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Tapping into the Fountain of Youth

Tapping into the Fountain of Youth
Fountain of Youth

    The Fountain of Youth

    The Fountain of Youth is inside of all of us. To tap into it requires some action on your part, but the good news is that the benefits from this fountain are accessible to all. Will it make a 70 year old look like a 20 year old? No, but it can make you feel like you’re 20 years old, and how you feel is the main thing. OK, looking young is nice too, but keep reading because these tips can make you look younger too.

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    There are plenty of young aged people who are so burdened with worries that they feel like they are 100, so what good is looking young when you feel old? Would it be great to look younger too? Yes, and you know what? If follow these steps, over time, you will look younger too. Maybe you won’t look 20 again, but younger, yes!

    What is Youth?

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    There are many things that describe youth. Here are a few. Do you recognize yourself in this list? Or would you like to capture some of these attributes again? Keep reading to find out how.

    • Experiencing Joy in the Small Things
    • Being Present in the Moment
    • Uncensored Creativity
    • Easygoing
    • Happiness, Silliness, & Laughter
    • Awareness of the Current Cultural Trends
    • Playful
    • Excitement
    • Day Dreaming
    • Activity
    • Flexibility in movement and temperment
    • Curiosity

    How to Tap into the Fountain of Youth

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    Here are the ways to retain or regain your youth, no matter what your age is:

    1. Smile as much as you can every day!
    2. Humor. Laugh as much as you can every day! Watch funny shows and movies. Hang out with funny people. Be funny!
    3. Let go of Fear. Face it. Observe it. Drop-kick it and get busy living your life. There’s nothing to fear, but fear itself.
    4. Stay Curious. Ask lots of questions. Always be learning.
    5. Play! Seek out people who are good at play and go have some fun with them.
    6. Stop Judging. Stop being critical of yourself and others. Let go of being nasty, mean, and vindictive. These things make you old, fast. Instead try compassion, acceptance, generosity, contentment, and gratitude.
    7. Create Joy each day through appreciation of the good in the world and in your life. Notice the good and then life is good.
    8. Keep an Open Mind. Don’t reject things right away simply because they are new or you’ve never tried them. Have the attitude of “I’ll try it at least once to see if I like it.”
    9. Do New Things. Everyday and every week do something new even if it is little. Try a new route, a new food, a new topic to learn, or join a new group. Let us know some of the new things you have done lately in the comments below.
    10. Be Active! Move your body everyday. Get a little bit of each of these: Walking, stretching or yoga, strength training, and balancing. Be sure to make it fun by enjoying your favorite sports or activities. If you’ve been inactive for a while, it’s never too late to start. Just begin with small steps and build slowly. (Check with your doctor if you have any health issues.)
    11. Be Choosy who you hang out with. Seek out Enthusiatic people.
    12. Anticipation. Create things to look forward to.
    13. Believe. Have faith that making these changes will have a massive positive impact on your life, happiness, and youthfulness. Have patience and watch yourself bloom.
    14. Ownership. Take ownership of your destiny. Only you can make these changes. Our bodies age, but we can slow down that process, and our spirit can remain forever young if we remain flexible and open to life!

    Examples of Youthful People, Past and Present

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    Frank Shearer – Still water skiing at over 100 years old.
    Rolling Stones – Still rocking out at over 60 years old.
    Bob Hope – (1903-2003) Stayed young all his life telling jokes.
    Johnny Kelly – (1907-2004) Still ran marathons up until he was 84 years old. He ran the Boston marathon 58 times!

    Who are your favorite youthful role models? What are your favorite ways to stay young? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

    K. Stone is author of Life Learning Today, a blog about daily life improvements. A few of her most popular articles are Ultimate Goal Setting Guide, How to Write a Book in 60 Days or Less, Should You Start Your Own Work at Home Business?, and Things You Can Do Today to Help Save the Environment.

