Yesterday my brother sent me an article that reminded me of the power of a smile. It was a great article and it reminded me of a life lesson I learned many years ago. As simple as it can be, a smile has the amazing capacity to open the doors to success and happiness. The problem is that life is filled with disappointments and downturns and they a real tendency to bring us down.

I learned this lesson years ago while traveling back from Israel. After traveling for more than 16 hours my flight out of New York was delayed for 3 hours due to mechanical issues. I stood in line with hundreds of others who had also missed their connecting flights as I heard the airline agents turn traveler after traveler away with no real resolution of their travel problems. When it became my turn I approached, smiled intentionally at the agent and said, “ I know this is not your fault and I am sorry everyone is taking their frustrations out on you. I appreciate anything you could do to help me.” Amazingly, within minutes I walked away from the counter with a ticket in hand, meal vouchers, and an overnight hotel room—all courtesy of the airline. As I departed the agent said, “Thank you for being so understanding.” I was amazed, “Wow, she is even thanking me!”

One important lesson I remember from this event is that I had decided that I was going to smile and be positive in the midst of my predicament. I was not happy in any way about my situation, in fact I was ready to collapse from travel fatigue, but I has determined that I was in control of my feelings. I did not have a phony smile plastered on my face. People see through that in a second. My smile was a genuine reflection of my inner joy and peace, and it has continued to open countless doors to me through the years.