My Fun Commandments are more relevant today than ever before because I continue to explore and enlarge their scope and impact. They are your wellspring for finding freedom from your pain and illness, navigating swiftly through grief and change, having relationships better than you ever dreamed, ridding yourself of your bad habits once and for all, finding and loving a job of your dreams, and so much more.
We only use about 10% of our brain, right? For hundreds of years we've been told this by psychologists and anthropologists, with the implication that we could unlock unbelievable potential if we could figure out how to use the other 90%. Telekinesis, time travel, and mutant powers await us!
But did you know that we're already using as much of our brain as we ever will? I'll tell you why later...
Are you still waiting for the job of your dreams? Interested in falling in love with the perfect partner? Want to take changes and transitions in stride? Would you like to attract the attention of people who find you mysteriously irresistible? What about being able to walk into any social or professional setting with supreme self-confidence? What if you could lose weight and keep it off or quit smoking for good? How would you like to live a life practically free from the misery of pain and illness? My Fun Commandments are your solution.
How My Fun Commandments Were Created
Over two decades ago, I began creating the Fun Commandments from my work with terminally and chronically ill patients. These patients taught and inspired me to use the incredibly powerful natural medicine of humor both in their treatment and also in my own life. As my patient's lives blossomed under the care of humor's natural medicine, so too did mine...because I actually needed humor's medicine as much, or more, than my patients.
I had a great family, a wonderful home, lots of expensive "toys," and a brilliant career as a psychiatrist. But by the late 1970's I realized that I wasn't doing well at all. I had learned to be funny, but I didn't know how to have fun. I was experiencing pleasure, but I wasn't celebrating life. I could do good things, but I wasn't free to enjoy my accomplishments.
Does this sound even remotely familiar to you? In contrast, I realized that many of my patients were doing fine compared to me. They were able to have fun even in the midst of the pain, uncertainty, and fear that accompanied their diagnoses. So, as they urged me to use the natural medicine of humor to change my own life, my patients also convinced me to write down my findings so they could be shared widely. The results of those initial writings were christened the Fun Commandments and served as the foundation for my Fun Factor prescription, a groundbreaking masterpiece which teaches you, step by step, how to employ the amazing power of humor to supercharge every area of your life.
My current Fun Factor prescription is the culmination of decades of subsequent research, practice, study, and application of my Fun Commandments with my patients. I actually went on a national tour as a stand-up comedian to do research! (I hope you didn't have to sit through any of my performances) I continue to work (and play) with world famous humor practitioners like Mr. Jerry Lewis, whom I have counted as a colleague, friend, and admirer for over a decade! If you combine all the amazing lengths I have gone to study humor's healing effects with my national stature as a Professor and former Associate Chairman of the University of Louisville School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry, you quickly realize that I am the only doctor in the world with the qualifications and expertise to teach you about my Fun Commandments and Fun Factor prescription.
My Fun Commandments Are Designed to Change Your Life
My Fun Factor prescription is your source for finding freedom from your pain and illness, navigating swiftly through grief and change, having relationships better than you ever dreamed, ridding yourself of your bad habits once and for all, finding and loving a job of your dreams, and so much more. But it all started with my Fun Commandments and, to this day, my Fun Factor prescription is still centered around these dynamic principles.
This article introduces you to my Fun Commandments and "primes your pump" for the day you are ready to step into a life you never dreamed possible for yourself - the day you start using my Fun Factor prescription!
We all know about humor's value, especially in recreational settings, and most people agree that laughter is beneficial. If you are part of this majority, you are to be applauded because you are already more than halfway towards turbo-charging your life with the natural medicine of humor. As you read my Fun Commandments and begin to practice them in your life, you will start to see that most of us have barely scratched the surface of humor's potential to supercharge our personal and professional lives.
If you maintain an open mind and are willing to learn, no matter how successful you are now, my Fun Factor prescription and, of course, the Fun Commandments which form its foundation will lower your stress levels by as much as 40%, make profoundly positive changes in your relationships, and increase your job satisfaction by up to 55%.
My Fun Commandments are more relevant today than ever before because I continue to explore and enlarge their scope and impact. In fact, two of the Fun Commandments you're about to read were added within the past year. You can rest assured that, until you invest in my Fun Factor prescription, my Fun Commandments will provide you with a foundation for amazing energy, growth, and positive change - as they have done for hundreds of my patients, family members, and friends.
Dr. Kuhn's Fun Commandments
1. Always Go the Extra Smile
Of all my Fun Commandments, this one provides you with the most energy. It is the one strategy most effective for increasing the fun in your life. Smiling is a way to open your heart and at the same time touch the hearts of others. We have measured decreased stress, improved immunity, increased tolerance for pain and frustration, and higher levels of creativity - even from a "fake" smile!
