|Life In The Comic Zone
Loosen Up, Lighten Up, or LULU, for short. Let’s look at the remarkable, extraordinary, amazing LULU.
Loose Mind: Ticket To Dreams
A person in the Comic Zone has a fresh, loosened mind. Themind of the person in the Drama Zone is inflexible, fixed, and rigid. It thinks in locked-in ways. Only a loose mind can support the artistry and inventiveness of focusing on, and achieving, one’s wildest dreams.
The locked-in, rut-filled mind only leads to more of what we have had in the past. If you want to change what you have had in the past, that mind of yours needs to get loose. Unfetter your mind, untie it, release it, free it. Two surefire ways to do this: have a sense of humor, and question assumptions.
A Joking Matter
A key element of humor is the unexpected. Look at jokes. Jokes are often based on reversal. Reversal is an unexpected shift in the point of view of the person hearing the joke. The listener is led down a path by the person telling the joke and then all of a sudden the joke switches directions -- usually bringing about laughter.
A Garry Shandling joke: I sold my house this week. I thought I got a good price for it -- but it made my landlord mad as hell.
A Woody Allen joke: I divorced my first wife because she was so immature. I’d be in the tub taking a bath and she would walk in whenever she felt like it and sink my boats.
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You're going one way and all of a sudden you're somewhere else. Your mind has to jump off the path you thought you were following to get the joke and laugh. The unexpected has occurred and the humor depends on the unexpected.
Sometimes we are going along one way and quite unexpectedly life takes another direction. A sense of humor helps you to laugh at unexpected turns in jokes and life.
Another way of creating humor is to juxtapose opposites. Recall the movie The Odd Couple; Felix and Oscar were certainly opposites and did they make us laugh. Humor comes with the contrast and the difference.
So often, we come upon people in our life who are very different from us. A person with a sense of humor smiles and appreciates the differences.
A sense of humor allows people to think more expansively; and to associate more freely, both in relationships between ideas and between people.
Let No Assumption Go Unquestioned
Questioning assumptions is another way to loosen up the mind. Questioning assumptions gives us more options for behavior and thought because we examine the assumptions and see them for what they are.
For years, couples may be operating on assumptions they have never checked out with each other.
“I hate spinach.”
“So do I.”
we eaten it all these years?” “I thought you liked it.” “I thought you liked it.”
Free yourself from any spinach tyranny in your life. Ask yourself about everything you do:
Why am I doing it this way? Does this way make sense? Is there a better way? Is there a more fun way?
When we question assumptions, we then have a choice to perhaps behave and think in new ways. The more you question assumptions, the more you may laugh at some silly things you may have been doing.
When a person or company becomes attuned to the process of questioning assumptions, it will happen with greater and greater frequency. Those burned-in thought furrows in the mind will begin to shift, and change, and the mind will LULU.
Cause and Effect, Or Effect And Cause, or What?
One kind of questioning assumptions is the questioning of cause and effect relationships. We often have these unexamined notions that A leads to B; we assume that B happens because A happened first. We set up these rules of cause and effect.
Turn these rules of cause and effect upside down — get unruly — to see if there is any truth, or humor, there. Where is the cause and where is the effect in these examples?
I yell so my dog gets nervous. Or maybe I yell because my dog is nervous, or a yelling person picks out nervous dogs.
I cannot go out in the world and contribute because I feel sick. Or maybe I feel sick because I do not go out into the world and contribute my skills and talents. Or the person who is unlikely to get involved outside herself is likely to get sick.
The workplace is frenetic so I feel stressed. Or I feel stressed so my workplace is frenetic. Or a stress-prone person chooses frenetic workplaces.
Let us hear it for the assumption questioners. May they live long, loosely, and lightly.
Little Lulu: A Role Model?
Do you remember the irrepressible, feisty, lovable cartoon character Little Lulu? That girl had LULU down. She questioned everything. Yes, she had a bit of a rascal in her but most LULUers do. She had a great sense of humor. And did she question assumptions!
Remember what she did with her dad’s tie? She used it for the tail on her kite. Her mom’s lipstick? She wrote letters with it. Remember Lulu, see if you can find a Lulu comic book, and let her inspire you to LULU.
Stephanie West Allen, JD, is the author of _24 7 This! The Merry Method To Accelerate Success_. Excerpts at http://www.allen-nichols.com/success.cfm She coaches people in using the two Merry Maxims, WYTUG (What You Think Upon Grows) and LULU (Loosen Up, Lighten Up), to achieve health, wealth, creativity, and harmonized relationships. Contact her at Stephanie@allen-nichols.com