Friday, October 27, 2006

The World is a Mirror, Part 12

A is for ATTITUDE
B is for BREAK PATTERNS
C is for CONSISTENCY
D is for DISCIPLINE
E is for EVOLUTION
F is for FRIENDLINESS
G is for GOOD WITH NAMES
H is for HAPPINESS
I is for IDEAS
J is for JOY
K is for KNOWLEDGE
L is for LAUGHTER

There are two kinds of laughter: outward and inward. And I believe both are equally important.

Me, I can’t help but laugh at myself. Like, daily. For God’s sake, I’ve worn a nametag 24-7 for 6 years! It’s hard NOT to.

Like when I look in the mirror every morning at my nametag tattoo.

Like when I do a load of laundry and forget to remove a nametag from one of my t-shirts.

Like when I get a great piece of hate mail that says something like, “Scott, you’re nuttier than a bag of trail mix!” (Someone actually wrote that once.)

Yep, laughing at yourself is the greatest. I like what Carl Reiner had to say about it, “Inviting people to laugh with you while you are laughing at yourself is a good thing to do. You may be the fool, but you're the fool in charge.”

Preach on, brother.

Look. Too many people in this world take too many things in this world WAY too seriously. You probably know someone who refuses to laugh at himself, right?

Good. Then I suggest you send that person the following list: Top 10 Reasons to Laugh at Yourself Daily.

1) Humility. Nobody is perfect. Nobody. So, when you poke fun at your own faults and mistakes, the people around you – your staff, your clients, your friends – will appreciate your humanness.

2) Wealth. Film buff Raymond Hitchcock once noted, “A man isn't poor if he can still laugh.” That’s how powerful this stuff is. And I’d be willing to bet that even Bill Gates and Donald Trump laugh at themselves daily. Especially Trump.

3) The Disarming Effect. Whenever I give a talk, whether it’s to 40 people or 4000 people, I try to laugh at myself about every four minutes. HINT: if you’re speaking to a group, self-laughs make your audience feel comfortable. Not to mention, they can’t beat you to the punch.

4) Attitude.
I admit; I’m not positive and cheery all the time. (Who is?) But I can’t help but think that my attitude has significantly improved over the past six years as a result of self-laughter. It’s like Mitlon Berle said, “Laughter is an instant vacation.” So think about it: how great is your attitude on vacation?

5) Quality. I’ve seen hundreds (maybe thousands) of funny movies in my short 26 years on this planet. And honestly, I think if everyone in the world took the ten funniest things about their own lives and made them into movies, we’d have a one heck of a comedy library. Let’s face it: the best laughs are the ones directed at ourselves.

6) Safety. Sometime you’ve got to be careful who you laugh at. People get offended easily. (Especially those people who can’t laugh at themselves first.) The point is; laughing at yourself is safe. People rarely get pissed off because you cracked a joke at your own expense.

7) Approachability.
Gosh. What a surprise that I picked this word, huh? But come on, it’s true. Just think about working with two people, one who never laughs at himself and one who often pokes fun at her own actions. Who do you want to hang out with? (Notice I just made fun of myself in this last paragraph.)

8) Reciprocation. Self-laughter is important in a conversation, especially with someone you’ve just met. Do it early to open the doors. That way, everyone involved will feel comfortable to laugh at themselves (and each other) as well. It’s a beautiful environment.

9) Maturity.
Another great line comes from Ethel Barrymore. She said, “You grow up the day you have your first real laugh - at yourself.” Couldn’t agree more.

10) Health.
I’ve been through some tough times in the past few years, especially in the beginning of 2006 when I spent a week in the hospital with a collapsed lung. And I remember the highlight of the week was when the nurses came in to my room to administer my first chest tube. They pulled down the top of my gown, took one look at my nametag tattoo and couldn’t stop laughing for five minutes. Freaking priceless. No morphine drip can beat that.

Anyway, at the risk of sounding cliché, there’s no way that laughter – especially self-laughter – isn’t the best medicine.

The best Jerry! The BEST.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How many times did you laugh at yourself this week?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Make your own list called "Top Three Reasons I Laugh at Myself." Post it here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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