1. Learn from Lincoln. Our sixteenth president deserves a closer look. He has much to teach us about the power of laughter. His self-deprecating humor and a willingness to accept his own deficiencies were part of his greatness. A woman once accused him of being two-faced. “Madam,” he responded, “if I had two faces, do you think I would choose this one?” Lincoln understood that it’s our response to the challenges of life that either elevates or destroys us. “Most people,” he said, “are about as happy as they choose to be.”
2. Be more child-like when you fail. Kids fail and make mistakes, but they generally take it all in stride. At some level, they understand that it’s only a part of their learning. Did you stay upright on your bicycle the day your training wheels came off? Stay playful in your approach to life. Don’t mind falling on your backside now and then. Better to fall on your backside than to sit on it and not achieve your goals and dreams.
3. Step back and smile. Humor relieves stress and tension by removing us from ourselves and making us detached observers. Playwright Neil Simon says his sense of humor is partly due to his ability to step back during moments of personal turmoil. Detachment in the middle of emotional chaos allows him to view virtually any situation from a comical perspective. Using humor in this way enables us to think more clearly about problems.
4. Laugh at yourself. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re missing out on some of the funniest comedy material available. Humor reins in our ego and feelings of self-importance. It helps us keep a healthy perspective about ourselves and our place in the world. A sure sign of self-acceptance is the ability to put ego aside and take an objective look at who we really are—both our strengths and frailties. That requires a degree of maturity and humility we all need to cultivate.
5. Recognize humor as your cosmic night-light. Humor touches emotions that are felt universally. Comedian Victor Borge liked to say, “The shortest distance between two people is a good laugh.” Through humor we see our common fears and insecurities. Good comedy makes for camaraderie. A sense of humor was given to human beings because we need one. Use it to smile through failure—to success.
MAKE YOURSELF AGELESS BLOG
Bruce Garrabrandt & Jeff White