Chapter 8 Pg’s 193-195 Lead With Love By: Gerry Czarneck
Do you want to feel angry and stressed out, or do you want to feel positive and upbeat? The principle of humor should be an easy one to embrace, as we all want to be happy. Humor has a corollary effect on health, and the most significant factor that affects your ability to be a good leader is your physical and mental health. Your health impacts every aspect of your life, including your ability to enjoy your family, friends, hobbies, and activities outside of work. Humor is one of the most important areas in which you can truly nurture yourself. Humor, as I am speaking of it, as it applies to leaders and to you as an individual, is not always about laughter or even “lightening up.” An associate of mine recently took on a lot of personal commitments that limited the free time she previously had for her own activities during the evening.
The problem, as she readily admits, is she is not a “morning person.” Although she doesn’t show up late, she is not one who would voluntarily suggest an early morning breakfast meeting. She prefers to have time before work to go through her morning routine without feeling rushed. Her routine includes reading the newspaper cover to cover, which is actually essential to her job and something she chooses to do before going to the office. She is also athletic and enjoys being physically active for the stress release as well as the health benefits. When the demands on her time after work increased due to family obligations and her involvement with a local charity, she had no time left in the evening for exercise. #e lack of exercise had a negative impact on her happiness. She felt stressed and disappointed in herself, as well as unhappy that she was missing out on something that gave her pleasure.
A few months into her new, busier schedule, she realized she had to find a way to incorporate exercise back into her routine because it was an essential activity for her well-being. Now, her alarm rings an hour earlier, and she goes straight to the gym for a fifty-minute workout. Despite having to wake up so early, she says her attitude and outlook have improved tremendously because she starts the day by accomplishing something that makes her feel happy and good about herself. Furthermore, she says she is much more upbeat and relaxed at work when she has satisfied what is essential for her on a personal level. The lesson in this story is that your ability to embrace humor and cope with stress can be improved if you make an honest assessment of your own personal needs and the things that make you happy. What are your hobbies? Do you enjoy playing sports, cooking, reading, watching movies, working for a charity, or simply spending time with friends and family? Whatever it is that makes you feel good and helps recharge your batteries should be given a priority in your daily routine. Sometimes circumstances change and there no longer seems to be a convenient time to fit those activities into the day.
This is when you need to take a step back and reorganize your schedule. It is true that most people feel so many demands on their time that ultimately what they want to do is sacrificed for what they must do. In the long-term this is unhealthy, as it ignores the role that humor plays in our lives. If something that provides personal happiness and pleasure is made a priority, there is always a way to find time for it. It is essential for you to identify a couple of personal priorities for yourself and then schedule them in your routine. When “self” priorities are set as appointments in your calendar, they are less likely to be ignored or delayed for when you “have time.” You may need to adjust other activities in your schedule to accommodate your personal priorities, but in the long run, you will be a happier, healthier person who functions better at work as well as at home. The basis of humor is treating yourself as a human who requires understanding and nurturing.