Sunday, April 29, 2007

Tip#50: See The Bigger Picture - Oprah & Ellen!

The Cake Message

When you see a delicious cake it's beauty can immediately permeate all your senses. Its textures look tantalizing, the aroma lifts your spirit and the moist taste can send you into the heavens. What is interesting is if you've never seen how a cake is made you would probably just see a strange mess. You have yet to see the bigger picture.

The eggs that were once perfectly contained in a white shell are suddenly cracked open spilling its contents. Then flour, once held in a tidy container, is dumped into the mix churning into the eggs and other ingredients. And if you ate these ingredients in their raw state it would taste terrible.

But in the end when every step has been carefully taken to create the cake, it transforms into a delicious work of art. This process is a metaphor for the bigger picture of what challenging times are for. Change for the better has its messy stages.

Go With The Natural Flow

2007 for me started off rough and has tested my belief in my vision for what I wanted in my career as a motivator. I've felt disconnected. What's been getting me through these several months was a newfound passion for documenting my struggles and learning on this blog. My first entry started 6 months ago where I celebrated a dream come true at the Royal Ontario Museum for a successful keynote topic I gave called 'How Movies Can Change Your Life'.

That event was to precede many other motivational events I was asked to develop for the ROM that ended up having the plug pulled in mid January (see tip#22). I thought I'd be documenting these new successes to inspire others to follow their dreams through my blog. Instead my new year was off to a crash bang start with my dream jobs getting derailed. My career eggs were being smashed open and flour was being spilled everywhere!

The irony is that my blog entries of motivational tips became my new focus and source of release and comfort. I truly enjoyed writing to share a little of the roller coaster I was riding and how I've managed to hang on. What surprised me most were the many encouraging thanks I would receive weekly. I was making a difference in other people's lives despite the dark time I was in.

And some of my readers were finding my motivational tips via the Google search engine. Comments came from as far as Portugal and Singapore. The universe was guiding me to a bigger purpose and I had to just trust the process I was in. I just needed to learn how to float like a cork and just go with the natural flow of events.

Passion Is Fuel

So I continued to document my struggles, synchronicities and solutions. That's all. I just followed my passion for writing. I had no idea where my income was going to come from but I knew I had to keep posting and share my experiences through the internet. Author of The Pursuit of Happynessand entrepreneur, Chris Gardner was key in confirming my gut feelings to keep doing what I love and not think about the money (see tip#40). Passion for writing was my new fuel and I couldn't wait to get up in the mornings to do it.

No matter what uncertainties I faced each day I continued to give as much as I could to help others stuck in their own lives. It's what I still love to do whether it's through my illustrations, music or a simple helpful tip for someone. I didn't expect anything in return, it was just unconditional giving. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “I was being the change I wanted to see in the world”.

As days and weeks went by comforting changes began to happen. New and good people brimming with integrity and graciousness flowed into my life. I still believed in earth angels and they were arriving from every direction. I was given so much encouragement to keep moving forward. Then at the end of March a special book came to me from out of the blue to re-ignite my deepest hopes and dreams.

What Dreams May Come

It was a profound gift to find film producer Stephen Simon's book, The Force Is With You.In it, Simon shared his own passion for movies and how they can help you discover who you are and why we are here. The book became a mirror for my dream of turning my motivational tips blog into a self-help book.

One of the many inspirational points from the book came from Simon's experiences producing the movies 'Somewhere In Time' with Christopher Reeve and What Dreams May Comewith Robin Williams. It took many long years to get each of the films made as there were constant roadblocks along the way. Simon's vision, passion and courage fueled his persistence and in the end the movies were finally produced. And despite not being box office hits upon release, in time the films have made a big difference for people all over the world having to deal with challenges of love and death.

Simon's personal stories and insights in his book had given me hope. I realized I'd been on track all along in my journey. Every choice I made was somehow always the right one. And I always learned something from each block I encountered to better myself and improve my life skills.

