The Gift of Laughter doesn’t cost you anything to give or receive!

Have you ever laughed so hard tears were rolling down your cheeks and you could barely catch your breath? So hard you couldn’t stop?  It has happened to me a handful of times when something just triggers waves of laughter  that leaves me breathless and my cheeks hurting from smiling so hard!   

Laughter is a gift from God and I love to laugh as often as I can.  I seek out happy, funny people.  I will wade through lots of comedy to find that one laugh out loud unexpected explosion of hilarity.    They say that “laughter is the best medicine” but they never say for what illness.  Did you ever notice that?  That’s because laughter is the best medicine for just about everything.  It makes you feel better about the sorrows in your life and the absurd unfairness of the universe from your tiny perspective.  Laughing releases a flood of chemicals that make you feel better all over.

“Finding the funny” in your life is a skill that can be developed, but only after you stop taking yourself and your so called problems so seriously.  I have spent most of my life looking for the left turn, the absurd, the path less taken in just about every conversation I have ever had.  When you train yourself to listen and view everything from a new perspective, the laughter and comedy appear.    

A while back, I was eating dinner with my family at an out door cafe and a point of conversation was brought up, and my son conceded the point by saying “Touche’!”  Now all my life when I heard that word my brain said “that’s French from the sport of fencing, and it means “touch” or in a wider meaning “one point for you”.    

But because my mind is always trying to nail together new things, this time my mind said “That sounds like a hairpiece for your butt.”  Toupee, Tush, Tushee.  I cracked myself  up and after laughing uncontrollably for a while I finally managed to share my new word with my family, who then joined in and we  all laughed hysterically!  I am sure a few people around us were wondering what could have been so funny.   We then each “riffed” on the idea using the new word in various forms.  “Is that natural, or is it a Tushee?    It’s absurd I know.  But that silly idea triggered one of the best laughs my family has had, and we refer back to it now and then, and it cracks us up all over again!

Finding smiles and laughter in your world depends solely on you.  You have to look  for and expect happiness to come bounding out at you.  It’s like a game of hide and seek.  If you don’t know anyone is hiding, you will never look, and they will not be found.  Laughs and smiles are all around you, in every nook and corner.  All you need to do is start looking, and once you train yourself to find the happy, you will have a never ending supply!

At my last family gathering which was filled with laughter and stories,  I was joking around to make everyone else laugh, and hit my own funny bone.  It had been a while since I had laughed uncontrollably, and it was such a wonderful release.   Understand that at this same gathering, we shared our concerns about aging parents, painful accidents, major surgery and life events and choices that had sad and terrible consequences.  There were no perfectly happy people at the table, but for that afternoon we were perfectly happy thanks to the gift of laughter.

So if you want to start seeing the funny in your world, here are my action steps for you to try:

Watch some stand-up comedy from your favorite comic.  After you laugh, stop for a second and try and see the new perspective the comedian just gave you.  

Find a free web service that will send you a joke a day.

Make a list of your top ten favorite  funny movies – and have a movie night with your family or friends and share them.

Start looking for funny.   Find out what makes you laugh consistently.  Then find more of it! 

 Stay away from comedy that has ego or hate at it’s center.   If the joke basically is “that other person is a moron and I am better than they are” you will not find the best funny.   Guess what? YOU are the funniest person, and you have to laugh at yourself and the stupid things you do should amuse you constantly, otherwise you are taking  yourself too seriously.

Find some funny people, and listen to how they think.  New ideas will start coming to you faster and faster, and before you know it, you will be “riffing” with the best of them.  Until then, enjoy letting them do most of the mining for comedy gold!

For the advanced degree in finding the laughter, go to an improv show.  It’s the best training in the world for finding the funny, and finding funny people!   For the quickest way I know to start training your brain to see the funny, get my book “THE IMPROV PERFORMANCE MANUAL by Nate Truman” on Amazon.com.    This intro to improvisational comedy and the mindset you need to develop can help you jump start your quest for the funny!  Plus there is a free bonus, right on the cover of the book! 🙂   Only you can choose to see the hilarious, crazy and ridiculous and then enjoy it each day you are given.   The journey of a lifetime begins with a small step and a big smile.     Now picture someone around you wearing their new “Tushee” and it peeking out of the top of their pants or skirt, and I dare you not to smile!     

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Is LOVE on your “TO DO” list today?

1100035_love_food

 

 

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.   

1 Corinthians 13:2  NIV

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is love on your list of things to do today? Probably not.  The “To-Do’s” that seem to be on most everyone’s daily lists are worldly items.   Pick this up at the store, learn a new skill,  buy that item, close that deal, and make that follow up call, and so on. People seem to think that once they have money, power, knowledge and influence they will be a success and their list reflects that.

 

Take a quick look down your list and see if you can find one item you are going to do today that will build a loving relationship you currently have into a closer one.  If you look at your list now with this new focus, you should be able to find an act of service that you are only doing because it is for a loved one.  “Take kids to practice” “Get groceries” “Clean house” “Get oil changed” are all acts of service you do to keep your family’s world running smoothly – but do they know you do those things because you love them? Do you realize now, that is why YOU do them?

