. I want to tell you about it because it’s had a huge impact on my happiness.

Smile first.

When you’re walking down the street, smile at a stranger. Smile at someone next to you in the cafe. Smile at people who look grumpy. I started doing this and almost every person smiles back with a look like, “this is odd…but I’m pleased it’s happening.” People are ready to smile, sometimes we just have to initiate it.

Some days I get so happy I can’t contain it and I’m just strutting down the street grinning from ear to ear, which makes strangers around me start smiling too (they’re probably calling me crazy in their head but hey, they look happy to me). I recently watched a Coca-Cola advertisement that shows the contagious nature of laughter and it makes my heart all warm and fuzzy (damn you Coca-Cola and your clever marketing).

What emotion/energy/vibe are you spreading? Happiness is contagious so send someone a smile.

Say hello first.

How many times in your life have you wanted to say hello to someone but couldn’t muster up the courage? Or thought it would be awkward?  Someone you want to be friends with, someone you think is cute, someone who is doing something interesting.

I’ve been working out of a coworking space here in Bali and immediately introduce myself whenever I’m around someone I haven’t met or if I’m interested in what they’re doing. I mean, every single human here is doing something cool as heck and is amazingly kind and friendly, so they make it easy. I realize not everyone can be surrounded by this but I think most people are ready and willing to meet someone new.

Every single person on earth has an interesting story and can teach you something you didn’t know. Start a conversation – you never know what could learn.

Apologize first.

I find this one the most difficult. I once read a quote that said, “The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest.”

I’m stubborn. You probably are too. We hate to admit when we were wrong or out of line. Especially if there were mutual hurt feelings. When someone else hurts our feelings we try to justify what we said or did because they did it first or they said something worse. Getting into the blame game is dangerous. Brene Brown talks about what happens when we blame here:

Have you ever said something and immediately knew it was mean or rude as soon as it came out of your mouth? Yep, same. Even when you know you said something unkind and there was no other fault, it’s still hard to apologize. Admitting you were wrong and taking responsibility takes courage, and it will make you feel better in the long run.

This doesn’t mean you should be a pushover. Apologize when you’ve done something wrong and you actually mean it, not just because you want the other person to stop being mad at you.


So I challenge you to ‘go first’ this week. Try it out. Say hello to someone near you. Smile at someone passing by. Say you’re sorry. Good luck and let me know how you get on with it.

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  • Reply hellolatoya August 25, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Love this post! I really need to do put these tip to use because I know I’m a bit selfish and I won’t apologize first at all. Thank you for sharing!😊

    • Reply Haley Johnson August 25, 2016 at 1:13 pm

      We all do it! Thanks for reading, LaToya. :)

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