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    Last Updated on June 12, 2019

    Top 10 Ways to Lead More Effectively with Humor

    Top 10 Ways to Lead More Effectively with Humor

    Humor and laughter provide so many rewards. Studies have shown 20 seconds of laughter yield the same benefits as 3 minutes of hard rowing. A Robert Half International study reported 84% of executives believe a worker with a good sense of humor does a better job. Incorporating humor more effectively in the workplace allows you to defuse difficult situations, reduce stress, create attention for new ideas, build rapport, and be a more approachable and memorable leader.

    With those benefits, it behooves you to hone your workplace comedic skills. So in the tradition of David Letterman, here are the top 10 ways to more effectively lead with humor!

    #10. Look for Joy in Life

    An important step is continually looking for joy throughout your life. This happens in a variety of ways:

    • Focus less on yourself and more on helping others. Need help? Read “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” the classic by Dale Carnegie.
    • Laugh more – kids reportedly laugh 400 times per day vs. 15 times for adults. Aim for laughing 40 times daily to be at least 10% of your former self!
    • Regularly read humorous comic strips and look for quips and funny comments in your reading.
    • Even in challenging situations, hunt for something funny or humorous you can take away.

    #9. Learn What Makes You Laugh

    If you’re trying to laugh 40 times daily, it’s important to know what makes you laugh and have ready access to laugh-provokers. Figure out 107 things which make you laugh. Unrealistic? Hardly! Why 107? Because 107 is funnier than 100! Here’s a recipe for listing what makes you laugh by simply identifying:

    • 13 Movies
    • 11 TV Shows
    • 5 Words or Phrases
    • 19 Personal Stories
    • 5 Cartoons
    • 7 Audio or Video Pieces
    • 11 Comedians
    • 7 TV Personalities
    • 7 Funny Photos
    • 7 People You Know
    • 15 of Anything Else
    • TOTAL = 107 Funny Things

    Collect & save these humor starters in a “Smile File” when you quickly need a laugh or comedic inspiration.

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    #8. Use Your Own Comedic Material

    Personal experiences are the most genuine humor sources for effective leadership. Look for humor in situations from your own life:

    • Funny things you have said or others have said to you
    • Pratfalls, be they mental, interpersonal, & physical
    • Embarrassing moments or unexpected happenings
    • Times of change or learning
    • Difficult life events (yes, even these can be humor sources)

    When turning personal situations into comedic material, remember lessons learned from a childhood humor staple: Knock-Knock Jokes. These simple jokes work because the knock-knock structure highlights familiar situations, uses only essential words and phrases, and clearly signals a laughing opportunity. They also demonstrate how humor springs from surprise. The laughs come from not knowing who or what exactly is behind the door based on the initial response to “Who’s there?”

    #7. Adapt Somebody Else’s Material

    Beyond your own experiences, there’s a tradition of “borrowing & adapting” (I didn’t say stealing) funny stuff from others. That’s why old-time comedian Milton Berle was called the “Thief of Bad Gags.”

    Part of borrowing successfully is using easily accessible humor sources in ways many don’t consider. Beyond simply Googling “funny” in front of quotes, one-liners, definitions, pictures, or videos, here are two other common sources you can adapt:

    • Cartoons – You can use cartoons in various ways by showing one in a presentation, telling the cartoon’s story (potentially making yourself a character) without any images, or using its punch line as a starting point for new humor.
    • Comedians – Mainstream comedians’ jokes or catch phrases are another source to modify and adapt to your personality or work situation. Watch lots of comedians and learn how professionals do it so well.

    #6. Understand Your Audience

    Using humor in a leadership position requires understanding boundaries on its proper use. It all starts with really understanding your audience by:

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    • Paying attention to top management’s attitudes toward humor.
    • Knowing the audience’s composition – this directly affects which humor types are appropriate.
    • Loving your audience as much or more than you poke fun at them.
    • Inviting others into humor since you can’t assume they share your same humor sensibilities.