I was teaching myself how to go with the flow of the ups and down of life. And I had to always have faith that the puzzle pieces for moving forward would come at the right moment if I remained open to when and how they arrive. That's why I believe synchronicity is a powerful life tool to embrace. You just have to be alert and aware at all times for meaningful coincidences.

I see now my 'stuck' periods were not only cross roads but a 'dramatic pause' before my life and career truly revs up again for the next chapter of my adventures. I’ve chosen to be the hero of my own movie.

Keep A Vision Alive

What has further motivated me was this indelible image of myself being on the Oprah Show. I have always seen this clearly in my head. In fact to manifest this vision of the future I made a fun picture of pasting my face over a photo of a guest being interviewed on Oprah.

Try this for yourself. Why not picture yourself being interviewed by Oprah or someone else you admire. The idea of being interviewed is a form of celebrating and sharing with the world the greatness of who you are and what you are capable of. This is a great self-esteem exercise to get you thinking that your life experiences have some value.

For example, think of a challenge in your life or career that you have overcome. It may be a small thing to you but your methods of success could make a huge difference for someone else.

Ellen DeGeneres likes to also celebrate the everyday person. I've pictured myself on her show too. Although I initially see myself dancing like some of her guests do when they enter on stage. And I still think it was the coolest thing seeing Ellen make Steven Spielberg take a picture of her and Clint Eastwood at the 79th Academy Awards (see tip#33).

What inspires me most about Oprah and Ellen's shows is they both love celebrating the big and small accomplishments that people do. That, in turn, inspires others.

Your Place In The World

So keep your goals clear in your mind as you allow yourself to enjoy the journey there. Be a floating cork when times are tough. Take in the aroma and tastes of other people's cakes that are being created along the way. Take time to help someone whose cake may be burning or in trouble because one day you may be in the same situation.

And above all be grateful for what you have at this very moment. Make the most of what you have. Any missing ingredients to your cake will eventually come to you if you just trust and help others with their missing pieces. And somehow you'll begin to see the bigger picture and discover your lasting place in the world.

I know that my place in the world right now is to continue documenting my ups and downs with all my gifts and skills. And I'm meant to share it all with the world. I love knowing I’ve already made a difference in people's lives.

And what makes me smile at this moment is my vision of the future of you reading this in my first published book that's being given out free to audience members of the Oprah and Ellen shows. And I'm there laughing and looking back at when I wrote about this wild emotional roller coaster I was on.

And, of course, I'll be shaking my booty with Ellen on her show.

Emmanuel Lopez
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tip#49: Remember You Are A V.I.P. - Dor

Doesn't everyone enjoy being treated like a VIP once in awhile? Getting special treatment is about being pampered and making you feel special. And if you are feeling low energy it's nice to get that extra attention especially when you don't expect it. This happened recently to me thanks to recognizing the synchronicities that preceded my VIP treatment.

The Synchronicities for A Special Event:

The synchronicities revolved around Toronto's ReelWorld Film Festival which celebrates cultural diversity in movies from around the world. I had been seeing promotional ads that were celebrating their 7th year this year and the number immediately reminded me of my blog tip on the importance of 2007 called 'Unleash Your Inner 007' (see tip#19) as well as the 7 year mid-life transition I'd just completed. Seeing the number 7 several times automatically made my brain alert that something was up.

The next synchronicities occurred just before the film festival started when a friend called and asked if I received email invitations to the free film festival seminars and the opening and closing night gala screenings. Amazingly I had just received the email invitations when she called that looked like a special invite directly from Tonya Lee Williams, actress and founder of ReelWorld Film Festival.

Getting the invite automatically made me feel like a VIP. I got an intuitive buzz that this was a gift from the universe via synchronicity and all I had to do was act on it. So I immediately RSVP'd for a free seminar and the gala events.

