Sunday, January 22, 2012

Humor Lightens Burdens

Humor Lightens Burdens
There is almost nothing more indispensable, when dealing with people, than humor. Having humor doesn’t particularly mean cracking jokes. Humor is the ability to experience setbacks, yet comprehend that that the world has not come to an end.

When you don’t take yourself or your situation too seriously, you’ll do better in any and all endeavors. There is always something (in every situation) to laugh about. Often it is YOU. A smiling, cheerful leader conveys more confidence and wins more cooperation than a negative, gloomy one.

When you maintain equilibrium, a sense of proportion and humor in a crisis it encourages others to trust and rely on you. Because they respect your calm, they ultimately demonstrate better performance, loyalty and appreciation.

Contributing calm is far better than adding energy to confusion. This can be as simple as willingness to hold a positive view and smiling.

Abraham Lincoln serves as a great example of leadership under pressure. In one tension filled moment he said, “Gentlemen, why don’t you laugh? With the fearful strain that is upon me night and day, if I did not laugh, I should die.” Like Lincoln, most of us have discovered, humor is the way to relieve stress.

Even though some problems are serious, it doesn’t help to exaggerate their implications. Take yourself and the world a bit more lightly and not only will your circumstances improve, but you’ll have more to be happy about. The saying is: “The two hardest things to handle in life are failure and success.” Both are easier managed with humor.

The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything. There is a Buddhist saying, “Laughter is the language of the Gods.”

Poet and essayist, W. H. Auden, alleged “Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: All of them make me laugh.”