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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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24 Comments leave one →
  1. RKLikesReeses permalink
    July 12, 2016 4:07 PM

    Yes, yes, yes!
    Nothing beats humor.
    Dam funny stuff!
    (Love the pun!)

    I’m keeping this comment short in case WordPress eats it…don’t want the platform to choke – LOL!


    • July 13, 2016 10:35 AM

      WordPress has spared your comment!! O Happy Day!!– yuh done made it, RK!!

      Thanks for your persistence, your kindness, and all your support!! : )

      Liked by 1 person

      • RKLikesReeses permalink
        July 13, 2016 10:40 AM

        Woooohoooooo!!!!!! ::tosses Reeses in the air:: That’s so cool!!! 🙂 (I’m replying via the Notifications panel, so maybe this one will go through, too!)


      • RKLikesReeses permalink
        July 14, 2016 12:55 PM

        YAY!!!! ::happydance::


  2. July 12, 2016 4:40 PM

    Oh, my gosh!!!! Of course I love this post…you have perfectly captured my approach to creative writing. I love, and rely on, wordplay–it becomes spontaneous as soon as my mind is relaxed enough to let it happen….and, I also choose to invite it,, in order to relax my mind when I am feeling the need to “get out of my head/overthinking’ . I’m freaking out after reading about how it creates some emotional distance. That is exactly what I understood about why I find writing therapeutic….it is such an enjoyable outlet as I tackle (emotional) growing pains and life’s inherent conundrums…this post speaks to everything I know to be true…it is so relatable it is shocking…but, when I think about it, it isn’t a surprise–connections are like that….we get what we need by sharing…thank you for using your gifts to validate spontaneous insights….to generate critical thinking…to point others in the direction of explorations that can help them understand themselves (others…and the world) better. You are awesome!!! 🙂 Great post 🙂


    • July 13, 2016 10:47 AM

      My dear Truly!! I knew you were a wordplay person from way back– and, I might add, someone who plays the game with great viguh!! : )

      This post made you freak out, but in the best possible way??– that is excellent news, none better!

      Using my gifts to validate spontaneous insights?? to generate critical thinking?? I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of doing either!!– but they’re definitely the sort of criminal charges I could get used to– thank you, yer honor!! : )

      My dear Truly, I appreciate your lovely comment more than I can say. So glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you for the beautiful words, and for your very kind support! : )

      Liked by 1 person

  3. July 13, 2016 1:52 AM

    Laughter should be compulsory and it would be heaven on earth … !!!


  4. July 17, 2016 5:12 PM

    Hello my Dear Mark, I’ve missed you, but I’m back… Been ill, writing, and, in general, laying low… That conjures up quite a mixed bag (image wise).

    How true: Humour also allows us to say some pretty serious things, and get away with a smile. Just like you do! ❤


    • July 19, 2016 8:33 PM

      My dear Carolyn!! This is a joyful day indeed!! You have suddenly appeared in your magical, mystic way!! like the sun on the morning dew! like moonlight on roses! like– like– well, like a perfect dollop of mayonnaise on a flawless hard-boiled egg!!

      OK– I may have gotten a little carried away on that last one… : )

      Welcome back! It’s lovely to see you. I’m very sorry you were ill. I do hope you’re feeling better, and that the future brings you nothing but happiness. Thank you for your lovely comment!! : )

      Liked by 1 person

  5. soul . to . earth permalink
    July 17, 2016 7:28 PM

    This sketch was so funny it opened up a skewed time portal, I say! :O

    It rendered Archimedes buoyant enough (thanks to bath waters) to yell, Eureka, E = mc 2 !! Happy with his new ditty, he ran through the streets singing, Folks, Enjoyment = many chuckles 2 here at Dam Good Work!!

    Elsewhere, Pythagoras was going around in circles caught in his triangle of obtuse and acute choices to come upon a square tart. What? he shouted, Pie are squared?!! [π r2 joke!]

    Sea what I mean about your humour, Mark? Dam, it’s contagious! 😀


    • July 20, 2016 10:27 AM

      Whoa! A sketch that disturbed the space-time continuum?? I’m even more dangerous than I thought! I went thru a skewed time portal once– came out with a baby bottle in one hand, and a glass of prune juice in the other. I also had a peach-fuzz beard, and looked very spiffy in my l’il sailor hirsute… : )

      My dear Radhika! I know you were very good at math– I can tell because your comments always add up, and your formulas exhibit good form while never being formulaic. Huh??

      I did a little research on Archimedes. Even tho he lived back in the 3rd century BC, he still managed to figure out the area under a parabola. Yes, he was one of those mathematicians with too much time on his hands… : )

      Good ol’ Pythagoras! He made me flip my Euclid back in geometry. Next time you’re watching The Wizard of Oz (I think there’s a showing at The Ganges Club this Friday night– B.Y.O.P.Corn), check out the newly-brained Scarecrow reciting the Pythagorean Theorem at the end. He gets it wrong– really. Poor sap. All that work, and he winds up with a defective brain. Well, I can sympathize– same thing happened to me… : (

      Lovely to see you, and of course your comment offers geometric proof that you are as witty as ever. Q.E.D. (quod erat duncecaputum)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. July 30, 2016 7:15 PM

    I wish I could be funny naturally like you Mark! As for growing any social media audience, it does help to at least have a light touch in comments if one can’t pull off humour naturally.


    • August 2, 2016 12:30 PM

      Hi, Jean! Thanks for your lovely comment, but I’m quite sure you’re not giving yourself enough credit.

      “Naturally funny”– interesting concept, and I’ve thought about it (but not too hard) from time to time. Not sure how much is “natural.” I think a lot depends on one’s personal circumstance. I’m the oldest of six, and we had a lot of crazy relatives growing up– we’d all hear a lot of jokes and banter at those long-ago Sunday family dinners. I think being from a big family is a factor, too– everyone’s competing for attention, again, usually at the dinner table. And there wasn’t any internet or cable TV back then. We didn’t have an endless supply of so-called comedy, so I suppose we had to create a lot of our own. On the other hand, my brain may be warped, which seems very likely… : )

      I agree about having a light touch with comments. People tend to come back if they’ve had a pleasant time. Hope you’re having a nice summer, and that you’re out there feeling the wind in your, er, helmet– thanks for stopping by! : )

      Liked by 1 person

      • August 3, 2016 11:01 PM

        Ah, another first-born! I’m a first born in also a family of 6 children and am not a comedian. My 2nd sister tends to be the jokester. By being first-born (unfortunately) I had the “joy” of being first: first at senior public school, high school, university… Younger sibs had the baggage of living up to older sibs when they were in school. So I didn’t have to fight for parents’ attention. 🙂

        I actually I tended to happily bury myself in a book in a corner at home hide from attention …which usually required some chore expected out of me by a parent…because I was older. 😉


        • August 7, 2016 9:59 PM

          Another first-born of six! Jean, I should have guessed that because of your sterling character and many other fine qualities… : )

          No doubt about first-borns being under a lot of pressure to be responsible, do well in school, pitch in around the house, and look after younger siblings. Yes, indeed: a wise first-born soon learns the art of making himself scarce… : )

          Oh, well– at least our teachers didn’t call us by our older siblings’ names when we were in school!! : )


        • August 8, 2016 7:19 AM

          Ah we share some common traits — except for drawing comic talent, Mark! It’s nice to enter into adulthood …and be child-like. 🙂



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