Biggest Myths causing today’s Don’t-laugh work environments
High achievers, with very few exceptions, know how to smile, laugh and have fun.
They have smiled at the time of their lives when there was ‘nothing to smile about’ and they smiled all the way over here.
There are very few WIN-WIN situations in life. Normally if you want something you have to sacrifice something.
For example, if you want to lose weight, you have to give up tasty food. (They say even salad is tasty, but come on!!! Are you kidding??)
Imagine if all the tasty food were healthy too??
Imagine if doctors told you that every time you take a bite of a cake, you will lose a few calories and your blood pressure drops! Imagine if eating chocolate can be as healthy as eating cucumber! That would be a complete Win-Win, isn’t it?
Sadly, that’s not the case with the body.
But it is the case with the mind!!!!
Here’s the biggest secret Win-Win deal of your life:
Having fun leads to success!!
What prevents people from having fun?
Now in trying to decipher why people have stopped laughing in the first place, I carried out a research spanning a varied array of different people over countries and generations. Across several countries and from young to old, I now have the most common thoughts which prevent people from having fun.
It is highly possible that you or people around you are stuck with one or more of the concepts or notions below.
If so, here is an attempt to resolve the confusion, once and for all!!
Behind each notion, there is a hidden assumption which is pretty ridiculous when pointed out.
Read and have fun!!
Notion 1: People who have fun achieve less.
Hidden assumption: You are suggesting that people who walk about with the weight of the world on their shoulders achieve more……. Really?
Oh No, they do not!!!
I have personally known several high achievers in extremely varied fields – Musicians, Doctors, Company CEOs, to name a few. They have always known how to laugh and have usually have a great sense of humour. They are actually not troubled by the pressures of success because they have their occasional laughs to cope up with it.
Try Youtube. Watch the speeches of some of the finest minds of today’s era like Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, see how they can captivate the audience by their well-timed humour and occasional laughter.
Visit the nearest KFC, McDonald’s or Pizza Hut joint in your city. It’s a happy place, isn’t it? People smile, not only for your benefit, they smile between themselves too. Yet, they achieve in being the most successful chain of food joints around the world!
Am I selling you my point?
When you laugh, your inner child comes out and gives your outer adult a bit of respite. That does not mean that adult is dead. He is just well-rested now and can achieve much more.
Notion 2: (as a Boss) Laughter will make my employees unproductive
Hidden assumption: 1. You mean your employees are so whimsical that they will forget their responsibilities as soon as they laugh…
2. You feel turning your employees into machines will make them more productive.
Well, believe me, if your employees have been shown the spirit and culture of your organization, as I have mentioned here, they will never forget what their responsibilities are. Once that is inculcated, leave it to their judgement. You will find them much more productive if they are occasionally laughing.
Now, let us say that you have always seen success and productivity increase when you reduce fun and increase stress on your employees. That makes sense and I agree that it may have given you results.
Too much humour can cause loss of productivity. But the appropriate amount can lead to an increase in performance.
Everything is about balance. Be strict but remember to have fun too.
Introduce timely humour and see how your employees gel together, and look forward to coming to work. At the same time hold the reins tight when things are getting slack. If you can flex yourself that way, no one can beat your team and your team spirit!!! Added Bonus: You as a Boss will be popular, loved and also successful.
Notion 3: (As a Boss) I will look weak in front of my juniors if I am the funny guy, OR
My juniors will not listen to me is I laugh with them
Hidden Assumption: My juniors think I am strong because I am serious! That’s the only thing they see about me, not my command or knowledge of the job.
First of all, using occasional humor does not make you ‘the funny guy.’ If it does, you are not doing it right!
Secondly, your juniors see you in a different light – they are more interested in how you affect their lives, and will judge you accordingly. If you make their lives a bit easier and still achieve professional success, they will worship you for it!
How to do that?
Laugh when you can, but hold the reins strongly when needed!
If you want to remain in control you need to push them at times. At other times, use humour!! It will make them feel relaxed and you will gain an audience when you need it.
Start the day with a subtle joke. Pull someone’s leg harmlessly and make sure everyone (including him) enjoys it! Make fun of the pressures of your job. Go On!! Watch how that reduces stress from you and your juniors.
If you are able to deal with tough situations with humour, you will seem strong to your juniors. If you are angry in the face of danger, you will look weak to them and not in control. They won’t trust you.
Notion 4: I do not look good when I am laughing!!
Hidden assumption: I basically think I am ugly, and people would not like it if I laugh.
You are right, people are judging you!! They are judging based on how you look.
Now look at these pictures. Do you think sad or angry women are any less beautiful than the smiling people? No.
Yet, that gloomy face makes her look sad and induces a sort of sadness in you. The angry face makes you angry or irritated.
The point is that you look good to others as soon as you laugh or smile, regardless of how good your face is.
It has been proved through numerous social psychology experiments that people reciprocate each other’s emotional expressions even if they are not feeling that themselves.
TV Serials often use recorded laughter which creates the simulation in your mind and urges you to laugh too. You feel good when you see a happy picture, feel sad when you see a person crying.
As soon as you laugh, it does not matter how you face is, you will be loved and liked anyway. This is without exception. I see it everyday, and I am sure you see it too.
Notion 5: I want to laugh, but what will I laugh at?
Hidden assumption: I have nothing to laugh about.
That’s a problem and it is quite common. People cannot suddenly turn funny if they are not so.