2. Tell the Truth
Of all my Fun Commandments, this one helps you keep an inventory of yourself. Our humor natures are open windows to the truth; therefore, if you want your sense of humor to be strong and available, you must make the effort to be true to yourself. This Commandment promotes trust in yourself and keeps you on a steady, forward pace since you will be much more cognizant of what is working in your life and what isn't.
3. Laugh With Yourself First
Of all my Fun Commandments, this one helps you take yourself less seriously. When you make a mistake, laughing with yourself keeps you from beating up on yourself. It is a boost to your self-esteem because it is a vote of confidence in yourself. This Commandment sends a clear message to you that you are okay. You know that your foibles do not form links in an unbreakable chain, because you are learning from them and becoming more effective.
4. Welcome Your Mistakes
Of all my Fun Commandments, this one allows you to stop being so hard on yourself. Jerry Lewis once told me that he is always nervous before he goes on stage, but "the trick is to harness the fear and make it your ally." In other words, don't be afraid of your mistakes - welcome them! In fact, your mistakes can be so helpful to you that I suggest making them on purpose. You're going to make mistakes anyway. Making them on purpose helps you turn your fear into fun.
5. Listen Very Carefully
Of all my Fun Commandments, this one keeps you from being too self-centered. Successful comedians will tell you that the capacity to listen is their number one creative tool. Yet listening is an often overlooked and under taught skill and most of us are very poor at it, preferring to form our next phrases rather than hear what is being said to us. To really listen we must turn the volume down on our own internal chatter and this allows us to communicate from our hearts rather than our heads.
6. Go Frequently
Of all my Fun Commandments, this one provides you with serenity. If you've ever learned to juggle you quickly discovered that we all have a tendency to hold on to objects for too long. The same phenomenon occurs in life and, since we are all jugglers - juggling our family, our work, our community responsibilities, and our own care, letting go is a vital skill that will prevent stress and give peace of mind.
7. Challenge Your Assumptions
Of all my Fun Commandments, this one keeps you open minded and learning. It is also an effective way to bring humor into your life. We make assumptions because it saves us time and energy in our busy lives, but assumptions can keep us from growing and changing if we are not capable or willing to see new perspectives. Get in the habit of seeing things around you in a different way and your sense of humor will become supercharged.
8. Stay Focused, Yet Flexible
Of all my Fun Commandments, this one eases you through changes and transitions. This strategy is about keeping your priorities clear, but keeping your options open. You can't help but become an inspired opportunist when you develop a trait for seeing the victories inherent in what you used to call defeats. As you'll come to find out, this trait is shared by all successful people.
9. Act and Interact with People
Of all my Fun Commandments, this one gives you a constant and reliable source of amusement. Reaching out and touching someone is often a learned skill, but it pays big dividends. Realize that taking chances means you will make mistakes, but they will happen less often if you are willing to learn from them. You'll also find that a failed action is much more valuable to your health and success than a failure to act.
10. Practice Wanting What You Have, Rather Than Getting What You Want
Of all my Fun Commandments, this one helps you attract, and hold on to, abundance. One of the great paradoxes of life is that, as long as you try to fill your inner void with things outside yourself, your void only gets bigger. Learning to love what we have and who we are - right now - opens us up to receive so much more, because we want things for the right reason. We're no longer trying to "fix" ourselves.
11. Choose to Motivate Yourself With Fun Rather Than Fear
Of all my Fun Commandments, this one teaches you how to set goals and achieve them. You really only have the choices of fun or fear when it comes to motivation and they both work well. The problem, however, with choosing fear is that it is impossible to sustain the motivation without harming ourselves through burn-out and stress. Choosing fun to motivate ourselves is the simple difference of striving toward positive goals, rather than escaping negative ones.
12. Celebrate Everything
Of all my Fun Commandments, this one provides you with abundant joy every day. If you make a practice of celebrating events you normally treated as mundane, you will be filled with an energy and spirit that you haven't felt since childhood. Left to choose between feeling like a jaded pessimist or a naive optimist (of course, I'm using two extremes as examples), why wouldn't you choose the latter? Either way, your life will still unfold around you - but you will see it as a gift.
By the way, researchers doubt that we have much unused area in our brain. It's true that you might only be using 10% of it at any given time, but that is because your brain is segmented into highly specialized regions and each region is used for specific activities. There are no major unused areas.
However, you can still unlock secret, hidden powers...by using my Fun Commandments to change your paradigms and perspectives. I wouldn't call them "mutant powers," but you'll certainly soon enjoy a life others will envy because you will be even more happy, healthy, and successful than you are now.
Clifford Kuhn, M.D., America's Laugh Doctor, teaches people and organizations to be more healthy and successful through the use of fun and humor. A psychiatrist, and the former associate chairperson of the University of Louisville's renowned Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Kuhn now dispenses his prescription for turbo-charging your health, success, and vitality.