    In case you’re contemplating using ad lib humor, completely knowing your audience is even more vital. Ad-libs have the potential for going horribly wrong because audience sensibilities have been misjudged. It’s very beneficial to actually plan and rehearse ad libs. It may sound odd, but identify common work situations you encounter and think through what usually goes wrong or provides a source for potential humor. Work out some “safe” funny comebacks to use as “planned” ad libs.

    #5. Know the Rules and Boundaries

    There are blatant humor no-no’s in the workplace which are quite acceptable for an onstage comedian. At work, avoid harmful practical jokes or pranks, heavily sarcastic comments, and humor rooted in religious, sexual, ethnic, or racial themes. Think you know your work setting well enough to tread on this dangerous ground? Here’s some advice: DON’T. The way questionable humor will be perceived by a workplace audience is too much of an unknown to take big risks when your career is at stake.

    Use this checkpoint to actually see if your intended workplace humor is SAFE. To pass the SAFE test, all of these statements need to be true regarding your joke, comment, or image:

    • I can Say/Show this to my mother.
    • It wouldn’t Anger me if I were the butt of the joke.
    • This wouldn’t trigger an FCC violation
    • Everyone in the audience will be able to get it.

    With even a hint of one false answer, dramatically modify your idea or better yet, abandon it and start over.

    #4. Get over Yourself

    Effective leaders don’t take themselves too seriously. They’re comfortable laughing at themselves and letting others be funny as well. Leaders should become adept at appropriately using self-deprecating humor, i.e., self-directed humor downplaying your own talents, stature, or accomplishments

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    You don’t want to use self-deprecating humor on simply any topic, however. It’s most effectively & appropriately used in:

    • Situations where you’re comfortable & self-confident
    • Areas where your credibility & competence are clearly established
    • Ways that fit your known personality & sensibilities

    Remember – when trying to borrow someone else’s self-deprecating humor, you need to share that person’s perspective & situation. If not, it’s simply deprecating! I once heard a decidedly non-technical Marketing VP call out “data geeks” in the audience. While that’s what they called themselves, she wasn’t a part of their group, and her comment, intended to build affiliation, fell completely flat.

    #3. Need Humor Ideas? Just Look Around

    The workplace is filled with situations lending themselves to comedy. Humor springs from exaggeration, wordplay, misunderstandings, ambiguity, contradictions, paradoxes, pain, and inconsistencies. If you work in any type of business or organizational setting, there are plenty of these situations to go around!

    As a leader, it’s your role to use the proper opptunities to encourage and employ humor successfully by ensuring that:

    • Your humor makes others feel good about themselves.
    • Hurtful fun isn’t made of those less tenured than you in the organization.
    • You don’t use humor when agitated since it can lead to apparent meanness.

    #2. Surround Yourself with Joy

    If you’re looking for more joy and levity in leadership, surround yourself with joyful people. These are people who are funny, easily spur laughter, and routinely cheer people up through their presence.

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    Cultivate relationships with these types of people. Spend time with them, learn from their successful uses of humor, and emulate elements of their approaches that work for you.

    Beyond basking in the joy these people create, select 3 or 4 of them to be an informal comedy team. As your comedy team, solicit their opinions to help you generate and refine humor ideas. They can also provide perspectives on potentially questionable humor material that makes it through the SAFE test, but still feels like it might not be right for a workplace audience.

    #1. Dive into the Fun

    Ultimately, the most important part of successfully using humor as a leader is actually sharing it in the workplace. Here are a few final tips to keep in mind:

    • Practice your humor in appropriate, low-risk settings to find out what works before trying it out with a bigger audience.
    • Signal a laughing opportunity through your words, actions, and tone. It’s also a good practice to give people “permission” to laugh in the workplace.
    • Finally, be earnest in using humor; don’t focus on laughs so much as lightening and adding fun into work settings.

    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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