Make today a “Mel Brown Smile” kind of day.
“You ever heard of this guy before?” Brandon asked me.
I shook my head “no.”
“He’s kind of a big deal,” he explained as we settled into our leather booth at the jazz club, nursing our drinks. “He used to play with Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, and Marvin Gaye. He’s a legend.”
“A legend, huh?”
I glanced around the club. Wednesday night. Early show. A big venue. Less than eighteen people in the entire place. Not including the waiters and bartender. I counted. Twice.
I felt twinge of pity for the “legend” who was about to perform. “This must suck for him…” I thought to myself. “Such a small audience. I wonder if he will be disappointed.”
The legend stepped onto the stage. Arranged himself behind the drums. Politely introduced the members of his band. Raised his drum sticks in the air. Set the rhythm. Queued the band to begin.
And then he smiled.
And I mean… this man SMILED.
His smile lit up the room, lit up the street, lit up the world.
There was no trace of bitterness or resentment whatsoever. This man was obviously, evidently, purely and clearly JAZZED to be playing JAZZ on a Wednesday night in front of eighteen semi-conscious, slightly tipsy people picking at plates of french fries.
That SMILE. Mel Brown’s smile.
I will never forget it. It was humbling, amazing and just so goddamn beautiful to see.
“That is true professionalism,” I thought to myself. “Performing full out, with absolute joy, whether one person is listening, or ten, or eighteen, or eighteen thousand.”
That’s how I want to write. That’s how I want to work. That’s how I want to live.
Big. Real. Epic. Generous. Genuine. Overflowing with gratitude.
No matter who is watching or not watching.
No matter what you’ve got on your schedule today — cleaning the toilet or delivering a TED Talk or performing an open heart surgery or writing a blog post — you can choose to make today a “Mel Brown Smile” kind of day.
I will strive to be right there with you.