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Home » Why You Should Take Yourself Less Seriously: Paul Osincup (Transcript)

Why You Should Take Yourself Less Seriously: Paul Osincup (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of author Paul Osincup’s talk titled “Why You Should Take Yourself Less Seriously” at TEDxMontanaStateUniversity 2024 conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


The Power of Humor

I was going to do a talk on the power of optimism and positivity, and then I thought, “What good will that do?” But what if I told you there is one habit that anyone can develop that actually can make you more optimistic and more positive, and reduce your stress and enhance your resilience? It’s called a humor habit. And I’m going to show you how you can rewire your brain to develop your sense of humor into a powerful and strategic mindfulness tool.

I mean, after all, they say, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” right? Have you ever had lemonade made from just lemons? That makes things better. There’s a cold glass of citric acid.

No, to make lemonade, you need a sweetener as well. And humor is life’s sweetener. Developing a humor habit, specifically using humor to cope with life’s struggles, actually can lead to a decrease in stress. It can lessen the impact of even traumatic events.

It can increase overall life satisfaction, even job satisfaction, and lead to a greater sense of resilience and psychological well-being. But it’s not always easy at first. I speak and study on the topic of applied humor, and I get caught up in taking my work and myself and my life too seriously.

The Business Card Blunder

I remember early on in my career, I had this great opportunity to speak at this conference, and there was going to be all these big wigs of corporate industry there, so I was dialed in with my business cards in my pocket, and I was like, “I am going to network like nobody’s networked before.” Anyone who remotely made eye contact with me, they were getting a business card from my pocket. I was like, “Hey, my name’s Paul. I’d love to do business with you. Hey, my name’s Paul.”

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