Display until March 24, 2015
The Neatest Little Paper Ever Read ®
By Ron Ross
Got a problem? Laugh awhile at the dilemma, and the solution may quickly arrive. Why laugh? Because God wired your brain in such a way that humor and logic use different pathways to solve problems. Spend too much time in one pathway, and you’ll seldom utilize the other. Use them both and all kinds of possibilities may arise!
The logic pathway, linear thinking, anticipates previously known and clearly defined steps where each move is anticipated before it is taken. It’s very useful and necessary in life, no question.
However, sometimes logical thinking gets in the way of creativity. When you get locked into the “we always do it this way” mindset, lots of great ideas remain veiled. That’s because linear thinking avoids new pathways; it deals primarily with what you know.
If you have ever written a business plan and then started a business, you know there is a big difference between the linear thinking of your project and the unpredicted problems you must solve day-by-day. Everything doesn’t work out as planned; I’m sure you’ve noticed that about life. That’s why you gotta laugh!
When you laugh, when you have fun, when you “play” at work, you change pathways. You move from dealing with what you know (logic) and move into what might be possible if…
How does that work? Humor shocks the brain. It blows-away conventional expectations. It diverts the mind from the way it usually operates to a way it does not anticipate; which is what makes something funny.
Problem solving and creativity come better when you are relaxed, when the tension leaves your shoulders, your furrowed brow smooths out, and your acidic stomach settles down. You can improve your creativity even more when you smile, play, and laugh. Your humor gives you a fresh set of eyes to help you find solutions to problems which once seemed unsolvable.
There’s some science to this. The researchers say a joke yanks your mind from logic to absurdity. Before the punchline makes you laugh, it takes your brain for a dance of sorts; it makes it twist and turn. Watch how your brain processes this short joke: “A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a workstation…”
To get the joke, your mind must visit a bus station and then a train station all in a nanosecond. Then, ba-da-boom, suddenly It is dazed when forced to disobey the expected, linear logic and reconcile the unpredicted end. Your brain, in a nanosecond, resolves it all, and you laugh!
The brainiacs who study the impact of humor on the human mind say they are coming closer to proving that a great sense of humor improves the brain and its ability to think creatively, solve problems, and make life much more pleasurable.
Sounds to me like the reason humor makes us creative is that comedy is an art, not a science. In science 1 + 1 = 2. In comedy, 1: My dog has no nose. + 2: How does he smell? = 1: Awful.
See the difference? Funny, isn’t it?
©2018 Dr. Ronald D. S. Ross
©2014 Ronald D. Rosss
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