There was a time when “stupid” was the “s-word” for my children. They felt it was offensive, and squealed when we used it. And perhaps they were right. “Stupid” is one of those loaded words – if you’re directing it at a person, or the behavior of a person, it can be dangerous and it can cause harm. But there’s a time for calling things stupid, and even for being stupid.
With all the pressure on all of us to be effective, productive, successful, and serious-minded (at least most of the time), I’m putting a stake in the ground – perhaps a stupid thing to do – for also being stupid. Because there are some very basic, simple, and even stupid things that we can do that will make our mood, and our day, better. It may not make us more productive or effective or successful – at first – it may only make us happier. And that may very well pay-off in the other dimensions as well.
So what are they?
- Do something stupid – not bad stupid or mean stupid, but silly stupid and fun stupid. Do something that will bring a smile to your face. Do something that will cause others to chuckle.
- Smile anyway – it does seem stupid, but when you smile, your brain thinks you’re happy. I mean, you wouldn’t smile if you weren’t happy, right? That would be stupid. So simply smile and feel better.
- Do something for someone who annoys you – dumb, right? Why would you ever want to do something for someone who p—–s you off? Because it can make you feel better. You’ll know you’ve taken the higher road and you’ll release the positive emotions that come with doing something nice.
- Do something for someone who doesn’t notice – this one is stupid because you don’t even get appreciation in return, but again you do get a wash of good feelings…which leads to a better day.
- Tell a stupid joke – it probably has to be with the right audience, but stupid jokes and ideas can work wonders on tough days. There was a time recently when I was (appropriately) upset by things that were happening around me. And as I sat with my best friend of over thirty years and we cracked jokes about how popular we were in high school (which our kids all doubted) and how much we loved sitting around now in our housedresses and reminiscing, I laughed so hard I forgot I was having a bad day. It was stupid and fun.
- Tell your boss (coworker, client) about that idea you have that is outlandish…and just might work – feel free to caveat this one with, “this may be a weird idea but…” if you’re worried they’ll think the idea is really stupid, but sometimes the ideas we’re afraid to share spark the greatest outcomes.
- Just decide to have a better day – while there are things that happen that really are bad, most of us are stressed out mostly by things that don’t matter in the long run. And it may seem stupid to simply decide to feel better, but we do have a choice between whether we let our stressors get us down, or whether we go back to number one and do something stupid that makes us laugh.
What are the stupid and easy things you do that work for you? Leave a comment here by clicking here.
For support in being “stupid” in a way that will work for you, contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to receive a copy of “Ending Leadership Frenzy: 5 Steps to Becoming a More Thoughtful and Effective Leader” and sign up for The Thoughtful Leaders Minute™ – our bi-weekly newsletter.
Click here to purchase The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be.