Lenny Ravich
Find the Funny

Find the Funny

January 21, 2023

Hi all. I’m Lenny Ravich the author of the bestselling book “Everlasting Optimism” and global keynote speaker on humor and optimism in London and Hong Kong.

When I went for my angioplasty procedure last year, I gave the cardiologist a copy of my book. “I would like to autograph it for you,” I smiled. “After the surgery,” he calmly replied. “If there IS an afterword,” I joked. He smiled with surprise, “So you’re the famous optimist?”

Where is the Humor?

If you look for the humor in everyday things, you’ll cause a lot of people to be happy. As a result, they’ll want to be around you.

I believe that seeing the funny stuff in life keeps us smiling and is a powerful survival mechanism. Too many people focus on the negative, and ouch! That can hurt.  Negative thoughts attack every cell in your body. On the other hand, positive thoughts have a healing effect.

 Another Shitty Day in Paradise

One day my wife came into my computer room to tell me of all the catastrophes that are happening in our lives. “They’re building those cellular antennas that cause cancer right next to our window, the washing machine doesn’t work, my brother hasn’t worked in six months, etc.”

Then she says, “Why don’t you react? I’m talking to you! See, you don’t listen!” I did react by telling her not to forget to add to her list that the filling in my tooth had also fallen out the day before.

Usually, when a person plugs my ear with all their woes and all the anguish and suffering of the world, I have a mechanism that blocks out and selects what material to let in lest I get poisoned.  This time, for whatever reason, I forgot to put up my firewall, bullshit detector and I got the maximum shot of venom. It felt awful, like I had swallowed a bottle of engine oil.

Thank You for the Poison

Later that afternoon we went out for our daily walk and I thanked her. “For what?” she asked. “For giving me the opportunity to allow toxins into my system,” I responded sincerely. “I can now appreciate how most of the people in this world live on a daily basis.”

If we start concentrating on what’s amusing in our lives, we would probably smile and laugh more, feel better and healthier, plus it would give us something to amuse our family and friends.

If we could create, from frustrating circumstances comical ones, we may actually lower tension. In other words, we have the power to shift our mood and influence our health. All we have to do is remember to “find the funny”.

Howie Mandel earns lots of dollars poking fun at his obsessive-compulsive disorder and hair loss. See, if you get good enough at it you could build a fortune by creating shitty days in paradise and marketing them.

 Creating a Funny Response

Just the other day I hailed a taxi in Tel Aviv. I got in, sat down and asked the driver to take me to Ben Yehuda Street. The driver, without hesitation said, “I was not thinking of going that way.”

Now this is a moment I couldn’t resist, so I responded, “Where would you like to go?” He said that he lives in Ramat Gann and was on his way home and had hoped that I would request that he take me in that direction. “Okay”, I responded, “take me to Ramat Gann.”  He stared at me wide-eyed in the mirror and inquired, “What are you going to do in Ramat Gann?” I answered, “I don’t know yet, but that’s where you want to go, right?”

I told him that this was the first time in my life that I had gotten into a cab and the driver told me where he wanted to go rather than the other way around. We both had a good laugh and he drove me to Ben Yehuda.

Can you imagine what might have proceeded had I been looking for the negative? “What chutzpah! A driver telling me where he wanted to go rather than respecting me? On what planet are we living?”…etc. You get the point? More poison and another chance for a shitty day in paradise.

I was facilitating Humorous, optimistic keynotes in London and Hong Kong. I missed home, and I missed myself. (You can’t make this stuff up): I called home to leave myself a message (this was the era before cellular phones) telling me that I missed myself. I couldn’t wait to come home to listen to the message over and over again.

So look for the foolishness or make it up. It’s all there for you like low-hanging fruit. Or have another shitty day in paradise. Your call.


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