“I ran across a statistic this past weekend: The average child laughs 113 times a day, the average adult laughs 11 times a day. I have heard an even greater number for children, but no matter whether it is 100 or 400 the fact is as we grow older we don’t laugh nearly enough.
“Some years ago, I was responsible for a team supporting a line of software products. The company had just been acquired and even though the workload was increasing, top management imposed a hiring freeze. It was a very stressful time.
“One morning I came into a staff meeting with the department. Everyone looked very somber and serious. When I turned around from closing the conference room door I was greeted with a most unusual sight. My staff had all made paper mustaches and beards, stuck them on popsicle sticks, and were holding them up to their faces; kind of a “we are all Matt now” moment. Two things about this little joke. First, they were pretty good facsimiles of my beard and mustache, second, the department was mostly women; I burst into laughter. I actually laughed so hard I slid down the door and sat there gasping for breath. The department joined in, and we all had a really, really good laugh for about 5 or 10 minutes. Eventually we got back to business, but the tension and pressure that had been in the room at the beginning was gone.
“Few situations are so desperate that we cannot find some humor in them. Few presentations are so serious that we cannot inject some fun into them. All of us, at one time or another, have found ourselves in situations that are so utterly absurd we should be rolling on the floor laughing at the ridiculousness of it all instead of fretting and cursing our bad luck.
“You may not be able to laugh yourself out of issues, but it can clear your mind and put you on a path to find a creative solution. Give it a shot; try and remember laughter!”