The VIP Evening:

Now VIP stands for Very Important Person and according to Wikipedia was coined in the 1940's. I'm sure you've heard the term many times and seen signage attributed to it. You'll see VIP sections in airport lounges, social clubs, nightclubs, tradeshow conferences and special entrances for special events where you bypass the lineups of 'regular guests'. If you’ve ever experienced the VIP treatment you know how great it feels. And if you haven't then one day I'm sure will.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it to the opening night film and party but was able to attend the closing night film event. Here's how that special night unfolded. Early Sunday night of the closing gala I got dressed up in my best duds and headed over to the theatre. I knew from past film festival events I really didn't need to dress up but that night I wanted to celebrate my VIP invitation.

When I arrived at the Scotiabank Theatre (formerly the Paramount) I first stood in line with my guest because I thought it was the line for VIPs. I finally asked an attendant if I needed to wait in line since I had a special invitation. When she saw I was on the guest list she motioned us out of line and gave me my two tickets waiting for me. On top of that I saw my name and Motivatorman title printed on the tickets. Or course that made me feel great!

Crashing The Reception:

In the next lobby upstairs we waited to enter the main theatre. I found my friend who'd originally called me and wanted to know if we wanted to crash the private reception party that was currently on in a nearby room. We said yes and we walked right into the festivities bypassing the people checking for reception invites. You see the trick is to walk in like you own the place, like you belong there. In other words know YOU ARE A VIP and nothing is going to stop you from entering. It's a party crashing tip from my old film festival adventures.

The private reception had electricity crackling in the air as it was packed full of press, filmmakers, actors and actresses from the ethnically diverse film industry being represented. There were many traditionally dressed South Asians there as it was a Bollywood movie showing that night. There was also a buffet and complimentary drinks for everyone in the loud, camera flashing venue. It was a colourful and glittery sight!

The scene reminded me again of the old days in the early 90's when I use to attend the Toronto International Film Festival movies and parties. Great movies, decorated venues, movie stars, great new people to meet, delicious foods and unlimited libations were all something to look forward to. I didn't always have an invitation to the special events but I always got in somehow. Crashing was just a fun thing to do.

A Sea of VIP Seats:

As we left the reception we each received gift bags and then entered the main theatre for the screening. It was exciting yet again because we walked right by the stage set up for an awards presentation to precede the film. An usher greeting us said to please sit in the VIP section that was surprisingly 3/4 of the upper part of the theatre. It was an amazing sight to see all those rows of seats with a sheet of paper on each one with the letters VIP printed in bold.

It moved me seeing the sea of VIP sheets because it became an instant metaphor for people to recognize how very important they truly are even if they weren't royalty, heads of state or a celebrity. In addition, normally at special events in theatres you'd see only a row or two reserved for VIPs. In this case they filled the majority of the movie theatre. It really was a special sight to drink in.

I believe that before anyone can see how great you are you must first see that greatness in yourself. It applies to all your goals whether it be personal or for your career. You have to recognize the VIP inside you.

Connect As People First:

As we waited in the theatre I had a nice talk with two other VIPs seated next to me. Usually people don’t talk to strangers at movie theatres but at a film festival everyone is very open to chatting. In this case I met two people originally from Sri Lanka and we enjoyed getting to know one another.

It reminded me of how amazing Toronto is for the diversity of cultures living together and how simply nice it is to meet someone from a totally different background than yourself. At the end of our conversation one of my new Sri Lanka connections gave me his card and I gave them each my business card. To me that's what I call authentic networking which is what I love teaching in my workshops. We made a connection first as people and genuinely enjoyed each other's company. The business cards came out only at the end.

And who knows where these connections will go. As long as you nurture an open line of communication the seed of opportunity is planted and has a chance to grow. Email is a truly amazing tool. Since meeting my new Sri Lanka contacts I had emailed a hello to them and received a response that same day.

Isn't that the kind of person you'd like to do business with or even be friends with? It doesn't matter where you come from, I believe common courtesy is universal and fast email etiquette a real bonus in any relationship.

A Mini Vacation: Dor (2006)

Back to the theatre, after the ReelWorld film awards were presented the movie was about to start. I didn't know much about the film except that it was a South Asian film called Dor.The movie turned out to be a real gem immersing me into the lush sceneries of northern India that I'd never seen before. The heavenly green mountains of Himachal in the opening scenes immediately took me on a mini vacation for the next 2 1/2 hours.

