Can you find the humor in everyday occurrences? I know people that are just naturals at it. They can find humor in just about every situation. And they can also be quite serious when the situation calls for it. Me? I struggle with that skill. More often I’m just serious all the time and find that when somebody is trying to joke around or find humor is a particular situation, it takes me a second or two to make the transition. Why is that? I think it has to do with a particular world view.
People take themselves too seriously. I know I do. I take what I am doing seriously. I have goals, desires and things I want to do. These drive how I approach everything I do, every situation I’m in and how I look at other people. I’m serious about what is in front of me. I think about how things should be, and if I don’t it usually bites me in the end. That’s how I view the world. Yet I envy those people who can find humor in everyday life.
These are people who can make a joke about everyday social situations. They are the ones who look at life and question why we sometimes do the things we do. They are the pranksters, the comedians, the life philosophers. They poke fun at the awkward situations we find ourselves in. For example, I had one gentleman tell me about an experience he had where he was placed in a position where he had to help baptize some people and had not planned to do so. When he had finished he realized he didn’t have a spare pair of underwear to change into. He ended up not wearing any underwear for a time, but at the first opportunity returned home as soon as he could so he could put some on.
I could never have told that experience, and yet he told it and the way he told it was humorous. We sympathized with him and he had us in the palm of his hand. We could all emphasize with were he was because we have all been in similar situations or can imagine being in that kind of situation.
Telling stories like that is a natural gift and while it is one I don’t have as much as I would like, I can appreciate it. And it makes me look at my life and see that I don’t need to be serious about everything that happens. Seeing humor in situations is something good leaders can do. Many historical figures used humor to relieve tension and put people at ease when in a difficult situation. It is something worth developing as a leader.
Are there things in your life that if you were to change your perspective, would be better and could bring a little cheer into your life and the lives of those around you? If you are not naturally comedic, is there some way you can incorporate humor into your conversations that can help those you lead? I look forward to hearing how you have developed humor and how you use it in the comments below.
The image, titled “Laughing”, was taken by “Eric Ward”. You can find it on flickr.