Thanks to our director, Roger Baker and producer, Cindy Jarzab for a great show, fun songs, wild story line and a chance to connect. Also thanks to our great audiences, who let nothing stop them from coming out to support us–not even the 6″ of snow that fell all night. You make our job easier, thanks for all your laughter as we “Remember When…”
Facebook fans and friends: To read the entire story click here: http://yourshiningexample.com/wp-blog
I just read a fascinating interview in Ben Dean’s Coaching Toward Happiness newsletter (http://www.mentorcoach.com/founder.html
). It made me think twice about how I think about TIME.
Dean interviewed Phil Zimbardo, Ph.D. co-author of The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life (http://www.thetimeparadox.com/
Time colors our perspective of everything. And our lifestyle, circumstances, and background influence how we think about time.
Did your realize your audience has a certain feeling about TIME? Their feelings are affected by things that are largely out of their control. Mainly because they are not conscious of them.
These three are the biggest influencers of TIME perspectives:
*Education–makes us heavily future-oriented
*Geography–in climates w/o a change in seasons people are more present-oriented
*Poverty–forces people into present-oriented survival mode
For example, Zimbardo explained that he comes from a poor Sicilian background–where everybody lived in the past or the present. Survival mode. No one plans for the future. In fact, Zimbardo explains, in the Sicilian dialect there isn’t even a verb for the future tense! No way to say, “will be.”
You adjust your speaking to both genders. You are aware to not offend with racist remarks. You don’t step on local toes by insulting people’s cherished landmarks.
But are you still communicating effectively if you don’t see and respond to this vast array of perspectives?
*Technology further affects our perspective of TIME.
We save it, hoard it, fear it. We try to get ahead with time-saving technology, but we aren’t having any more peace of mind. We are expected to do more because we have these “time-saving” devices.
How does this speed-up affect what your audiences are willing to hear? Do they really want a long, winding story? Or will that make them secretly resent you for wasting their time and mind-energy?
This drives home the point that humor is the connector. Check out some of the humor research here at http://yourshiningexample.com/wp-blog Humor ties the TIMEs together so people can be on the same page. That’s because comedy is precise. It’s concise. People know that you will get to the point and not waste their time. They can get the benefit without getting left behind in the race.
Humor is vital. To your image as a business-servant, as a creative professional, and as a fellow human being.
I was on Facebook a lot more? And returned phone calls, e-mails, and did laundry? Well I haven’t lately because of our honky tonk musical/comedy/variety show practices. Join us for our show Friday and Saturday–that’s tomorrow night. Tickets call 814-677-SHOW. Stop by and say, “Hi!”
Read more at http://yourshiningexample.com/wp-blog
I was listening on the radio news about our new policy on terrorism. The U.S has declared that the PKK, the Kurdish Workers’ Party in Turkey, is a terror organization. People who defend this organization in court will be prosecuted.
What does all this mean? It means that we will have to re-organize our mind-set. Whether or not you think about the PKK on a daily basis doesn’t matter. We have been given our orders on how to treat these people. We know what to call them, and we know how to respond to them.
Madonna did this same thing. She didn’t create a new party (although she may someday with all her devoted followers). But she did tell us how to respond to her. She used to be the Material Girl. The trashy pop singer. But then something new happened. She started singing more classic types of songs. And then she wrote a book. And then she wrote a children’s book. She was photographed reading to a group of children. We had a different experience of Madonna. We had to adjust our mind-set about Madonna.
What the PKK and Madonna show us is that we do the same thing. Every day. If you are online, you are teaching people how to perceive you. You are showing them your attitude. Your fears. Your accomplishments. Your ideas.
Are you perceived as a Madonna–someone who can continually reinvent yourself? Moving cat-like into new areas? Being adept and agile? Unafraid of change?
Or are you threatening, clandestine, and silent about your ideas?
What party do you belong to?
Read more at http://yourshiningexample.com/wp-blog
My cat likes to jump up on my kitchen chairs. Chairs that are way above his skill level for jumping. Sometimes he smacks his knees loudly against the chair. But sometimes, if he starts from the rug, he gets a lot of height. There is a hang time, and he lands softly. Perfectly.
Driving to work today I realized that 99% of our time on earth is spent in hang-time. We are always going to be “sempre in giro” as my Italian friends say. Always in motion. Our minds race with thoughts: I need more cat treats. Dog food. A nap before play practice. I should get gas before I get home. The garbage needs taken to the dumpster. Etc. Etc. Etc.
The more we think of our average day, the more we see that we never actually reach the chair. Or very seldom. We don’t make a perfect landing each day. There are always tasks that need to be done in the hang-time.
But the more we can enjoy this hang-time, this ambiguous free-fall, the more in-control we’ll feel. Even as we are, technically, out-of-control.
The humorous interplay that happens in the hang-time (because it IS funny watching my cat suspended in mid-air as he aims for his spot on the chair) can be enjoyable. It’s all in how we jump.
