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I heard an old saying that goes something like this: "Don't take life so seriously; no one gets out alive." I have to say there is real truth in that. Sure, get your work done and be serious when called for, but also make sure you put lots of laughter, play and fun back into your life.

Playing isn't just for kids anymore. You don't have to look far to see examples of play at work in the world. Look for role models who are successful at bringing play and laughter into their lives.

For example, it always makes me happy (and soulful) when I watch Ellen DeGeneres dance at the start of her show. Ellen is just being herself—her playful, creative self. She dances for the sheer fun of it, and then the audience starts standing up and dancing with her. Each day fans cheer for the ritual to continue. Dancing at the start of the show has become her signature—a way for Ellen the host to connect with her audience. Her carefree individual style of play has given others the permission to do the same.

So play, smile and laugh. As Mother Theresa said, "We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do," reminding us that a smile has great power to connect, to heal and to uplift...

My daughter and I were driving to the store when she was 11 or 12 years old, and I noticed she was waving to every car around us. I witnessed her smiling and I witnessed the people in the cars around us smiling and waving as well. When I asked her what she was doing, she replied, "The last time we went to the store, I waved at 25 people and 20 waved back. Today I waved at 30 people and 30 waved back and smiled." For my daughter on this day, her success was measured in smiles and greetings. Aren't smiles and greetings the measurement for joy and success for all of our lives?

Playfulness such as this rejuvenates and revitalizes you. It helps you to see the world from different points of view. It rekindles your optimism, encourages experimentation, invites laughter and renews your ability to be flexible and resilient. Play and laughter can help you make meaningful connections as you adapt to this changing world.

Remember, a day without laughter is a day wasted.

Continue on to Week 16

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