Comedy Around the World has gone to a lot of places. Countries. Cities. States of mind. Today’s location is ephemeral. Shiftless. Shapeless. It’s geography can be anywhere. Today we visit a Godwink. This is something SQuire Rushnell describes in his books as a coincidental happening. A ‘wink’ from God–not telling you what to do. Instead, it is a supportive message that you are on the exact right path for you. You are living your purpose.
Tonight I experienced a Godwink at a singing event.
I wasn’t in the mood to sing. And especially not when I realized there were more than 15 people on the schedule! My dog needs fed. The cats are probably at home beating each other up. I still haven’t typed everything for tomorrow’s meeting with my advisor. I need a hair cut.
Then, towards the end of the event, a trumpeter took the stage. Since I’m not a big fan of the trumpet, I was secretly wondering what kinds of cookies they had for us downstairs at the reception.
All of a sudden, the guy announces that he’ll play a song. And–it was the song that started it all for my comedic violin phase of my act. The same song.
“What are the chances of THAT happening?” as Rushnell would say.
Several years ago, I had practiced, and even memorized that song. The first time I played it in public, I was the model speaker for a speech contest. We don’t call it a target speaker, because that makes public speaking even more frightening for the speaker.
I played my song. I played it under control. Beautifully, I thought. My speech explained about trying something new, since I took up violin later in life–not at age 5 when you’re supposed to start learning violin.
After the contest, several people came up to me and asked if I use my violin in my comedy act. What do you mean? I asked them.
They explained that, “That was so funny when you played that song so badly!”
I thought I played great! Seriously! I asked them how I could incorporate the violin into my act. And they gave me ideas. Lots of them.
And I never forgot that song.
What Godwinks can you find in your day?
Not only do these Godwinks let you know everything is O.K. and you’re on the right path. But they can also help you to relax and to not take things–or yourself–too seriously.
I think that sounds a lot like–Humor.
Here’s an article from my friend Leslie. She works for Buell motorcycles. This is her account of traveling to Eastern Europe to track down long-lost relatives. The article is at http://www.buell.com/en_us/experience/fuell/ (Searching for Mr. Pribis).
Leslie hopes it gives you a smile or two.
I hope it helps you to Live Life–Lite!
“Get Your SHINE Together!”
www.hellomynameisscott.com has a g-r-e-a-t regular blog. In this particular entry, Scott talks about being a Thought Leader.
He stresses that we need to stand out. To differentiate ourselves from all the ideas and words that have been said before. We need to be creative. Different. Perhaps even–FUNNY?
Scott says to, “notice things and give them names. Everyone has heard everything before. So, if there is nothing new under the sun, what do you say? Here’s your first clue: Create names, designations, acronyms and titles for the things you notice. Make them original, creative and consistent with the branding of your philosophy.” Like my SHINE System of Communication–how to communicate like a comic. Light, Concise, and Creative.
Scott continues that, “When you name something, you can do something about that something. You can begin exploration and working with that something. You can help people talk about that something. You can change people’s thinking about that something. I named “approachability.” What are you naming?”
He also advises a strategy similar to what we comedians do: be an iconoclast! He says, “when you 180 existing ideas and express them in a new way, you challenge people to think in a new way. You toggle their melons. That’s what leaders do. They walk with a constant posture of challenging the process.”
How can you use YOUR sense of humor to differentiate YOURself? How can you, “Get Your SHINE Together!” today?
In Marcia Wieder’s Dreamzine I read about the “12 Ways to be a 21st Century Visionary.” A visionary “knows that the secret to enlightenment is to relax. As we relax, our ego (with its agenda, fears and doubts) can slip away and we are left with our essential self, essence or soul.”
Any athlete knows that nervousness, tension and anxiety are a recipe for disaster. But it’s not true just for athletes–it’s especially true for all of us. We are not programmed to put relaxation into our daily life training. We instead tend to push ourselves to the limit.
This strategy limits our performance and ruins our human machine.
Keeping and using our sense of humor allows us to relax.
* Humor allows us to go with the flow.
* Humor prevents us from taking offense.
* Humor prevents us from taking ourselves too seriously.
* Humor clears our vision so we can think more clearly.
“Get Your SHINE Together!” and dream big!
Congratulations to Erin Palko, who won tonight’s speech contest at Mercer County Toastmasters! Erin will compete in October at the Area contest. Good luck, and thanks for supporting (and creating) live comedy!!
I’m reading the book, “Alice Cooper, Golf Monster.” In it, Alice Cooper describes the genesis of the act named Alice Cooper. His “plan” is a great guideline to use for creating humor into your day.
The band wanted to be as different from the peacenik movement as they could. That was their only goal.
