"Rule Number 6 -- Don't take yourself so . . . seriously!"

-- from the Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and
Benjamin Zander
"We all have stories that prove Murphy's Law: If anything can go
wrong it will. When Murphy strikes, the best thing you can do is to enjoy the practical joke and laugh at yourself. It breaks the tension and creates recovery time. It relaxes you by getting you to breathe, loosen your muscles, and ease your mind. It holds back your tendency to self-criticize. It puts the people around you at ease and lets them know that you are aware of the mistake and recognize that it isn't fatal. It minimizes the error and builds the confidence of others that you are not thrown by it. It reflects your humility and humanness. Few people enjoy being around someone who projects a facade of perfection -- until they see them actually make an error.

When you are able to laugh at your errors, people are more than willing to show compassion and laugh with you because it puts them in touch with their own fallibility. At these times we hear people say things like, 'Well, you're only human,' or 'Better you than me.' (Whiteley, 2001, p. 197-198)."

Reference: Whiteley, R.C. (2001). Love the work you're with: find the job you always wanted without leaving the one you have. New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Provided by Beth Flynn of Ohio State University Leadership Center who can be reached at flynn.61@osu.edu.
What are you going to do the next time Murphy strikes?


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