If you’ve ever seen the movie Patch Adams, you’ll understand the power of laughter. It’s the story of a doctor who uses laughter as a source of relief for people who are sick or depressed. And yet, most of us are often too busy worrying about something (health, money, family, work) to laugh.
That wasn’t always the case.
Remember when we were children? We were always laughing at something, or at least I was. My childhood was filled with laughter. I clearly remember crying my eyes out one night while making a haunted house with my dad. From where I stand, there’s always something to laugh about; a funny story, a goofy face, a silly comment.
Just last night I was listening to a program by Foster Hibbard and one comment stood out to me, “Laughter is the great healer. Laughter displaces fear, anger, and worry.” Maybe that’s why I’m in such good health. I’m always laughing. And I love making people laugh.
Over the course of my life, I’ve had a lot of things happen to me, some good, some not so good. But even in the toughest of times, I found a way to laugh. I mean what else can you do when:
• You lose $50,000 overnight.
• You walk away from a tsunami that almost took your life.
• Your partnership implodes.
• You break your arm.
• You almost drown.
• You survive a stampede.
• Your girlfriend dumps you.
As Zig Ziglar is famous for saying, when something happens you can either “respond or react to it.” In the medical field, if you are responding to the treatment, it’s positive. If you’re reacting to the medicine, it’s negative. Most people let events or people rule their emotions rather than being in control of their own lives. In other words, they are reacting, rather than responding to events. And the best way to be in control of your life is to laugh.
Here are my personal four greatest sources of laughter
1. TV shows
3. Life itself
Laughter is also powerful in business. Work is one of the leading causes of stress so developing the ability to laugh at the trials and tribulations we face on a daily basis is an important release. Not only that but laughter makes you smile and the joy you have on the inside shows on your face. Your whole appearance changes. From the way you hold your head, to how you walk and move. And here’s the best part, laughter attracts people. People don’t want to hang out with someone who’s constantly complaining.
Some people are naturally talented when it comes to making others laugh. For many, it is something that must be worked on. But here’s the good news, you can learn to be funny. YouTube, websites, joke books. The secrets of comedy and humor are out there for anyone interested in either learning how to make others laugh or to simply cheer themselves up.
Here are three of my favorite stand-up comics on YouTube who leave me in stitches. They’re definitely worth watching when you need picking up – Michael McIntyre, Rowan Atkinson, and Sinbad.
There is no limit to laughter.
Unfortunately, for many people, fear and anger usually overcome joy and laughter. Daniel Goleman talks about the destructive power of negativity in his book Emotional Intelligence. In it, he talks about how one negative comment equals the power of 24 positive ones. Robert Kiyosaki went so far as to say that some negative comments are even more destructive than that.
To me, laughter is the answer. And every happy person I’ve ever met, wealthy or not, embraces laughter fully.
Life is short, even at its longest.
So laugh. You’ll be glad you did.
Have you read the original anthology that was the catalyst for The Good Men Project? Buy here: The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood
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