The Indian drama, Doris a story of two women – one who undertakes a long journey to save her love and another who dares to break the shackles of tradition. It's about how fate brings them together to help one another. The music was beautiful and the performances of all the actors were heartfelt. And though I didn't understand some of the comedic parts I still laughed because the performances radiated such playfulness.

I got to experience another country and all it's rich cultural textures and received interesting insights into their family traditions. The film's director Nagesh Kukunoor is credited for the birth of New Indian Cinema and defies tradition. His films also focus on relationships. Even the locations are treated as characters in the movie.

The whole evening felt like a gift and it left me filled with new life and a sense of optimism. And it meant more to me because I could share it with friends and the new connections I had met. Ultimately to me, being a VIP means nothing if you can't share the experience.

VIP Reminders For You:

Before leaving the theatre I made it a point of taking my seat's VIP sheet with me and have pinned it up at home where I could always see it. It's there to remind me that I am always a very important person even when I'm having a bad day. It's there to remind me that I deserve to be pampered once in awhile like a VIP. And the privilege goes for you too.

So believe you are a VIP right now. Allow yourself to be pampered when opportunities come to you. Print up your own VIP sign on a sheet of paper and put it up where you can see it everyday. Reminders like this are what builds self-esteem, to know you have value and to help you feel comfortable in your self-worth. Always remember you are already a VIP.

Emmanuel Lopez
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Tip#48: Change Takes Time - Bicentennial Man

Self-improvement is always a courageous step for anyone. Though some people buy certain self-help products or methods and expect a quick fix to their problems. Any lasting change takes time. I've discovered that the answers for our successes are simple. It's only ourselves that make it difficult. We're the ones who get in our own way by being impatient and expecting instant results.

In life there are times when people get fed up with the unhappiness of their careers or how they are as a person. That's when one knows it's time to take some sort of action to initiate changes. And what becomes equally important is a commitment to doing whatever it takes and for how long it will take to make a lasting change in one's self.

In fact it's better to expect it may take years and not days or weeks to transform your place in the world. That way your expectations won't rule you or add any extra pressure. Patience becomes a new skill to learn.

Coal + Pressure = Diamond

Changing your life or career from one you don't enjoy to one that you love takes time. In a sense the pressure and stress you feel to change is a good thing. Internally it's your gut telling you something new has to happen while externally it's the universe letting you know that you must now take steps and time towards releasing the real you inside.

A diamond is a great metaphor to use because of the process they endure from its original form of coal. Diamonds are made under conditions of extreme temperature and pressure in the earth's mantle. Replace the word 'diamond' with 'you' and it gives you a great future to visualize. Imagine having the resilience of a diamond that can maintain its strength no matter what. Over time you too can reveal your true inner diamond, the multi-faceted beauty of your authentic self.

That's why I enjoy seeing movies where the main characters are put under extreme pressures to reveal what they are truly made of. They transform from something ordinary to the extraordinary and usually get what they'd been seeking. The same can happen in real life. Movies like 'The Pursuit of Happyness', 'The Pianist' and others from Tip #47: Resilience are based on true stories of personal transformations over time.

Bicentennial Man (1999)

The sci fi comedy drama movie, Bicentennial Manstars Robin Williams and features an inspiring example of how successful changes takes time. Williams plays an android named Andrew programmed with a unique self awareness that wishes to continually better himself. His quest takes him through the many generations of the family he was created to serve. His desire is so strong to improve himself that he learns to create beautiful clocks out of found wood and eventually builds his own home.

Watch now: Amazon Prime

Ultimately, Andrew wants to become accepted more as a human and an equal among others and spends his life improving his human interaction skills as well as his appearance. He goes to great lengths to create more realistic features like skin, eyes and artificial organs so he could experience the joys of eating and the other five senses. Andrew even desires to experience the emotions of love. His quest for self-improvement eventually benefits all mankind with his ingenious inventions of artificial organs.

