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Put your laugh on the line!

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  • Put your laugh on the line!

    Pssst…how’s your laugh life? Are you getting enough? It’s a personal question but since no one is watching, come on, why not answer honestly?
    Imagine you are standing up and that a line is extending out in front of you. The line is about the length of a bowling alley but at the end of the line there are not ten pins but a flagpole sporting a bright blue flag fluttering gently in the wind at head height.
    This line is your life’s laugh line and you will use it to get an idea of how much laughter you currently experience in your life. When I give my “Laugh for Life!” workshop I have people physically walk along that line but you can do it now in your imagination.
    In a moment you will mentally walk out and position yourself at some point along your line that represents how much laughter, humour, fun, and play you feel you are currently experiencing in your life. Of course each day of our lives has a different level of laughter but you are going to position yourself at a point that you feel represents your average daily amount.
    So for example if you were to position yourself right next to the flag you are saying that your life is jam packed with laughter and you could not*imagine possibly fitting more in. Your laugh life is perfect. If your feet don’t even move that means you have zero laughter in your life at the moment. Half way down the line would indicate that you get a moderate dose of daily laughter. You get the idea but remember you can stand anywhere on the line that seems about right.
    Okay, ready to walk your laughter line? Be truthful with yourself but don’t be judgmental. It’s not a competition and wherever you are on that line just happens to be where you are right now. What we are after here is helpful self-knowledge so why not humour me and do this little mental exercise!
    So, here goes. Gently close your eyes, see the line with the blue flag at the end, and in your imagination walk out to any position on the line that represents the current level of laughter, humour, fun, and play that you experience day to day. Do it now and I’ll be right here when you finish the exercise.
    Where did you end up on your line? Were you surprised? Pleased? Disappointed?
    I first did this exercise for a seminar group 17 years ago and since then one thing has changed and one has remained consistent.
    The thing that has changed is that, although there is always a spread of positions on the line, over the years a larger number of people have begun to clump below the halfway mark. Are we laughing less these days? Yes, seems to be the answer. A study by Dr. Michael Titze (ah, yes, his real name), a German psychologist reported that in the 1950s people laughed on average 18 minutes a day, and today the average is 4-6 minutes.
    The thing that has remained consistent over 17 years is that when I continue with the exercise and ask people to position themselves where they would actually like to be on the line everyone moves further towards the blue flag. Everyone wants more laughter in their lives. And the very good news is that this is definitely achievable.
    My entire adult life has been about helping people move further down that line towards more laughter, humour, play, and fun. I’ve done this as a comedian, a clown doctor, a speaker, and a writer. I’m passionate about this mission because I believe that the further society is down that line the happier we all become and the happier our world becomes.
    So I’m launching this blog in the hope that I can help you advance in the direction of a life filled with increasing amounts of laughter.
    I know that incorporating more of the positive energy of play, fun, and humour into your life will make you happier and more successful in your career. It will make you more successful in relationships and it will help you become wealthier.
    I know all this not just because evidence based research proves it, but because I have seen all these results happen for people time and time again during my thirty years of experience in the laughter business.
    Becoming what I call a good humoured human is probably the best thing we can do for ourselves. So I hope you will join me regularly for these blogs. I encourage you to subscribe so you don’t miss anything.
    I’d also love to hear your thoughts so please post your comments. And let me know if there are particular topics you are interested in relating to comedy, laughter, humour, and play that you would like to have discussed and learn more about.
    As Woody Allen said “I am thankful for laughter except when milk comes out of my nose.” And even then it’s pretty damn wonderful!

    Laughingly yours, Anthony
    ŠAnthony Ackroyd 2011