Being Too Serious Ruins Your Success
Are you having fun? Do you get a thrill from your work? Do you enjoy waking up each morning?
Myths about work can hurt your progress. “Work is not supposed to be fun.” “You must buckle down and get serious.”
Perhaps the biggest myth of all: “People will think I’m important if I act seriously.” Yet getting serious creates problems: stress, worry, anxiety, emotional pain, drudgery and failure.
Resolving problems by getting MORE serious is like fixing a computer with a hammer. The harder you try, the worse the problem becomes.
“When life becomes serious, a man becomes less cause and greater effect. If life gets really serious, his value drops to practically zero. Driving a car can become such serious business that one can wreck the car. Running a business can become so serious as to make it fail. There is a direct connection between insanity and seriousness.”
“It is only when an individual progresses in life to a point where much seriousness is attached to things that he begins to have a hard time. The ancient Italian really knew what he was about when he considered that the only psychotherapy was laughter.” — L. Ron Hubbard
Five Benefits of Being Less Serious
- As soon as you lighten up, you feel like you are playing a game like Monopoly, tennis or a video game.
- You have a thicker skin. You are not easily offended. You worry less about what people think of you.
- If you lose a single battle in the war, you jump back in. You know that losing is just part of the game.
- Everyone around you lightens up, too. They feel like teammates instead of fans or competitors.
- Your view of your life expands. You see the big picture. Your strategies improve.
12 Ways to Lighten Up
Approaching your life with a non-serious attitude gives you a clearheaded view of difficulties and the energy to deal with them. Problems are easier to solve, people are more cooperative, and you feel more relaxed. You probably live longer and more successfully, as well.
Try these ideas until you find one that lightens you up.
- Deliberately turn a molehill into a mountain. Make a big deal out of a little problem. “I would feel much better if these papers were stacked exactly like this! Not like that! Like this! Not this! This!”
- Ask yourself, “Is getting serious about this situation really going to improve it?”
- Focusing on the positives. “What is right about this situation?” “What else is right?” “What else?”
- Consider a complete, major change. For example, go back to school, move to the ocean, start a new career.
- Ask yourself, “When I’m on my deathbed, will I be glad I was so serious about _______?”
- A challenging game is much better than no game at all. So consider losing all aspects of the problem. Examples: You feel serious about family problems. You ask yourself, “Well, what if I had no family at all?” You feel serious about your investments. You ask yourself, “What if I had no money to invest?”
- The size of your problem may match the size of your game. So get a bigger game. For example, if you get uptight about paper clips being in the wrong drawer, your game size is tiny. Double your amount of responsibility. Set some huge goals. Succeed by thinking much, much bigger.
- Stop trying to solve the problem that is making you so serious. Certain types of problems solve themselves if you leave them alone. Your problem may be one of those.
- Compare what you are doing to other careers. Imagine being a septic tank drainer or a tax collector.
- Make everyone around you lighten up.
- Look at bizarre solutions. What is the craziest way you could solve your problem? What solution, if it worked, would make you laugh out loud?
- Act stupid for a minute. Let down your hair. Stop being so darn important for a while. Be a goof!