Bicentennial Manwill inspire you to keep moving forward in improving your skills and yourself no matter how long it takes. It took Andrew 200 years to fulfill his incredible, almost impossible dream of becoming a human. And no matter what happened, he enjoyed the ups and downs of the journey and that is a great lesson for us all.

A Wish Is A Seed

I remember there was a time over a decade ago that I'd bump into someone I hadn't seen in a while and they'd given me a guilt trip attitude for not calling them. I always felt that put in a role that was unjustified and didn't like that feeling.

For example as we parted they would tell me to 'call them' in a tone that always rubbed me the wrong way. It was as if the world revolved around them and that it was my job to stay in contact. Their request for friendship felt conditional and it would later help me see that I only wanted unconditional relationships in my life.

To my surprise, a few months ago, I realized I no longer had any of those 'conditional' people in my life. Everyone I cared about that were now my closest friends, acquaintances and business contacts never say 'call me' in that controlling tone. Change takes time and it started with my wish 'to have unconditional relationships in my life'. That wish was like a seed that simply needed time to grow and maintain.

Power of Patience

Changes do happen. And the change has to start in your mind. It's the change that takes place in your thoughts and attitude that takes time to develop. That's why you must accept that lasting positive changes in your life and career can be an ongoing process. You are reprogramming yourself like the Bicentennial Manto improve yourself.

So remember that patience is an important life skill to develop and that transformations do not happen overnight. Make patience and time your allies. Life is about the journey more than the destination. Why not learn how to enjoy the slow lanes, the fast lanes and even the pit stops of life?

"If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent."
Isaac Newton

"The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it."
Arnold H Glasgow

"If you are patient in a moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow."
Chinese Proverb

"Be patient enough to live one day at a time, letting yesterday go and leaving tomorrow until it arrives."

Emmanuel Lopez
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tip#47: Resilience Is Your Hidden Super Power, Part 1 - 18 Movie Tips

Resilience is defined as the ability to recover quickly from illness, change, or misfortune.

Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a super power for being indestructible? One of the characters from the hit TV show Heroes is a high school cheerleader with this gift. The series shows ordinary people of all ages discovering they have a super power, hers involves the ability of spontaneous regeneration. You see her in car crashes, getting burned, falling from buildings, being impaled and getting her fingers mangled. She's survived it all.

X-Men Series

The popular character, Wolverine from the X-Men comics and movies has a similar power of rapid healing. In the three X-Men movies Wolverine is played by Hugh Jackman and you see him get cut deeply many times and instantly see the wound seal itself every time. Or when he is shot you see his body internally push out the bullet, stop the bleeding and then seal the wound cleanly.

Unbreakable (2000)

In the superhero thriller film, Unbreakable, Bruce Willis plays a character who is, of course, unbreakable. At first Willis's character doesn't want to believe he has this extraordinary power but later learns to see it as a gift. Director, M. Night Shyamalan, created a down to earth story out of a basic superhero concept for Unbreakable making super powers believable within an ordinary family setting. Being unbreakable is an amazing ability the main character finally accepts.

In a lot of ways I believe we have the mental equivalent of this super power within each one of us. Resilience is the name of that power. Believing that you have that power is the first step to developing the confidence that nothing or no one can truly hurt you.

Visualizing the possibility is a powerful method to help you start believing in your resilience. Activate your imagination and you'll picture your hidden potentials. Here's a list of movies to inspire you:

A Beautiful Mind (2001)
This biographical drama is based on a true story about a man who perseveres despite a debilitating mental disorder.

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
This romantic comedy is about a woman who survives embarrassing insults and societal expectations.

Cast Away (2000)
This adventure drama is about a man who survives many years on a deserted island.

Cinderella Man (2005)
This biographical sports drama is based on a true story of a man surviving with a family during years in poverty in the great depression.

The Contender (2000)
This political drama is about a woman who perseveres despite overwhelming public and political pressures and scrutiny.

