A Simple SHIFT to Laughter Humor in Business and in Life
Years ago, I was speaking in the Midwest. I needed to stock up on writing accessories, so I drove to a nearby K-Mart. As I proceeded to purchase my goods, I noticed there was only one register open, so I took my place at the end of a long line. While waiting, I heard the people in the line mumbling something about the attitude of the young woman working the register. As I proceeded closer to the register, I understood what everyone was talking about.
This woman did have a major attitude problem, but what amazed me was how everyone else was making it their problem. The guy in back of me apparently found the need to add more fuel to the fire by venting loud enough for everyone to hear, “Who does she think she is? I’m going to go over there and give her a piece of my mind!” I’m thinking, “Oh this is great. Somebody with no mind at all is going to give somebody else a piece of it.” At that point, I noticed that everyone was feeding off of everyone else’s negativity.
Now I guess my Humor Being was at an all-time high that day. Because right in the middle of this negative frenzy, I took off my shoe, put it by my ear, and said (in a voice like Maxwell Smart from the old television series, “Get Smart”) “Hello Chief. (Everyone in line just stared at me) Yes, this is Max. Well, I’m at K-Mart and apparently everyone in this store is a spy. How can I tell? Each and everyone one of them has a bug up their butt!” There wasn’t a person in that line that wasn’t filled with tears of laughter. In fact, the guy behind me said, “Hey, can I use your shoe? I have to call my wife!”
What an amazing turn of events. One moment everyone was wallowing in negativity. The next they were all laughing. The woman behind the counter, she didn’t get it at all. In fact, she was more upset than she was before. She looked at me and said, “That is so stupid! A grown man talking to his shoe. There’s no phone in there!”
I learned a very important lesson that day. Some people take their jobs and their lives too seriously. They refuse to acknowledge they have a sense of humor. When times are tough in business and in life I urge you to Shift your focus and way of thinking to see the humor in the chaos and the insanity that surrounds you. If you make this success strategy a habit, you will find that life becomes a little easier and more enjoyable.
Every time I look back on this significant incident in my life I am reminded of how important it is to be in control of my emotions and how laughter can help me take that control. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what kind of position in life you hold. When you make the shift and find the laughter in the midst of any stressful situation, you can regain control.