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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 August 16, 2018

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get comfortable with discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

4. See failure as a teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

5. Take baby steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

6. Hang out with risk takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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