Conversations With God (2006)
This biographical drama is based on a true story where a man survives homelessness and loss of purpose in life.

The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
This adventure film is about a wrongly convicted man who perseveres despite hopeless, long term conditions imprisoned.

The Edge (1997)
This adventure drama is about an elderly man who survives in a northern wilderness using his wits and resilient attitude.

Erin Brockovich (2000)
This biographical drama is based on a true story where a woman perseveres despite personality conflicts and corporate antagonists.

Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001, 2002, 2003)
This fantasy adventure series is about a group of diverse individuals who survive ongoing and relentless mental, emotional and physical challenges in order to achieve a goal.

Mr. Deeds Goes To Town (1936)
This screwball comedy is about a small town man who survives emotional stress and public ridicule in a big city.

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939)
This political comedy drama is about a small town man who remains resilient despite overwhelming public and political opposition.

The Pianist (2002)
This historical drama is based on a true story of a man surviving for years under Nazi persecution and forced isolation.

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
This biographical drama is based on a true story where a man survives homelessness with a young child while pursuing his dream of becoming a stockbroker.

Rocky Balboa (2006)
This sixth installment of the Rocky series is about a man now in his late 50's maintaining his resilience despite life's ongoing punches and the death of a loved one.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
This drama is about a wrongfully accused man who endures years of mental and physical abuse in a prison.

Learning To Survive:

These movie examples have all helped me so much in many ways. To me all the main characters are super heroes. They've helped me picture positive possibilities, given me strength to keep moving forward and lifted my spirits when my energy felt depleted.

Movies helped unleash my resilience during my mid-life transition that hit in the year 2000. I learned how to survive the loss of employment, loss of income, loss of purpose and the painful loss of my father. Magically, movies always arrived when I needed them most and prodded me to persevere and recognize all my hidden abilities and strengths.

Extraordinary Possibilities

Always remember that doesn't matter whether you are too old or young, big or small in order to have the power of resilience. That’s partly why the TV series Heroes has become popular beyond its special effects. Each episode shows examples of ordinary people young and old and of diverse ethnic backgrounds discovering awesome powers they had been born with. Let that exciting concept mirror your own extraordinary possibilities.

So explore the movies you are drawn to. Sometimes you don't pick movies - they pick you. Be inspired by the movie hero's choice to keep going forward despite the harsh conditions they are placed in. Witness the pain they endure in order to persevere and accomplish their goals.

Let the stories trigger your dormant abilities, hidden strengths and resilience. And next time, when you are put into difficult situations, you may be surprised at how powerful you truly are.

"It's hard for many people to believe that there are extraordinary things inside themselves, as well as others. I hope you can keep an open mind."

Related Tips on Resilience:
Tip#47: Resilience Is Your Hidden Super Power, Part 1 - 18 Movie Tips
Tip#689: Resilience Is Your Hidden Super Power, Part 2 – Riddick
Tip#741: Resilience Is Your Hidden Super Power, Part 3 – Film Critic Richard Crouse - Amazing Grace
Tip#742: Resilience Is Your Hidden Super Power, Part 4 – The Pianist 
Tip#801: Resilience Is Your Hidden Super Power, Part 5 - Whiplash
Tip#134: You Can Bounce Back - Resiliency - Pixar's Boundin'
Tip#260: Be Resilient & Absolutely Confident - You’ve Got Mail
Tip#725: Focus & Resilience – Hunger Games: Catching Fire - 42

Emmanuel Lopez
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Tip#46: What Makes You Laugh? - Part 1

There was once a time when I felt very low energy and a lack of enthusiasm for over a week. I had already done most of the things I knew to lift myself up like treat myself to favourite movies, chocolate and delicious foods. These methods certainly helped but I needed something else and couldn't remember what.

Deuce Bigalow, European Gigolo (2005)

Soon after, a good friend of mine insisted I come over to his place and sat me in front of his new high definition television as if he had the magic answer. Of all the movies he could have chosen to show he picked Deuce Bigalow, European Gigolo starring Rob Schneider. As I surrendered to this unusual choice I found myself laughing out loud at all the stupid, crude toilet humour in the film.

