“A good time to laugh is anytime you can.”
~Linda Ellerbee

I can be very intense. Ask anyone who knows me. I can get caught in the seriousness of a situation, the meaning of a moment, the dilemma of a debate. I can work very hard to find value in each encounter and search for the hidden significance under every comment. And it can bog me down.

Over the years I’ve learned to laugh, and I try to do it as often as possible. Decades ago my husband told me that “everything can be funny,” and although I didn’t believe it then, I’ve also come to learn that it’s true. I can find humor in the darkest times, and that humor lightens my heart and soul. As I sat, sobbing, at my college roommate’s funeral, when she lost her fight with cancer at way too young an age, and someone left a eulogy in their car and had to run out to get it, we could all “hear” Susan yelling that no one could handle the details without her. The smile that came to me reminded me of all my love for her and eased my pain. As I’ve stood in front of an audience and had PowerPoint presentations not work, fire alarms go off, and projectors die, I’ve managed to laugh (after a few minutes of “bad words”) and kept going. As I’ve looked back (and around) at the challenges I’ve had with coworkers and colleagues (and clients), at the misunderstandings I’ve stepped into or caused, at the mistakes I’ve made, and the craziness and overwhelm I’ve created in my life – when I take a moment and laugh (or at least smile) it all gets easier.

I learned years ago that when we smile, our brains think we’re happy. I mean, why would we smile if we weren’t happy? That would be weird. So when I can bring out a smile, or a chuckle, or a guffaw, life gets better. When I laugh until it hurts sometimes, life is great. When I smile through my difficulties they’re not so difficult.

Where could you use a smile or an outright laugh? How can you have it? When the last thing you feel like doing is laughing, laugh anyway.

How has laughter helped you?
Please leave a comment to share.

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 laughing more, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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