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Make Your Thinking As Funny As Possible

July 12, 2016

Einstein's Theory of Relativity equation E = m c-squared

Ever wonder how Al Einstein hit upon his famous mass-energy equivalence equation?

By thinking funny. That’s how…

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Best ideas come as jokes make your thinking as funny as possible david ogilvy Einstein thinking E eye chart equals M&M's seas squared famous energy equation parody theory of relativityblank vertical space, 32 pixels high

I got quite a thrill when I first came across that quote by advertising legend David Ogilvy. Humor inspires creative leaps. I’ve always believed that, and there’s solid evidence to back it up.

Laughter makes it easier to think more broadly, and to free associate. Ever had an idea that was a little “out there,” but didn’t voice it because you were afraid of being judged? Or maybe you did some self-judging, and didn’t think the idea was good enough. Humor frees us up, so we can take a break from self-monitoring.

A really good joke creates an a-ha! moment. It clicks. We get it. We suddenly connect
the dots. Humor helps put us in a freer state of mind, making it more likely that we can “connect the dots” and solve a problem.
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Here’s a familiar scenario: you struggle with a problem and get nowhere. Total frustration. Finally you give up, and go do something completely different. Unbidden, a solution pops into your head. Or you come back and suddenly see the answer.

Humor helps us solve problems the same way. It creates some emotional distance, which helps us relax and come at problems from a different direction.

People think more creatively when they’re relaxed. Southwest Airlines understands this. They’re famous for cultivating a playful work environment that’s open to fun
and humor. Does it pay off? Yes– literally. Ideas submitted by Southwest employees have saved the company millions of dollars.

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detail image Best ideas come as jokes make your thinking as funny as possible david ogilvy Einstein thinking eating M&Ms goldfish bowl with straw

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What did the fish say when he ran into a concrete wall? – “Dam.”

Ah!– you’re smiling! You got it. You had to think a little bit outside the box. And that’s exactly how problems get solved.

Ergo: embrace humor. Make your thinking as funny as possible.

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Is humor an essential part of your content marketing and social media strategy?

Do you feel more inclined to share ideas when you’re relaxed and having a good time?

Do you think drinking out of goldfish bowls was what made Al’s hair so frizzy??

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