We do things and pursue goals for reasons.  If your “To-Do” list has become a weight of guilt around your neck, try finding your root reasons for why you want to accomplish each task. Just implementing this new focus that the unpleasant or repetitive tasks you do each day are to show love to your family, can change your outlook and attitude.  Having a motivating reason for doing something makes the doing a lot easier and more pleasurable as well.  You may also find you cross off a few items, because you have identified the root desire that put the item on your list, and you now no longer want to pursue that goal. 

Love should be at the top of your list everyday.  Add at least one item that is an outward display of love for another human being.  A phone call to a friend who’s having a hard time, a stop for coffee and conversation, a long hug for a spouse or child are good examples.  Then put that at the top of your list, and get at least that one item done today! 

The funny thing about doing this is YOUR day will be happier and more focused when you have love at the top of your list!

Why Paying it Forward, Pays Big Dividends!

by Nate Truman

1124721_we_have_a_dealLet us not become weary in doing good,

 for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9 NIV

 

 

 

“What’s in it for me?”  If this is the first question that pops into your head anytime you hear about an opportunity, you need a new question.   We all know people who always want to get their “cut” before you are finished explaining your idea to them.  Do you want to deal with that kind of person, or better yet, do people think of you as “that guy?”

There is nothing wrong with looking at opportunities, both personal and professional, to see if it’s beneficial for you.  However, if anytime a friend asks a favor or someone at work needs a ride in the other direction your first reaction is “how does that benefit me?” it’s time for you to make a change, and enjoy paying it forward.

The concept has been around a long time with the old adage, “do unto others, as you would have them do unto you” but most people add to that statement in their heads that others should do something helpful FIRST before you do.  

The idea was dramatized a few years ago in a movie with the title “Pay it forward” starring Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey.   A young boy decides he can change the world by paying it forward.  He does three good deeds and he tells those three people that they should do three good deeds for others as repayment.  That one gesture of good will ends up spreading good deeds across the country.

So how does this work for you? Simple. You start first!  Volunteer at your favorite charity.  Ask to do an errand for an elderly person in your life, or take them out to lunch.  Start a program in your Church or school that people have been saying “someone should do something about…”    Help a friend or a friend’s friend move.  Don’t just lend someone your tools, go help.  If someone tells you they are out of work, take their resume, and actually help get them an interview at your company, or make sure it gets to someone you know that can help.  Plan a special dinner for your spouse or a fun secret outing for the family.  Before you know it, you will be getting your investment back two or three fold.   

Here is what will happen after just doing a few “no profit” favors for others in your life.  First, those that you did a favor for will start treating you more nicely.  Who doesn’t like that? Next, they will try and return the favor somehow.   Great!   If you don’t need any help from that person, suggest to them to pay it forward to someone else.  It really is infectious. 

You may be saying to yourself right now that people will just take advantage of you. Yes, some will take your help with out even a thank you.  What’s the worst that can happen in that situation?  Now they owe you a favor.  That sort of person will probably try and avoid you so you don’t ask them to return the favor. Great!  You did a kind act, move on. 

I have been investing in PIF (pay it forward) for some time, and the dividends not only keep growing, they show up in the most amazing ways!   People’s lives are happier and deals that never would have happened get done with a handshake.   I have helped people that are just acquaintances buy or sell big ticket items, get a job, get a pass into a special event, help a mother with a special need kid and many other similar favors with absolutely no interest in any return of the favor.  It makes me feel great, and I find myself wanting to do it again.  Often times just knowing you made a difference in someone’s life is reward enough.

The only problem is, the return on my investment keeps coming back in unexpected ways.  After awhile people know you have the heart to help others, and they start offering to help you.  Opportunities strangely crop up because of a favor you did months or years ago.

For me the best payback is seeing someone who has gone from just hanging on, to becoming alive again and is now helping others in their area of influence.  If you want massive return on your investments in life, pay it forward and watch the magic grow.

How To Release Your Inner Power Today!

by Nate Truman

release your power “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson, a Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

Read the above quote at least twice, and read it slowly, so you internalize each word and idea.

We all share a secret: we each know the “real” person that we are, but don’t dare show it to the world in all it’s glory. I don’t mean the deep dark secrets where we have fallen short, but the secret person we KNOW we could be: the amazingly loving, helpful, kind, brave talented person inside. We have each made sure that person doesn’t get out. We all know what happens to people who wear their hearts on their sleeves, or appear to care about others. So we protect our inner selves, we hide our kinder side, so we can be tough and withstand the insults and disappointments. We never fully commit to something, so we can say we didn’t really try.

What would happen if instead of spending so much time defending and protecting our lack of effort, we really let that inner amazing person take over? It just takes one decision. If you make one decision right now, to allow yourself to blossom and reach out to someone today, you start a whole new direction. Yes it has to be followed by one more decision in the same direction, but your life’s journey is a series of single steps.

Each decision to move toward a positive goal is a step in the right direction. Sure, you can always decide to step back, or stop walking and start complaining. However, any great goal, any huge life change is only accomplished by first making one  decision.

Make a list. Make a call. Push the plate away. The more decisions you make in a new direction, the easier they get. I know the first workout after months of inactivity is always harder to decide to do, than my 30th workout in a row. Reaching out to a friend or family member that you have not talked to in months or years the first time is much more difficult than a quick call to a constant pal.

So make that one decision today. Show the world your powerful inner self. Share your talents, help the helpless, have your best day of sales ever. Just one little decision after another, and before you know it, the world will see a whole new you!