“Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.”
~Charlie Chaplin

Many lives ago I worked in entertainment marketing. It was the time of the “dramedy” – the ironic but serious storyline for television series. (Yes, back when there were three networks, for those of you who might remember that.)

In the time of the dramedy, I was told more than once that my life was a dramedy. Again, my memoir was published a few years ago, so perhaps that comment was spot on.

But I think that most lives, most experiences, can be seen in that way – as a dramedy. There is often something serious that grabs our attention, and maybe rightly so. But there is also a streak of humor, when you can get away from the drama enough to see what’s funny. Or at least ironic.

Which brings in Charlie Chaplin’s perspective – that things are often tragic in close-up but comic in long-shot. It is the underlying theme of his silent films and a freeing Thoughtful Leadership thought to play with.

Remembering that much of what is upsetting to me now will be less so in the future sets my mind and heart free to show up as my Thoughtful best. That’s probably one of the reasons people say, “Hindsight is 20-20.” Or to quote my favorite “poet,” “Someday we’ll look back at this and it will all seem funny.”

I often offer clients the “tomorrow, three months from now, next year, five years from now” test. When they are caught in something, even rightly caught in something, we stop and ask, “Will I remember this tomorrow? Three months from now? Next year? Five years from now?” Often, if not usually, a “No, not really” pops up rather quickly.

When I – or my clients – can remember that even though something is upsetting me now, I very well may see it differently (or more lightly) tomorrow or next week, I am able to soothe my raging emotions and be more Thoughtful – present, intentional, and authentic.

Try it! Let us know how it works.

How have you learned to have a “lighter” perspective?
Please leave a comment.

If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.


For support in seeing the serious and the humorous, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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Photo Credit: sibgat/Bigstock.com

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