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How Telling Jokes Can Make the World a Better Place

How Telling Jokes Can Make the World a Better Place

Comedian Michael Jr. has some thoughts on getting a laugh out of an audience.

But first, a little background info for those who are unfamiliar with the funnyman. Michael Jr.’s rise to comedy fame started when his performance at the “Just for Laughs” comedy festival in Montreal was broadcast live on Jay Leno’s “The Tonight Show” — he was an instant hit. Since then, the comedian has appeared on top shows like “The Late, Late Show”, “Oprah”, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and networks like Comedy Central and CNN. He has performed in some of the best comedy clubs in the country, including The Laugh Factory, The Punchline, and The Comic Strip. He also regularly visits prisons, shelters, and churches to bring his jokes to a wider audience. Critics have praised him as one of today’s most gifted comedians.

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What does it mean to be a comedian?

The video description for Vimeo’s “I like Laughter” reads, “Michael Jr. is a comedian that sees his career as a chance to ‘give laughs.’ How can you be the punch line?”

None of the shows and comedy clubs are what defined his progress as a comedian, says Michael. When he sat down with a non-profit organization called I Like Giving to share his thoughts on what he “liked” most in this world, it’s no surprise that he chose to talk about laughter. What is most surprising are his reasons for choosing it. In the video, he describes a philosophical shift in how he saw laughter that truly changed everything for the comedian.

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“People ask me all the time: ‘Michael, what was your big break?’ [The Tonight Show with Jay Leno] wasn’t it,” he reveals. “The big break was at a club, and right before I got on stage, I had a change in mindset about comedy…”

Instead of simply getting laughs from people, Michael says that his biggest goal is “to make laughter commonplace in uncommon places.” Watch the video below to hear one man’s thoughts on telling jokes professionally and in everyday life:

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http://vimeo.com/101023966

About ‘I Like Giving’

For more on the organization behind this video and others like it, check out I Like Giving’s description and introductory video on their Web site: I Like Giving is a non-profit created to inspire a generous world. The website ilikegiving.com serves as a platform for unique storytelling and idea sharing. I Like Giving believes a generous world is a better world for all of us. What we want is your action. Go check out a story today and then go create one of your own.

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Laughter health facts

Need even more proof that laughter is a force for good in the world? Whether Michael Jr. knows it or not, the laughter he generates has a number of health benefits. Some of the benefits of laughing include:

– It increases oxygen intake. Laughing creates deeper and more frequent intake of oxygen, providing more oxygen for your brain and stimulating other organs in the process.
– Laughter stimulates blood circulation and muscle relaxation. Hearty laughter can also stimulate circulation and muscle relaxation, further increasing oxygen flow and even reducing symptoms of stress.
– Improves your immune system. Stress and negative moods have been proven to reduce the effectiveness of the body’s immune system. The positive thoughts and feelings that come with laughter do the opposite, releasing protein-like molecules that help fight off illness.
– Pain relief. The human body can produce its own natural painkillers to help manage some levels of pain. Laughter may stimulate production of these painkillers, as well as provide temporary relief from muscle spasm pain.
– Lasting improvements to your mood. Beyond the joy of the moment, the positive affects of laughter can last past the funny moment and improve your mood all day. It may even help alleviate symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety and depression.

Featured photo credit: I Like Laughter/I Like Giving via vimeo.com

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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