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GET MORE LAUGHTER IN YOUR LIFE!
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IN THIS ISSUE
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1. WELCOME FROM THE PUBLISHER
I got a kick out of these:
How many actors does it take to change a lightbulb?
How many Zen masters does it take to change a lightbulb?
****Come Have A Laugh!*****
My stand-up comedy shows continue at Cafe Madeleine, 3763 West 10th Ave., Vancouver. Clean, intelligent comedy in a smoke-free environment, Fridays at 8:00 p.m. Reservations recommended (604) 224-5558. Bring in this newsletter and buy one entree, get second for 50% off. Opening the show are students from my Langara College Stand-Up Comedy Clinic Course.
If youíve ever had a dream to do comedy, my 8-week Stand-Up Comedy Clinic
Course at Langara College starts on the evenings of October 9 & 10.
(Iím running 2 sections this term, a Tues. and Wed. class). To register
call Langara at 323-5322. To see testimonials from people who have taken
the course go to http://www.psychocomic.com/ComedyCourse.htm
2. TAKING CONTROL WITH HUMOR
In the last two issues I wrote about how the use of humor by a group
In this issue weíll look at another aspect of how they used humor to survive a situation in which they had no control. And even though we may not be POWs, our lives today are increasingly influenced by circumstances over which we have no control. Almost every organization Iíve worked with has undergone some sort of merger, reengineering or downsizing in the past several years. And as globalization increasingly takes hold, that pace of change will keep speeding up. In this wired world, events we donít even know about in parts of the word weíve never heard of will affect our jobs, organizations, finances, and way of life. Howís that for loss of control!
According to Linda D. Henman, author of the paper "Humor As A Coping Mechanism: Lessons From POWs," "The loss of power in prison was so pervasive and profound that the POWs had to find control in whatever ways they could. Without the use of humor, a formidable weapon for coping with loss of control in other aspects of life, the prisoners would have experienced almost total loss of mastery in their lives." Grabbing what little power they had helped them feel a sense of control, which in turn bolstered their morale and spirit to keep going. Henman says a few of the POWs considered humor so important that they would literally risk torture to tell a joke through the walls to another prisoner who needed cheering up.
So how often in our day do we take control? Victor Frankl, a concentration camp survivor and author of "Manís Search For Meaning" said "humor was another of the soulís weapons in the fight for self-preservation." In the camp, he and a fellow prisoner would invent amusing story each day. They found these humor breaks gave them a few moments of escape from the brutality of the camp.
My suggestion is that instead of coffee breaks, we take humor breaks. Hereís how one group does it. They are a team of welfare workers on the front-lines of a poor neighborhood, serving difficult, high-needs clients. Each has a caseload of about 300 and works for an organization undergoing massive funding cuts, downsizing, and policy changes.
But every day after coffee itís the same. The supervisor and two workers appear in the reception area. "What song do you wanna hear? Do you wanna hear Jazz? Rock? Folk?" Then, "playing" accordion folders and staple removers as finger cymbals, they launch into the worldís worst rendition of "Across The Universe" by John Lennon, to the hysterical laughter of their coworkers.
"Itís our way of keeping up morale," says a team member. "Weíre so overwhelmed, so stressed, so burned out. This is how we keep our sanity."
Heres another example, complete with pictures at the end of this article. After a presentation I did for AEP Central Power and Light in Tulsa, I mailed Marsha Garst, the event organizer a gorilla mask. She writes: "After you mailed us the mask, we came up with the idea of stuffing a pair of old jeans and flannel shirt with newspaper, like a scare crow, then attaching a head with the mask."
They called this handsome fellow JC because a coworker "came into work one morning, opened her door, and found him sitting in her chair. She yelled "JESUS CHRIST!" It took all day for her heart to slow down."
Marsha continues: "Several weeks later, I came to work extra early and put on the mask and JC's clothes and sat quietly in her office waiting for her to open her door. Unfortunately, she was so gun shy about pranks, that she opened her door slowly, and immediately noticed that JC was more top heavy then normal, and knew it was me." (1st picture is me dressed as JC).
"If anyone took a day off, when theyd return he'd be in their office to welcome them back. When there was a holiday, he would dress up for it. He even owns a pair of valentine boxers. We set him up in the mail room, (2nd picture), and the mail guy would drop the mail pouch off in his lap. Everybody loved him (except the boss, and we think even he secretly enjoyed JC!). JC even has his own employee I.D. badge!" (3rd picture).
Now you may not want to go this far in your workplace, but how about some smaller steps? Every day a have a different person or persons bring in a joke, cartoon, or a funny prop like a rubber chicken and share it with coworkers. These humor breaks only need to take a few minutes out of your busy day.
Let me know about your humor breaks, and Ill pass along some of them to your fellow readers as space permits.
Here are the pictures of JC:
For other free articles about laughter go to www.psychocomic.com/Articles.htm
For free back issues of this ezine go to www.psychocomic.com/Newsletter.htm
*****GET MORE LAUGHTER IN YOUR LIFE!*****
3. WHAT'S GOOD STORIES
It's so easy to see all the bad things around us, that sometimes we forget about all the great things that go on. And we need to hear about good things because that gives us hope and inspires us to go out and do more good things.
In this section, I want to hear from you. What's happened in your life that's good? What things have people done that inspire you to be kind to others? What funny things have happened?
Email your short stories to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and if I publish yours, you get a free copy of my tape "I'm OK But YOU Need Professional Help!"
Craig Senior from Ottawa Ontario sent this in:
In responding to an Ontario Heath Care Survey in 2001, this is how I
In rating my satisfaction with x-ray services: "I saw a new side of
In rating my satisfaction with mental health care services: "Not applicable.
Perhaps laughter IS the best medicine!
4. AN OPPORTUNITY TO HELP
The Vancouver Crisis Centre needs volunteers.
If you want to help people while learning crisis intervention and
If anyone has a good cause they'd like to promote please email me at
5. CLASSIFIED ADS
Speakers: Learn how to incorporate stand-up comedy into your presentations.
Check out David's stand-up comedy skills coaching for presenters at: www.psychocomic.com/ComedyCourse.htm
6. CONTACT INFORMATION
David Granirer gives laughter in the workplace presentations helping hundreds of organizations throughout North America reduce stress, increase wellness, and cope with change. For more information on his presentations, stand-up comedy, products, and articles call (604) 205-9242 or go to www.psychocomic.com
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