If you want to enjoy every single day, it pays to develop a good sense of humor.
This is the advice I’ve been telling myself lately, and I’m offering it to you as well. Let’s face it: as beautiful as life can be, there’s no way to avoid a few bumps along the way. It’s not unusual for everyday problems to knock us around, but a “lightening up” strategy can work wonders.
When I'm not working on my sequel to Groovin’: Horses, Hopes, and Slippery Slopes, I like to play poker with my buddies. My favorite game is Texas Holdem—a game that requires you to master over 50 skills to become a great player. And even if you become proficient at the game, you still have to make good decisions and deal with that mischievous Lady Luck.
Sometimes I push a lot of chips in the middle with what I hope is the best hand, only to find out my opponent has a better one. Or worse yet, get called by a crap hand and the other player gets crazy lucky and outdraws me. This can be a bummer, but if I go “on tilt,” my judgment can be compromised.
I follow a poker rule called the "20-year rule." The basic premise is to ask yourself, "Will this matter in 20 years?"
Isn't that great advice? I find it also comes in handy when dealing with life. If I apply it, I can dismiss the emotional impact of most situations.
So when serious problems come your way, take the edge off by tipping your perspective toward the comical side of things. This requires some practice, but I urge you to give it a try.
A hearty sense of humor can truly be uplifting.
Are you ready to lighten up with me today?
This is Rich Israel speaking to you from a soft spot in my heart. I’d like to use this space to share inspiring musings and anecdotes about joy, honesty, friendship, integrity, and other subjects that can enhance the quality of our lives.
Because work occupies a good part of our time, I wanted to launch my blog with thoughts on how to adjust your attitude to make it more fun.
Most people distinguish work from play. But some dance to a different paradigm. The lucky ones do what they love, which is always best and at the very least should be a long-term goal for everyone. The smart ones who aren’t that lucky shift their attitude to love what they do. If we don’t take one of these tracks, we’re destined to live a dreary existence.
Sure, lots of jobs aren’t ideal. I’ve had plenty of them. But life is too short to spend any more time suffering than we need to. The trick for me is to turn work into play. Play is something we all inherently practiced from birth. And play has this great side effect called enjoyment, and any word with “joy” in it is worth pursuing. The happiest people I meet are grateful to just be able to work.
I’m not saying I always take this road, but I do make an attempt. When I signed with Sandra Jonas Publishing for my new book, Groovin’, the first thing I said to myself was, OH SHIT! WHAT NOW?
Actually, at first I was excited. At least for a few hours. Then reality set in, and that excitement turned into sheer terror. You see, selling a book these days of media overstimulation is a bitch. Letting people know your book exists takes a lot of effort, and even if you manage to get the word out, people don’t buy books the way they used to.
Nowadays you need a website and a blog and a mailing list. Then you need to produce interesting, helpful content if you want folks to take notice. Even though I love to write, I wasn’t keen on another career in marketing. I wrote my book because I had a bunch of fun stories I knew people would enjoy. But to get those stories out in the world, I was going to have to do some heavy lifting.
The thought of coming up with more content that people would take the time from their busy lives to read was overwhelming. I’ve worked with energetic medicine over several lifetimes in this body, so I started looking for something to give me the courage to combat my wimpiness. I have a lot of tools in my arsenal to help with emotional balance, but I didn’t see anything that quite hit the mark.
I went around and around and finally realized—and not for the first time—that only one thing would help. The answers we always seek are right inside. When I’m in balance, I have clarity, and when I have clarity and balance, I have everything else I need (including courage).
So I turned to meditation. I went inside and I meditated . . . and I meditated . . . and I meditated some more.
And when that clarity came, I was ready for the challenge. I no longer looked at the road ahead as an insurmountable task but as another adventure in the journey of my life. And damn, I love a good adventure!
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