I have been called many things throughout my life. Some are flattering, some not so much! The one thing I am called a lot is goofy and I am totally OK with that. The truth is, I am goofy and I love being goofy. It’s part of my nature, so why fight it? Anyone who has worked with me has seen this side of me. My wife, kids, extended family and friends see it all the time. None of them has run off screaming … yet!
Is there a goof in you? How often do you let it out to play?
I managed a company once that provided technology to large enterprises. We had won a tender to deliver 3000 new computers to a client who had 187 offices spread throughout the Province of British Columbia. We had to schedule delivery by technicians who would first back up the existing computers, replace them with the new computers and then remove the old ones. This is no small task. One day, I was sitting in my office and I could hear tensions rising in a meeting in the next office. The participants were struggling with the details of a very challenging project plan.
I walked into the meeting and asked how things were going. I could literally feel the tension in the air. Looking somewhat distressed, one of them said it was coming along slowly. Being their boss, some of them were also feeling like I might read them the riot act for being late with the plan, to stop bickering and get on with the job at hand. Instead, I smiled, and then asked if any of them had ever seen my impression of a fish out of water. When they replied that they had not seen this, I proceeded to lie on the ground and begin flapping about wildly, just as a fish does when taken out of the water. There was much laughter, surprise and some astounded looks. I got up, thanked them and left the office. The tension was broken and the meeting continued. Soon, they had all agreed on an effective plan and had done so in a spirit of cooperation.
Another time, a good friend of mine was having difficulties and had e-mailed me to vent about her problems. She really needed a boost so I sent an e-mail encouraging her but I included a story about some new shoes I had just purchased which were guaranteed to be odorless for the life of the shoes.
The e-mail included an animation I had created just for the occasion.
She soon phoned me in hysterics, told me I was a goof, and thanked me for cheering her up.
You see, being ‘goofy’ can be useful. It’s an art form. Comedians like Robin Williams, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, John Cleese and Jerry Seinfeld do goofy things in order to make us laugh. We benefit from their goofiness because laughter is good medicine. When someone calls me goofy, I think of those comedians and consider myself to be in good company. It’s a compliment!
In my career, I have met people who wear a certain face for work and a different one in their social lives. The work face is very serious and does not allow for comical behavior but when I meet them in a social setting, some of these people can be quite zany! It’s a shame not to share that side of ourselves more often. I believe the world would be a better place if everyone laughed a little bit more. Apparently, I am not alone in that sentiment…
“We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.” ~ Agnes Repplier
“So many tangles in life are ultimately hopeless
that we have no appropriate sword other than laughter.” ~ Gordon W. Allport
“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” ~ Victor Hugo
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” ~ Victor Borge
“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.” ~ Yiddish Proverb
So, in closing this goofy article, I ask again:
- Is there a goof in you?
- How often do you let it out to play?
- Do you have a goofy story you would like to share with us? If so, we’d love to hear it!
Photos By Gil Namur – All Rights Reserved