Friday, February 22, 2008

Laugh On Friends! Laugh On!

You've heard the old cliche that "laughter is the best medicine." Well, I totally agree! Laughter keeps us sane. Laughter keeps us young. Laughter keeps us healthy.

I've really taken to this concept over the years. I love to bring light humor to everything I do. Yes, it's fun to be the center of attention and to have people appreciating your jokes, but more importantly for me, it's about brightening the days of those around me. It's about bringing smiles to others' faces. It's about lifting those who may have otherwise had a terrible day. See, we live in a society where we take ourselves and others too seriously. We forget to have fun! We forget to laugh! We forget that we were given this life to enjoy! And, it just gets worse as we "grow up!" Bloglilly has a great post on "how many times did you laugh today." In this post, it's stated that children laugh up to 3,000 times per day. However, as we get older, that number goes down considerably. By the age of 40, the average adult laughs just 14 times per day.

Wow! What a difference! Seeing those statistics are astonishing! What happens between then and now? Why can't we, as adults, laugh more? Are we too busy? Are we too "old"? Is laughing childish (I think from the statistics above, it definitely is)? Whatever our excuse is, we have to throw it out the window! I can guarantee that if you bring more laughter and humor to your life, you will see increased happiness, increased energy, and increased productivity. Here's my challenge for you (and me) today: Make a conscious effort to laugh at least 30 times today (that's more than double the average), and see what happens! Tell a joke! Watch a funny video! Get a babysitter and take your significant other to a comedy club (heck go by yourself for that matter)! And don't forget to enjoy yourself! Here's something to get you started:

note: you tube video courtesy of:

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Erica Ross-Krieger said...

I had a small smile on my face...until the last 2 women showed up on the video. I laughed so hard I teared up. Nice way to end the week. Thanks Eric.

Eric Peterson said...

It's a fun little video isn't it? Like you, it was the last 2 women that made me fall to my knees!! Thank you for stopping by Erica. I appreciate it. I hope you have a great week.

Andrew B. Clark said...

So... here's my question:

Is there a direct correlation between laughter and success in your chosen career? I’d like to take that research a step further to see how much people considered to be “happy” actually are... laughing... Does Warren Buffett or Bill Gates laugh more than my local Postal Worker (and I say local, because it’s MISERABLE outside right now)?

Food for thought...

Keel Cooking!

Andrew B. Clark said...

... of course I meant KEEP Cooking... I need to proofread better...


Brenda said...

I just wanted to let you know that your thought-provoking post spilled over into the commenting on my blog due to a personal history I had just written on childhood happiness. So I have a special appreciation for your vantage point!

Here's the comment thread there:

Robyn McMaster said...

Eric, sounds like you've created an environment at home and work that's very conducive for folks to laugh. It does not happen by accident. A good leader creates it! Thanks for a great post.

Eric Peterson said...

Andrew - You bring up a great question. In fact, it's one you've inspired me to research a bit when I get a chance.

In terms of success and laughter, it would depend on how you define "success". If we are talking money, career advancement, etc, then I supoose I would tend to say that there is NOT a direct correlation between "laughter" and "success" in your chosen career. You see a lot of very successful, rich, high power individuals that just don't laugh much (at least not in public)! Maybe there is a lot of humor behind the bright lights and cameras.

For your second question, I feel that truly "happy" people must be laughing. Laughter brings out happiness. That's not to say it's the only ingredient for happiness, but I think it's one of the "key" ingredients.

Thanks Andrew. You always bring great conversation to the table.

Eric Peterson said...

Brenda - It's great to see you take the conversation to your blog. I appreciate the reference in your comments section.

Your post is very thought provoking as well. Are our jokes and humor being used to create temporary smiles, or can they actually be used to create genuine "happiness?" It's something that I'll now be thinking about as I try to spread humor.

Thank you Brenda. You have given me something to ponder. I hope my visitors will check out your site as well.

Eric Peterson said...

Robyn - Thank you for visiting. I do agree that leaders help create the environment for others. And although I definitely have moments of failure (probably more than I care to admit), I do try to create environments for fun!