How To Be "Easily Amused And Impossible To Offend"
HOW TO BE
"EASILY AMUSED AND IMPOSSIBLE TO OFFEND"
1. BE YOUNG AT HEART
The Average Child
- Will smile 500 times per day
- Will laugh 400 times per day
- Will ask a question 300 times per day
The Average Adult
- Will smile 9 times per day
- Will laugh 8 times per day
- Will ask a question 7 times per day
One time a man who was in his 50's said to me, "I don't know what to get my dad for "Father's Day"... He's so old that he hates everything!"
So why is it that babies like the one in the video above are so "easily amused" that just taking a piece of paper and ripping it up in front of them can make them start laughing hysterically?
And why is it that if an old person started laughing that hard because someone ripped a piece of paper in front of them everyone would assume that the old person was crazy and needs to be medicated or put away in a nursing home?
The problem starts as children are growing up and wanting to become adults. (As they grow up they will start to intentionally hold back smiles and laughter during certain situations out of a fear of looking "childish", and they will also stop asking as many questions out of a fear of looking unintelligent, and because they develop egos that cause them to want to be seen as "the person with all of the answers" rather than "the person with all of the questions".)
If you want to stay young and healthy and it is important to keep a humorous and curious outlook on life, and I encourage you to start catching yourself whenever you feel the urge to hold back a smile, a laugh, or a question and to start letting your "inner child" express it's self freely...
- Don't go a day without laughing until you cry.
- Don't go a day without feeling so happy that you cry.
- Don't go a day without experiencing a "natural high" from wonder.
You can find plenty of funny, uplifting, and fascinating material on-line to stimulate the "inner child" in you and to help you heal from whatever health challenges you may be facing. ("Norman Cousins" famously cured his cancer by watching funny videos!)
2. LEARN ABOUT THE VERY BIG AND THE VERY SMALL
I think it's amazing to look at things that we can only see through a microscope as well as things that we can only see through a telescope, and to know that we are somewhere in the middle of it all.
What does this have to do with our attitudes???
The more that you look through a telescope and realize just how big the universe is the more that you realize just how small and insignificant your problems really are, and the more that you look through a microscope and learn about the microscopic world (especially in your own body) the more that you realize just how big and important you really are...
"Wisdom is knowing that I am nothing. Love is knowing that I am everything. And in between the two, my life flows."
- Nisargadatta Maharaj
3. LET GO OF ATTACHMENTS
Being "attached" to something means that you will suffer and feel immobilized without it...
How did you react the last time the electricity went off in your house? Did you feel overwhelmed with disappointment the instant it went out? And did you feel that without electricity there was nothing to do except wait for it to come back on?
If you find out that a total stranger on the other side of the world got their car stolen it probably won't be a big deal to you, but if you find out that "YOUR" car got stolen it will probably be a very big deal to you, and the amount of stress that it causes you will be in direct proportion to how attached you were to your car. (If your profile picture on social media is a picture of your car it will probably be one of the worst experiences of your life!)
You were born with no material possessions and you can't take any of them with you when you die, so the most freeing thing that you can do is to let go of as many of the things in your life that you don't really need as you can now, so that you can spend the rest of your life free of the fear and stress of losing them.
4. REALIZE THAT NOBODY CAN OFFEND YOU WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION
If a film maker wants to use a well known song in their movie they will need to get permission from the artist first, and if a person wants to offend you they must also get your permission as well. (If someone criticizes you about something it is ultimately your choice whether you decide to get offended about it, laugh about it, or simply ignore it.)
If it feels difficult to not get offended by someone's behavior, please keep in mind that not everyone who offends you is necessarily trying to offend you. (If anyone has ever gotten offended because they took something that you said or did the wrong way then you know that it is not a good feeling.)
And even if someone is intentionally trying to offend you it is impossible to know for sure what that person is going through, but one thing is for certain, and that is that it is impossible to talk down, put down, or look down on anyone unless you yourself are down. ("Hurt people hurt people.") So try to feel a little sympathetic towards anyone who would want to see others feel bad.
"The ones who are the hardest to love are usually the ones who need it the most."
-"The Peaceful Warrior"
5. BEWARE OF BECOMING A "CHRONIC COMPLAINER"
Imagine that a man dislikes the president of his country so much that he writes a book about how terrible he thinks the president is, and then he goes on talk shows and publicly criticizes the president in front of millions of people, and then he starts a website where he sells T-shirts, bumper stickers, and coffee mugs that have negative depictions of the president on them...
The question that I have is if this man has built such a strong reputation on being the guy who criticizes the president, what are the odds that he would actually want to see the president do something great that made everyone happy? And how likely is it that deep down he wants the president to continue to fumble and make poor choices?
The more time and energy that you "invest" on trying to convince others about how bad your boss, your ex-lover, or someone else in your life is the more that person becomes someone that you "love to hate" and the more that you will want to protect your "investment" by continuing to look for evidence to show that you have been right about that person all along.
Not only can you become addicted to things like drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes, but you can also become addicted to complaining.
Some "chronic complainers" will end up spending several hours a week mentally rehearsing arguments in their head that they imagine they will have the next time that they run into a certain person, or they will spend several hours a week arguing with people that they don't even know on the internet over things like politics, and the most effective way to stop complaining is to become aware of just how much time and energy you are spending on it...
"Did you really have a bad day, or was it a bad 10 minutes that you spent the rest of the day dwelling on?"
- Mel Robbins
6. IMITATE PEOPLE
Even if a person hates "The President Of The United States" with a passion and they get angry every time they see him on TV giving a speech, they will laugh hysterically if they turn on "Saturday Night Live" and see someone dressed up like the president and mimicking his voice and mannerisms perfectly, because there is just something about a really good impersonation of someone that makes people laugh and feel good in a unique way, and the healing power of this can be unbelievable!
If you have a stressful job, imitating your co-workers can provide an enormous amount of "comic relief" for yourself and for your other co-workers.
(I want to stress that I'm not encouraging you to make fun of people in a mean spirited way, but rather I'm just encouraging you to learn how to imitate your friends, family, and co-workers and to have fun with it when they aren't around.)
If you currently have a regular 9 - 5 job that you don't enjoy and you are only doing it for the money, I would encourage you to start thinking of your job as being 1/3 for money, 1/3 for exercise, and 1/3 for comedy.
If you feel that you are being underpaid and your boss won't give you a pay raise you could ask for an increase in the amount of physical labor that you perform so that you will be getting more exercise at work, and you could also get a lot more laughs and entertainment at work by consciously choosing to.
If you have a co-worker who you think is annoying because they stand way too close to you when they talk, or they lie and exaggerate about everything, or they are constantly talking about their dog, please realize that if your job was a sit-com that co-worker would probably make the studio audience laugh.
So I would encourage you to try to step outside of yourself while you are at work and observe what is happening as an audience member, and continue to observe the "characters" who you work with until you can do a really good impression of them.
Unfortunately when people imitate someone who they don't like they usually won't do an accurate impression of them and will instead simply talk in a dumbed-down voice to mock the person which I don't recommend.
Doing a good impression of someone will result in that person becoming a source of entertainment for you rather than a source of frustration, but even more importantly, when you play the role of another person you start to imagine what it must be like to be that person.
Female actors who pretend to be pregnant in a movie will often start to get cravings for pickles like women who are actually pregnant, and as strange as it may sound, imitating people can ultimately cause you to develop a greater level of understanding and respect for them.