“Laugh at yourself and at life. Not in the spirit of derision or whining self-pity, but as a remedy, a miracle drug, that will ease your pain, cure your depression and help you to put in perspective that seemingly terrible defeat and worry with laughter at your predicaments, thus freeing your mind to think clearly toward the solution that is certain to come. Never take yourself too seriously.” ~ Og Mandino
Stop. Think. When was the last time you laughed a hearty, full-bodied chuckle? When was the last time you acted silly and felt really good doing it? When was the last time you truly enjoyed yourself? If these questions are hard for you to answer you may have caught a case of “too insightful for my own good syndrome,” meaning all of your wisdom, awakeness or pondering the deeper meanings of existence have taken full precedence of one of life’s greatest gifts…laughter and joy.
It seems that once one starts fighting the good fight in this world by either standing up for justice, spreading “truth” or delving into the mysteries of the universe they can become so preoccupied with the truth (whatever that may be for said person) that they can often start taking themselves and life in general just a little too seriously. And there is nothing more tragic than a person who wastes an entire lifetime by never taking the time to smell the roses every now and again.
Now yes, as we’ve all heard a million times life is about balance. There is something to be said about hard work, standing up for what you believe in and being driven, but if we don’t every now and then look at ourselves or this whole existence thing we have going on here and get a good laugh out of all of it, life can become quite miserable. And that state of mind is never fun… or funny. Below are four reasons you should stop taking yourself and life so seriously.
1) Life gets dull and so do you
Having fun while either doing something that makes us laugh, being around people who draw out our silliness or even just partaking in an activity that we truly enjoy is a huge part of what makes life worth living.
Over time, if we solely focus on work, making money, studying or in complete solitude we will undoubtedly miss out on the fun side of life. If this is where you have found yourself, don’t beat yourself up. Life can be stressful. Things happen. Bills need to be paid. Work needs to be done.
But all of these things are done properly and effectively by a person who feels good and makes time to have fun. Fun and silliness can come in any number of forms ranging between making up silly songs with our kids, playing a sport for fun purposes, or even watching a comedy movie. As we allow ourselves time to just relax and laugh we will notice that certain spice our life had been missing. And soon, our dull boring life will begin to feel joyful again which makes for the times we spend working to be a lot easier and less stressful.
2) You gain a fresh perspective on things
“Never be afraid to laugh at yourself, after all you could be missing out on the joke of the universe.” ~ Joan Rivers
Has the thought ever crossed your mind that none of this really means anything? Like we get so worked up about our life’s circumstances and we find ourselves becoming so attached to our ideas and to people and things but in the end every single one of us will eventually meet our end of days. This can sound like a depressing thought, but it can also be quite liberating as well.
If you don’t take the chance to look at yourself and life from a third party perspective every once in a while you can really start to become attached to this character you think you’re playing in this lifetime. By seeing our character from this broader perspective and taking the time to laugh at ourselves we not only give ourselves a much needed time-out of our game of life, but it can also be quite healing.
There’s a reason they say, “laughter is the best medicine”. And think about it, you never hear anyone on their death bed saying, “You know, I should have taken life more seriously. I should have laughed less and worried more.” If none of us are getting out of this alive then why not give ourselves permission to find the comedy in this whole thing now and again?
3) There is a wisdom and maturity that comes from being able to laugh at oneself
“To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity” ~ William Arthur Ward
The older and more mature we become we realize a couple of very important lessons in life. People, including ourselves, make mistakes. And if we take ourselves too seriously we will never forgive ourselves for said mistakes. The more we try and do everything perfect the more we not only set a unreachable standard for ourselves (which gives us reason to keep judging and criticizing ourselves) but we then start expecting other people to live up to this standard as well (which never happens).
Wisdom shows us that we are all doing the best we can, and there’s going to be moments in our life where we are really proud of ourselves and there’s also going to be times where we fall in front of a group of people, or go up the wrong person somewhere thinking it was someone else, and that’s, gasp, OK. We’ve all been there now and again and when we give ourselves and others the permission to not take things so seriously, we become like a breath of fresh air in a world that is often too hard on itself.
4) We feel relaxed more often than not
Now we all have the free will to see life however we want to, but have you ever noticed that people who don’t take themselves too seriously seem to be having a lot more fun doing it?
It’s almost as if when crisis or adversity happens they immediately align themselves with a perspective that allows them to either see the humor in tragedy or to find a solution much quicker because they aren’t putting so much pressure on themselves to always be “right.”
At a certain point in life we must start trusting that something here has our back and is watching out for us. In that knowing, fun and relaxation is much easier to find in a majority of life’s circumstances.
Life has a funny way of showing us exactly what lesson is next in line for our evolution and growth. So, if you have found yourself wound a little too tight or slightly stressed more than you would prefer, don’t fret. I dare to say, that soon enough, you will be given yet another humbling experience from the universe that shall allow you to see the silliness in life, and with this, another opportunity to laugh… at yourself.