“Good humor makes all things tolerable.” – Henry Ward Beecher
Scientists say that it takes five times as many muscles to frown as it does to smile. Sociologists say that peaceful societies have longer lifespans. The Bible says that a contented spirit is like medicine. With all of this evidence, you would think that people would know that we need to relax and enjoy life more, but unfortunately, many people take life too seriously.
People like to be around happy people. This includes employers and business owners. It is more pleasant to buy products from someone who has a friendly and outgoing personality than from someone who is reserved and serious. There is a time and a place for everything, but a common denominator of life should be the ability to have a good mood and laugh at ourselves.
“Everything is funny as long as it happens to somebody else.” – Mark Twain
We have a tendency to point out the sins of others, blame others, and laugh at others. However, it is refreshing for others when we can look in the mirror and laugh at ourselves. In some of the most tense negotiations at high-level corporate meetings, a sense of humor can relieve stress and even be the catalyst to finalizing a deal. Just as we have to learn a job or a routine, we must also learn how to use and when to apply the right amount and brand of good humor.
“Humor can be stuffed, like a frog, but the thing dies in the process.” – E.B. White
Why is it that we take ourselves so seriously? Why are we so stiff and formal, when our whole being tells us that being a little more informal would be more advantageous? Why is it that corporations are now declaring “casual days” where people can dress down or wear casual attire? But beyond the external ways of dress, comes the internal style of sorting out a situation, and knowing where to lighten the soul and cause one to take in the reality of what is most important. Isn’t the goal of any “win-win” negotiation that the benefits flow to all parties?
It has been said throughout the ages that one should not try to do business with someone who does not know how to laugh or use a sense of humor because “the love of truth is at the root of much humor.” In other words, can we trust someone who is always very serious? And what is that about? And then, there is the satirist, who lives inside many of us. In this form of “deadly sense of humor,” the goal is to attack or employ a win-lose mentality. Or, as Peter de Vries has put it, “The satirist shoots to kill, while the humorist brings his triumph alive, and eventually throws it to give it another shot at chance.”
If you examine the corporate executive suites, you will often find a top executive or president who has mastered the art of embracing a sense of humor. Yes, there are some executives out there who are hard and cold, but they are the exception.
Life should be much more fun than we as Christians consider it to be. Dale Carnegie made a career out of teaching people how to enjoy people, have a sense of humor, and make friends (even with their enemies). With this, he filled schools to capacity for many years and still today, teaching the art of enjoying others, life, and self.
So if a promotion is in your plans, if success with others is what you desire, and if a longer life is your desire, then I suggest that you begin to learn and master the art of “good humor.” Plus, experts tell us it’s the best medicine! Even the Author of the Bible has said so, and I don’t know about you, but that’s enough for me! There’s nothing more to say. Just do it!
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