1. Go for a direction, rather than a goal.
2. If there are no clear-cut guidelines, you can wing it. Where should the band move to next? Their manager suggested, “How about the first city that gives you a standing ovation.” So that’s how Alice Cooper returned to his roots in Detroit.
3. Be open to everything. When an audience member threw a plastic dummy onstage and then an enraged fan stormed the stage, Alice had to think quick. “Kill it!” he commanded the fan. The crowd went wild.
Being in the flow is what Alice Cooper was all about when he was starting out in music. He explains in his book that’s how he is with his golf game, too.
And that’s how YOU can be in your life.
Last weekend I volunteered to help with the Stone Skipping Tournament on the Allegheny River in Western PA. This was an event that featured the Guiness World Record holder for stone skipping, Russ Byars. He had won the world record with 51 skips and would defend his title.
I learned that anyone could enter the amateur contest. So guess what I did? I entered. I figured that since I hadn’t skipped rocks since I was seven years old, I would be well rested. And I would have no bad habits.
Russ was kind enough to show me some skipping techniques. He even let some of us use the rocks he’d collected.
It was a light-hearted day, not only because of Russ’s fun personality. It was also because the day was filled with electricity. It was the first year that there would be national media–ESPN and CBS news’ Bill Geist.
The announcer during the contest was very funny. He said that they may add an ESPN channel devoted solely to stone-skipping. It would be called ESPN 20, “Right between ESPN 19, the all-fishing channel, and ESPN 21, watching paint dry.”
It was a very no-pressure type of competition. For me, anyway, because I only skipped at best a five. The no-pressure atmosphere is what contributed to the fun.
Today I talked to two people who were also at the event. We had a connection because of the fun that was generated that day. We had a nice reminder of how funny everything was that day. And as we re-tell our experiences, more people can join in on the lightness.
Similar to Groundhog Day, the Stone Skipping tournament let us tap into our own, innate lightness. It is always there. There just aren’t that many Stone-Skipping events that highlight or require it. So–why not find, create, or promote your OWN event. And while you’re at it, you’ll “Get Your SHINE Together!”
Today’s Comedy Around the World goes to Mr. & Mrs. B’s. These are friends I’ve known ever since I was in the Kindergarten carpool with their daughter. They are the people I go to when I want to laugh, be cheered up, or just forget about my worries.
Last time I visited them, I took a golf cart ride with Mrs. B. We collected cut flowers from her many gardens. We played with some of the kittens in their garage. And of course–we laughed.
It doesn’t matter where they live geographically. Or even how often we see each other. What matters is that I know I have that comfort zone. The place where humor flows deep, and there is no pretense. I can be myself, and so can they.
Think of your comfort zone. Do you know who you can visit when you need a humor break, a comedy copy/paste to your day? Write their name(s) and make a plan. Call or visit them this week. They will help you, “Get Your SHINE Together!” whether they realize it or not!
Our final day of awareness-creating tips arrives in the form of a surprise addition to my life. Last week I heard meowing in stereo as I collected my cat from the barn. The other sound turned out to be a new kitten. As I’ve been slowly introducing her to my cat, every day is an adventure.
Just watching a kitten discover household items reminds me of awareness.
Everything is fun. Everything is a toy. Everything is a source of joy.
I never noticed that magazine subscription hanging down from the plant stand. But the kitten did.
Toilet paper and cotton balls have new meaning now. They’re not just for practicality anymore.
Jump ropes hanging from the chair are fun. So are pens, shoestrings, and the screen door.
Watching a kitten play reminds us to be aware of those things that have always been there, but have gone unnoticed. We were too busy. We were distracted, tired.
We were not aware.
And so we missed all the humor and fun that were waiting all around us.
Which of these six tips will YOU start using tomorrow? Pick one and start to, “Get Your SHINE Together!”
I think it was Denis Waitley who I saw on a PBS special. He was talking about how a boat’s wake gives the captain no useful information. It represents something that has passed. We can look at it, but it doesn’t help us to steer. And more importantly for our humor-development, it does nothing to create awareness.
He used the song, “Row Your Boat,” to illustrate a better way to live.
1. “Row, row, row,” means that we need to take some action. Be proactive.
2. “Your boat,” not someone else’s. When you are sitting in your own boat, that is your only focus. You can’t easily reach over and guide someone else’s boat.
3. “Gently,” don’t be willful, forceful, or aggressive.
4. “Down the stream,” not upstream. Know what you are good at, go with your strengths. It should feel effortless.
5. “Merrily, merrily, merrily,” of course.
6. And when all those steps are taken, it will feel like, “Life is but a dream.”
Next time You want to snap yourself back into awareness, remember this song. You’ll be seeing the funny, comical, and fun things that were always there. Right in your own boat.
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