As we begin to wrap up January, the first month of the new year, it is so important that we keep our laughter as well as our focus on new year's resolutions, new changes, and new ideas. With ease we get wrapped up in new projects, new goals, leaving laughter and often the fun out of our dedicated pursuit for improvement.
How many times a day do you laugh? I mean really laugh, belly shaking, air gasping, eyes watering laughter? The average child laughs between 300-500 laughs a day! The average adult claims to laugh 15 times a day. Even if most adults did laugh 15 times a day (which I sadly believe is an overestimate of laugher shared by adults) that is 20-33 times less than children. Where in growth did we loose our sense of humor, our enjoyment, our discovery of the world. When did giggles turn into a low level grumble about whatever is irritating us that day?
How can we expect to learn or grow without willing to fully embrace being an amateur? The word amateur comes from the French language and it means "one who has a taste for something". Doing something for the sole enjoyment of experiencing it, participating with it, not for money, not for prestige but simply for the fun of it. How can we expect to learn something new without participating in the fun?
Children learn and absorb new information and skills much faster than adults, and recent studies are starting to look at the connection between attitude and approach to learning along with brain development. The brain is constantly being rewired as long as you are alive and breathing, the rate and ease of plasticity may change, however the only thing that is consistent is change.
This month I am doing an amateur experiment, embarking on learning a new language for the fun of it, stumbling on words, having humor when trying to make new and unfamiliar sounds. Learning something for the shear enjoyment of attempting (no matter how poorly) to expand my knowledge.
My challenge to you is to try something new, try something you have never done this month that you have always found interesting: a language, painting, making mate, cooking a new dish, learning archery, simply for the sake of the attempt. Happy Laughter!