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Creating Successful Leaders

It’s no secret that our nation (and world) is going through some tough times right now. We are dealing with deep political divides, spiking violent crimes, wildfires and other natural disasters, and a pandemic that doesn’t seem to quit. Though these events are no laughing matter, it doesn’t mean you have to give up your humor entirely. The opposite is true, in fact. Humor has the power to uplift us and carry us through our days, no matter how grim things seem.

Psychology Today reports that, “Science shows that dwelling on worry, disappointment, and loss only increases unpleasant feelings. What you focus on expands.” That’s absolutely true. If you dwell on difficulties, you’ll find yourself being sucked in and overwhelmed by them. If, on the other hand, you choose to divert your attention to life’s little bright spots and humorous moments, you will be better equipped to trek through tough times.

Additionally, when your attitude is better and you’re feeling better, you will be in a healthier frame of mind to problem solve (and potentially work toward a solution for some of life’s troubles). Naomi Bagdonas, co-author of Humor, Seriously, says, “Studies show [laughter] makes us more resilient, creative and resourceful.”

How can you incorporate a good dose of humor in your day? Try these 4 methods:

Look for the funny side

Maybe the cat walked across your keyboard and switched off an important Zoom meeting. Perhaps your briefcase broke and you were forced to walk into a meeting carry all your things in a plastic bag. Or your young child found some scissors and decided to give themselves a haircut.

All of these moments might be stressful or embarrassing in the short-term, but when we look at them in retrospect, we tend to laugh. When we have a terrible day or experience an awful stroke of luck, look for the bits of humor that bubble up. And, if you can’t find any humor, at least look for ways to be grateful (that car may have sideswiped me, but at least I’m not hurt; I’m sick, but at least I have the means to pay for healthcare). Gratitude can be just as powerful as humor.

Seek out comedy

Instead of turning on another true crime episode or a drama show, seek out a comedy show or movie, or watch a bit of standup. You could also try out a humorous podcast while you’re at the gym or pick up a funny book to read.

Intentionally incorporating bits of humor into your life can make you feel a little lighter and improve your mood. Use comedy entertainment as a way to escape and to fortify yourself to face upcoming difficulties.

Don’t take yourself too seriously

Too often, we take ourselves too seriously. Life would take on a different tone if we learned to laugh at silly mistakes, if we didn’t feel the need to constantly prove ourselves, and if we put things into perspective. If your brain blanks out during a team meeting, it’s not the end of the world! Laugh about for a moment, and move on.

Find a humor partner

Laughter is better when shared. Go to a comedy show with a friend, watch a funny movie with your significant other, or swap funny social media posts with your sister. Find bits of humor and pass them on. Together, we can bring some levity to the world and, hopefully, become better equipped to face life’s difficult moments.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY (AND DEEPER DISCOVERY) LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 

HER NEW EBOOK IS CALLED A QUICK GUIDE TO COURAGE
CHECK OUT MARGARET’S ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE.

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