Being Too Serious Can Drive You Crazy – Tips To Lighten Up

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By, Mike Chatelain

Are you having fun? Do you get a thrill from your work? Do you enjoy waking up each morning? Certain myths about work can pull you down. "Work is not supposed to be fun." "You must buckle down and get serious." Perhaps the biggest myth of all: "People will think I'm important if I act seriously. "Yet getting serious creates problems: stress, worry, anxiety, emotional pain, drudgery and failure.

Resolving problems by getting more serious is like fixing a computer with a hammer. The harder you try, the worse the problem becomes.

"When life becomes serious, a man becomes less cause and greater effect. If life gets really serious, his value drops to practically zero. Driving a car can become such serious business that one can wreck the car. Running a business can become so serious as to make it fail. There is a direct connection between insanity and seriousness." "It is only when an individual progresses in life to a point where much seriousness is attached to things that he begins to have a hard time. The ancient Italian really knew what he was about when he considered that the only psychotherapy was laughter." — -L. Ron Hubbard


Approaching your life with a non-serious attitude gives you a clearheaded view of problems and the energy to deal with them. Problems are easier to solve, people are more cooperative and you feel more relaxed. You probably live longer as well. Think of your life as a game. Give yourself permission to play the game, to have fun with the game, and to win. Try these techniques until you find one that lightens you up.

  1. Deliberately turn a molehill into a mountain. Make a big deal out of a little problem. "I would feel much better if these papers were stacked exactly like this! Not like that! Like this! Not this! This!"
  2. Ask yourself, "Is getting serious about this situation really going to improve it?"
  3. Focusing on the positives. Repeat these questions until you feel lighter, "What is right about this picture?" "What else is right?" "What else?"
  4. Consider a complete, major change. Why not become an airline pilot? Why not move to Idaho? Why not retire for a few years and then begin a new career?
  5. Ask yourself, "When I'm on my deathbed, will I be glad I was so serious about _______?"
  6. A challenging game is much better than no game at all. So consider losing all aspects of the problem. Examples: You feel serious about family problems. You ask yourself, "Well, what if I had no family at all?" You feel serious about your investments. You ask yourself, "What if I had no money to invest?"
  7. The size of your problem may match the size of your game. So get a bigger game. For example, if you get uptight about paper clips being in the wrong drawer, your game size is tiny. Double your amount of responsibility. Set some huge goals. Think much, much bigger.
  8. Stop trying to solve the problem that is making you so serious. Certain types of problems solve themselves if you leave them alone. Your problem may be one of those.
  9. Compare what you are doing to other careers. Imagine being a septic tank drainer or an IRS agent.
  10. Make everyone around you lighten up. You will soon feel more cheerful.
  11. Look at bizarre solutions. What is the craziest way you could solve your problem? What solution, if it worked, would make you laugh out loud?
  12. Act stupid for a minute. Let down your hair. Stop
    being so darn important for a while. Be a goof

Copyright © 2002 All rights reserved. Grateful acknowledgment is made to L. Ron Hubbard Library for permission to reproduce selections from the copyrighted works of L. Ron Hubbard. Programmed in the United States.

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