By Mac Anderson
Founder, Simple Truths
Not long ago I was on a Southwest Airlines flight when a flight attendant announced, “We have a very special person on board today. He’s 99 years old, he’s celebrating his birthday, and this is the first time he’s ever flown!”
As you can imagine the cabin breaks out in light applause. She continues to say, “On the way out, stop by the cockpit and wish him a happy birthday!” The cabin exploded in laughter.
Southwest does a wonderful job of laughing. They laugh with their team, they laugh with their customers, and they laugh at themselves. That’s one of the reasons they’re a great company.
Just how important is laughter?
A recent study revealed that laughter is key to our mental wellness. The study, in fact, stated that we need a minimum of 12 laughs a day…just to stay healthy! In fact, Mark Twain said, “The human race has only one effective weapon and that is laughter. The moment it arises, all your irritations go away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.”
Here’s a confession. Whenever I find my attitude slipping, or I’m feeling a little down, I resort to what I call…The one minute laugh. Here’s how it works.
I get in my car, roll up the windows, and drive. I then force myself to start laughing and I laugh for one solid minute…not 15 seconds, not 45 seconds…no less than one minute.
Now, I’ll bet you’re thinking, “Mac, here I am feeling down in the dumps and you’re asking me to laugh for one minute. Are you nuts?” Yes, I am! Here’s how it’ll work. After about 10 seconds, you’ll be thinking this is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done…and you’ll just keep right on laughing!
But here’s a tip – don’t do it at stop lights! There may be a big guy in a car next to you that thinks you’re laughing at him… and you’ll want to keep those windows closed!
MAC ANDERSON is the founder of Simple Truths and Successories, Inc., the leader in designing and marketing products for motivation and recognition.