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3 ways to turn pain into laughs

Next time things go wrong, try to find the humor.

2 min read


Pain and laughter


Humor emerging from pain is man’s way of coping with something that hurt you. Some people would turn that pain into rage; others turn it into a catalyst for self-improvement. Comedians turn that pain into gold.

Humor is one way to deal with the challenges facing you. So here are some ideas you can employ to laugh at the world around you and, in the process, feel better about what you do and the people you work with.

As you build your humorous story follow these three steps.

  1. Choose your pain. Think about a situation in which you made a mistake. Employing the Lenny Bruce rule (“Pain plus time equals humor.”), allow some time to have passed. Think about what went wrong and why.
  2. Make yourself a target. Focus on what you did. What were you thinking? Why were you thinking it? And most important don’t forget to mention what you did that was so mistaken.
  3. Go for the laugh. Exaggerate the aspects of yourself — looks, habits, and behaviors. Could these be sources of humor when played to extreme. For example, are you someone who ignores details or do you like to dive into the weeds? Pick your type and play it up.

Take a moment to reflect on the past and turning it into a source of laughter can be therapeutic. You may help you and your team feel better about the work you do. align:center

John Baldoni is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2017, Trust Across America named him a Top Thought Leader in Trust for the fourth consecutive year. Global Gurus ranked John No. 22 on its list of top 30 global experts, a list he has been on since 2007. In 2014, named John to its list of top 50 leadership experts. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including his newest, “MOXIE: The Secret to Bold and Gutsy Leadership.”

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