Being Too Serious Can Ruin Your Life

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. "What is right about this situation?" "What else is right?" "What else?"

4. Consider a complete, major change. For example, go back to school, move to the ocean, start 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. Succeed by thinking 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 a tax collector.

10. Make everyone around you lighten up.

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!