Anatomy of an Illness, a 1979 New York Times best-selling book, tells the inspiring story of Norman Cousins’ full recovery from a crippling disease, simply by having fun.
Those of you who’ve been around as long as I have probably remember Norman Cousins, editor of the Saturday Review. Cousins and the magazine are long gone, but his story is unforgettable. He used the power of laughter and comedy to cure himself of a life-threatening disease. In other words, by having fun.
Here’s a short excerpt from A Laughing Matter, an article we wrote a few years ago:
“As anyone who’s raised a child or been around children knows, kids laugh a lot. Far more than adults. A statistic I saw recently said adults laugh an average of 15 times a day. Children laugh 400 times a day. That’s not a typo — kids laugh four hundred times a day! Life is still fun for them.”
But what about us, the adults of the world? Many of us have lost our childlike ability to have fun and to laugh.
Your life is supposed to be fun. If life is not fun, if you rarely laugh, if you cannot find humor in ordinary or even challenging circumstances, you’ve forgotten who you are.
We realize many of you, especially in your modern world, are facing daunting challenges. But when you remember who you are and why you came to this incarnation, you’ll find your challenges less daunting.
You chose the circumstances of your birth before you came in. Most of you know that. Your souls had an “agenda,” if you will. They decided on your parents, siblings, other family, your body, your geography, etc.
Even if you now wish your birth circumstances could have been different, know those circumstances were absolutely perfect for you. Why? Because they have allowed you to grow in ways you never would have otherwise.
This life you’re living is perfect for you. So instead of wishing things were different, simply accept that all is well.
We are not saying you should just accept everything as it is. Make changes whenever and wherever you feel guided to. For example, because you were born to poor parents does not mean you cannot have great abundance as adults. If that’s what you want, then seek it.
The “bottom line” here is this lifetime is just right for you, at the human and spiritual levels. As you, the human, grow, so too does your soul or spirit. Your life, “dead” or “alive,” is a never-ending process of growth, physically and nonphysically.
So you might as well have some fun along the way. Do whatever it takes to make yourself feel good. If it feels good, then it is good for you.
Learn to be like little children again. Learn to laugh and play and have fun. It’s never too late to become childlike again.
We suggest you set aside some time every day just to laugh and have fun. Do whatever it takes — watch a funny movie, read a comedy, be with people who laugh a lot. You get the idea.
The benefits of just that short time every day will be immense. Not only will you feel better, but your body will be healthier, your relationships will be healthier. Having fun can even save your life, as it did with Norman Cousins.
But you don’t need to wait till you have a serious illness to start having fun. Do it now. Find the joy in all your experiences. It’s always there, but you have to look for it.
Have fun. Laugh. Play. Life is too important to take it so seriously. It’s not serious. All is well.
Is your life fun? How many times a day do you laugh just for the sheer joy of it? Please comment below.