Here we are, at the beginning of a brand new year. A time for a new and fresh start to your life, to the energy around us, and what we build and put out into the community. I want to offer you a concept that I call walking through chaos with a smile on your face. I think most of us would agree, if you look out at the world, you watch CNN, you watch the popular news, you talk to your friends, you watch Facebook, Twitter, etc., there’s a lot of negativity and chaos being spread from all sides. I don’t care where you live on the political spectrum, I don’t care where you are on the spiritual spectrum, it’s coming from all sides. What I want to offer to you is for you to be that beacon of hope. Walk through this chaos with grace and with a smile on your face.

When I was in high school, I remember hearing from somebody that if you make a point of walk around with a smile, you will be surprised how many people smile back at you. I made a contest of making people smile every day. Everywhere I go, I always walk around with a smile on my face and see how many people smile back at me. You would be surprised what a simple smile can do to brighten a person’s day. You don’t even have to say anything to them, maybe “Hi”. You carry this ripple of positive energy everywhere you go and Lord knows that we need it now.

We really need people to start thinking about building bridges. There is too much division, on all parts of the spectrum. There’s just too much division between people now. People are looking for ways to walk away from each other, to create separation from each other, and we don’t need more of that. We need people to find ways to come together, find commonality in the chaos. Find commonality in the discussion. Whether it’s a spiritual discussion, a religious discussion, whether you’re talking about politics, I don’t care what side of the spectrum you’re on. We all have a responsibility to come together and make the best of the situation, as it is right now. It’s going to be something magical if we all put just a little bit of effort in the turning around and looking at ways to come together, rather than ways of dividing and going apart.

That’s the big message today. That’s the big message for the year, so many people are so discordant about 2016. I know many of my friends, both in person and on Facebook, talk about how crappy 2016 was for them, and if you look at it that way, yeah it was. I challenge you to look at your 2016 with an eye of gratitude. What could you be grateful for in 2016? What could you be grateful for in that person on the other side of the aisle, on the other side of your belief system? When you look through a lens of gratitude and from a lens of appreciation, it’s very difficult to be in that negative space. When you’re in gratitude and you’re in appreciation for the world, everything around you lights up. Your whole world will change if you come from that space.

That’s what I want to offer you today. Share your smile around the world everywhere you go, and come from a place of gratitude, and a place of building bridges. If we get more and more people to build bridges, we will change this world in an instant.