I stumbled upon something interesting while I was researching German dialects. Something called the “basilect”. The basilect is part of the continuum of different ways to create a sentence. We move around here, choosing how we will communicate with others.
A basilect for one langauge describes 18 different ways of saying something in Guyanese English. One of those ways looks like this: aɪ geɪv hɪm wʌn
The term basilect was invented by William Stewart in 1965. Then in the 1970s Derek Bickerton used the word basilect to describe the process of code-switching. This is how we change our speech patterns and words to adapt to different people and situations.
We can think of humor as our basilect. We have various styles, levels of appropriateness, for each situation or listener we encounter. We can choose what we will say, and when. Because we can do this code-switching, we literally have control over our level of happiness.
This weeks’ Comedy Around the world goes to Dover, England. To the white cliffs of Dover. I first heard about this place in a Van Morrison song. That made me curious. I was compelled to see them when I crossed over the water from Oostende, Belgium to England. The suspense was building as I heard the captain say, “On your left you can see the cliffs.”
I was not disappointed. I was awestruck. I couldn’t stop looking at them. They were that magnificent.
Humor lets us use the same tools as the Van Morrison song. Namely, we can
* Plant a compelling seed (add a unique and never-before examined idea)
* Make people curious about it (make people want to find out more)
* Bring about a conclusion that impresses the heck out of people
That’s how we craft comedy: curiosity–> compelling–> crash into the punchline.
Use this system for all your communications and see how many people can’t look away.
Today on the radio, the DJ’s were talking about how hot is was outside. Somewhere around 39 degrees F. One DJ said that because the sun was shining, she was wearing a T-shirt outside. Normally, she said, if it were 39 and cloudy, she’d have worn a coat.
That’s what our perspective does for us. Or to
us. It guides our
attitude–> which affects our actions.
With an attitude of lightness, openness and expansiveness–> we’ll perform the acts of courage, creativity, and confidence.
What’s the temperature in your
How does that affect what you will think and feel?
In the book, “The Tipping Point: How little things can make a big difference,” author Malcolm Gladwell talks about how ideas become contagious. They need the input of three types of people: the Mavens, the Connectors, and the Salesmen.
What’s interesting is the process that these three peoples use to convert an idea. They must, “alter it in such a way that extraneous details are dropped and others are exaggerated so that the message itself comes to acquire a deeper meaning.”
These just happen to be some of the best comedy-writing tips too.
* Drop the extraneous details.
* Exaggerate something else.
* Make the message (the joke) meaningful to the audience.
The best comedians do this seamlessly. They take an idea, and chop out all the story-telling chaff. They scrape away the details that aren’t very important. Then they polish the message so it has impact, is sharp and pointed, and strikes at their target–the audience.
For instance, take comedian Henny Youngman–please. He was an expert on chopping a bit of humor into something you could survive on for a month in space. For example, He bet on a great horse. It only took seven horses to beat him.
We don’t need to know which racetrack. We don’t care about how much he bet. And we all know what a horserace is.
Humor lets us translate our ideas, as Gladwell says, “into something the rest of us can understand.”
Want to make your ideas and your message contagious? Which horse will you bet on?
CNN asks, “Too little, too late?” No people around. He’s the only one who’s going to talk. What will he say? What would you like him to say?
Answer: Who cares?
The Tiger Woods scandal is one of those items of interest that make me ask, “Why is this news?” In light of all the more vital events, wars, crises, and disasters occurring at any given moment in the world–how important, really, is this man?
We can offer our listeners this same type of schlocky story. Of course it’s popular. But is it substantial? Does it build us up? Or does it distract us from more important matters? Is there anything useful that we can lift from this story?
Answer: No. No. Yes, and No.
Sometimes we are like the Tiger story. In comedy we call this person a hack.
From the word, “hackneyed”: Pronunciation: \ˈhak-nēd\. Function: adjective. Date: 1735. Meaning: lacking in freshness or originality. Synonyms: See trite.
Maybe you’ve seen the hack. Talking about airline food. Or piercings that don’t allow you to pass airline metal detectors. Or maybe viagara jokes that have circled the internet more times than flies over a cowfield.
The problem we have is that it’s very tempting to jump on the schlock wagon. Pronunciation: \ˈshläk\. Variant(s): or schlocky \ˈshlä-kē\ also shlock or shlocky. Function: adjective. Etymology: perhaps from Yiddish shlak evil, nuisance. Date: 1916. Meaning: of low quality or value. It’s the easy way out. It is what’s popular at the moment.
Unfortunately, the popular means, literally, that everyone’s using it. Synonym: Common. Your input will get lost in the fog of nothingness that characterizes schlockdom. And unfortunately it is disastrous to be common in today’s world. It is financial suicide. Business self-mutilation.
If your message is so common, it will be tramped underfoot along with the millions of grains of sand that look like the most popular message of the day. Why not instead choose some better adjectives. Peculiar. Unequaled.
Unusual (= not the usual speaker, message, advertisement, event).
I think that’s what Tiger did.
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