~ Guest Post
Bryan Cohen here, guest poster and author, promoting my new book The Post-College Guide to Happiness for The Happiness Blog Tour. I'm giving away free digital review copies of the book and doing a giveaway for paperback copies, audio copies and even a Kindle Fire! Read on and check out the info below the post.
“It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.” - G.K. Chesterton
Why is it that people tend to take life and themselves so seriously? If you were an alien species visiting from another world, what are some of the things you might observe that would cause you to laugh? Perhaps you'd chuckle a bit to see someone yell and scream at a bus pulling away from a man who just sprinted half a block to get to the stop on time. Maybe you'd giggle at a person who dropped a file folder and saw her documents get completely out of order. You might even guffaw at a couple arguing over where they parked the car. We really can be irrational at how seriously we take the tiniest of incidents. Perhaps, like Chesterton is saying, it's simply easier to be heavy than it is light.
What does it take to be light (i.e. less dramatic and more calm) about circumstances that would usually make us frustrated? Like anything that's difficult in life, it certainly takes some training and will power. The amazing gurus of meditation and yoga probably started out just like you. Yet with years of self-discipline and hard work they were able to become some of the most shining examples of calm in the world. Being light also requires practice, because as any good athlete knows, you play like you practice. Come up with a few common scenarios that could happen to you like spilling a cup of coffee on your lap or slipping on a slick sidewalk. Put yourself through the scenario in your mind and instead of picking anger as your response, choose to laugh at yourself for such a silly occurrence.
In addition to training, will power and practice, being light takes courage. Most people who are quick to use their negative emotions feel comfortable doing so because nearly everybody gets pissed off when something bad happens to them. It takes a strong person to be able to laugh at himself and to brush things off as quickly as they happen. If you get caught in the rain without an umbrella and you laugh at it, some folks might label you as being weird or childish. Let them label you! I'd rather be thought of as a bit crazy while being happy as a clam, then just like everybody else and miserable.
Try being light as opposed to heavy for about a week. I think you'll see a major difference.
Bryan Cohen is giving away 61 paperback and audio copies of The Post-College Guide to Happiness and a Kindle Fire between now and May 7th, 2012 on The Happiness Blog Tour. All entrants receive a free digital review copy of The Post-College Guide to Happiness. Bryan hopes to give away at least 1,000 copies during the blog tour. To enter, post a comment with your e-mail address or send an e-mail to postcollegehappiness (at) gmail.com. Bryan will draw the names at the end of the tour. Entries will be counted through Sunday, May 6th.
Bryan Cohen is a writer, actor and comedian from Dresher, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005 with degrees in English and Dramatic Art and a minor in Creative Writing. He has written nine books including 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More, 500 Writing Prompts for Kids: First Grade through Fifth Grade, Writer on the Side: How to Write Your Book Around Your 9 to 5 Job and his new book, 1,000 Character Writing Prompts: Villains, Heroes and Hams for Scripts, Stories and More. His website Build Creative Writing Ideas helps over 25,000 visitors a month to push past writer's block and stay motivated.
Feel free to follow along with the tour at The Happiness Blog Tour Hub Page or on the book's Facebook Page.