Here’s what. No one can force you to laugh. But there are things which you can do. Watch funny movies, talk to people who make you feel relaxed, maybe a friend or your mother. I suggest watching the famous TV Series called F.R.I.E.N.D.S. For years it has been the Mood-lifting tool for me and my wife. Download my Free E-book – Fun Paradigm it will give you several tips to laugh and to have fun with others.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not assuming that just because you seldom laugh you are always in a foul mood.
That may be your default setting. You may be actually happy inside.
If so, just stay that way. The point of the whole discussion is that you remain happy and let others be happy around you too, in their own ways.
Notion 6: I don’t feel comfortable laughing with others
Hidden assumption: My laughter depends on whether I am with or around certain people.
Another common problem. Perhaps you may not feel comfortable in laughing with everyone. At times, you may start giggling – become conscious about the surroundings and stop.
Well, again, laughter is not something you can really control unless you are consciously holding yourself back.
Is it possible that you take it a bit easy and stop worrying about who is around? If you think that’s not possible, that’s fine too. You then need to find at least a few places where you can be relaxed enough to laugh out loud. It may be a close friend or even on
skype with someone from a different corner of the world.
What I am trying to say is, no matter what you do, your daily dose of laughter is very important.
Notion 7: I am not a funny guy as such, I cannot make jokes
Hidden assumption: To laugh, I have to tell people jokes.
No, wrong again. Jokes are just one of the many things that can make you laugh. The best sources of laughter come from everyday situations.
In my book: Fun Paradigm, I go on to
explain how spontaneous humour is the best. How people can relate to instant humour which is conjured up at the moment and
Have fun with the things that scare you or worry you the most. Haven’t you come across old people who can make fun of their hearing disorders, or forgetfulness? Laugh at your pressures, make fun of your miseries, you will scare those miseries away!!
However, try not to hurt someone while laughing at his expense.
Well, here is the thing. If you Take it easy in life, you will find laughter around you – in how the photocopier shakes, how much the lunch lady talks, how the taxes are eroding your savings off, how the Democrats and Republicans are fighting. From scary movies to the daily humdrum, everything can be a potential source of laughter if you take life easy and look for it.
That does not mean you do not understand your responsibilities.
If not anything else, there is Youtube!! Type “laughter” on the search box and see the numerous things that pop up. There is something that is bound to match your brand of humour.
Last but not the least – you don’t have to make people laugh, just laugh yourself and see how contagious it is. Can you do that? Even when you laugh at another person’s humour you become loveable to the other person.
Notion 8: I cannot laugh because I have too many problems in life (…..or Too many jobs, too many personal targets, too many worries, etc…..get the drift?)
OR – I cannot laugh because I am inherently unhappy
Hidden assumptions: 1. I have nothing to laugh about. Life is too sad.
2. People who are smiling around do not have problems like me.
Now, be careful about this line of thought! It can lead to a disaster. I am speaking from experience, this can land you in trouble one day.
You may be too depressed today to laugh. That’s fine. I am too, at times. Everyone is.
But if you are someone who is extremely frustrated in general with the kind of life you are living, I KID YOU NOT it may be a clinical condition, or it may lead to that with time.
Shake yourself up!! Believe me, more than anyone else, you need to start having your daily dose of laughter.
Life may get more and more messed up, and it may throw you into a fit of depression. That will compromise your problem-solving abilities, and lead to more problems – more depression. If you have forgotten how to laugh about life’s problems, that is VERY VERY Serious!!
How to be happy? Yes, there are proven ways !!
Start taking some time out to watch funny videos. Read a humorous book. Watch that series called F.R.I.E.N.D.S., which I mentioned. This will save your life one day.
People around you who you see smiling – they all have problems and their own problems are just as important to them as yours are to you!!
Download YooBro cartoons. Release your inner child.
List out ten things make you feel good: If you have a healthy body, a nice family, or at least a strong professional background, be grateful for those things. They may be trivial to you, but they are a luxury to many around the world. Many do not have that. Our depressions come from too many expectations from life. If you are religious, go to the Church, do not ask for more, just thank God for what you have. Pay heed to those small achievements we have everyday, like a good conversation or a hug from your child. Be Thankful for them.
There are thousands upon thousands of psychologists who can guide you way better than me on how to be happy. You just have to look for it.
Notion 9: I work in an environment which is not conducive to laughing. My boss is a serious man and my office is a serious place
Hidden assumption:…. Nothing !
I hear your brother. I know exactly what you mean.
I have personally worked under over 40 Bosses before I got command as a Captain. Some of those Bosses did not want me to laugh. They made the ship, which is our office, into a prison where laughing was punished by harsh remarks and humiliation.
Well, we wanted to have our laugh anyway. So we found ways to have fun outside of work. Well, a bit difficult for us since we live on the ship even outside of work times. Yet we managed. If you get to go home every day make sure that you have enough doses of routine fun outside of work. If you can enjoy with your family, very good. If not, find independent sources – take time out for yourself – improvise.
Notion 10: How can I laugh if I don’t feel like laughing?
Hidden assumption: This website is asking me to force myself into a laugh!!
My mistake. I have said “Laugh” too many times. 😆
That’s not the purpose of this post. I am not asking you to giggle if you do not want to. That would be painful!!
I am trying to say that if you want to, it’s okay. It will increase productivity, make you healthier and benefit your relationships. If you stay healthy and happy without laughter, good for you. Just appreciate that it may be required for people who work for you or for your family and please do not deprive them that option.
Smiling and laughing is one of the most productive things in the world.
In a professional environment, the first thing that people need to know is that everyone is ultimately responsible for their jobs. Under-performance is not an option!!
After this, inducing laughter will only enhance that improvement graph.
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