My friend did know the secret to lifting me up and it was to make me laugh.

I remembered the feeling inside me as I laughed. Something surged through my blood, transforming this heavy energy inside me to something much lighter. The cloudiness and lethargy I was in quickly dissipated as the physical act of laughing put me into a new state of mind. I felt good again!

After I analyzed my situation I remembered that laughter stimulates positive brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. It also stimulates the body's secretion of endorphins. These are the body's natural painkillers and they produce a general sense of well-being. I have written before that endorphins are also connected to chocolate (see tip#27). Medical studies have shown that a good belly laugh can also reduce stress hormones, decrease pain, lower blood pressure, and even boost the immune system.

Robin Williams

The movie, Patch Adams starring Robin Williamsis based on a real person utilizing the healing power of laughter and humour. The real Patch Adams was a pioneer for introducing endorphins in his philosophy for the medical values of laughter. "Treat the patient not the disease" was Adams approach. Even the name of his medical centre will make you smile: The Gesundheit! Institute.

In the movie, Williams own brand of humour helped fill Patch Adams with hilarious jokes and sequences that not only make his patients laugh but you as well. For years Robin Williams has always made me chuckle. Ever since he first burst out on the scene with his TV series 'Mork & Mindy' he always got me laughing when his humour goes into 'turbo'. I especially enjoyed seeing him being interviewed on talk shows because he was so manic that I laughed as much for his antics as seeing how the interviewer responds.

Adam Sandler

As for the Deuce Bigalow movie, I realized afterwards that it was a Happy Madison Production. This is the film production company founded by actor, comedian Adam Sandler. Now I openly admit I love Sandler's movies so I’m no longer surprised that the Deuce Bigalow film did the trick in making me laugh and feel better.

Strangely I don't get tired of seeing Sandler's films over and over again. It's like laugh medicine that goes down so easily. Some of my favourites include:
Big Daddy
Billy Madison
50 First Dates
The Waterboy
The Wedding Singer

Not only did these films make me laugh I’d appreciate the redeeming, positive messages that Sandler's goofy characters always learned from.

And though some of his other more serious roles in Punch-Drunk Love and Spanglish had won Sandler new respect with audiences, I will always know it's Sandler's original rude and crude comedies that is tried and true laugh medicine for me.

Jim Carrey

Of course I have to mention my other time tested movie medicine in the form of Jim Carrey and Mike Myers films. Both comedians also happen to be Canadian. Carrey was born in Newmarket, Ontario and Myers in Scarborough, Ontario.

Jim Carrey always made me laugh with his putty like facial expressions. His physical humour is so over the top in his earlier movies he looked like a living cartoon character. I'll always remember seeing Ace Ventura, When Nature Calls with a friend where she couldn't stop laughing. Even when there were no jokes going on she was still laughing from the previous gag. Her giggling made me laugh even more. Laughter really is contagious.

Mike Myers

Mike Myers and his Austin Powersmovies are hilarious. The Austin Powers Goldmember film is comedic genius for me especially the opening sequence. I won't describe it in case you haven't seen it yet so please check it out. What makes Myers's movies fun is the amount of improv that is caught on film. And if you see the Austin Powers Goldmember dvd check out all the deleted scenes and you'll see many funny bits that just couldn’t fit into the movie.

Russell Peters

Another new favourite comedian is another Canadian, Russell Peters. I'll always remember the first time I saw his comedy act from his first Comedy Network special. It came at a time when I needed my spirits lifted and Peters did the trick. What got me laughing was his incredible impressions of ethnic groups.

Peters has a gifted ear and made me laugh with his flawless Chinese accent and facial expressions as well as his own background of East Indian impressions. No one was spared in his comedy acts. He slipped into flawless accents of Italians, Caribbeans, Africans, Jewish and even "hidden" Canadian accents. I laughed out loud because Peters wasn't really making fun of anyone, he was just telling humorous stories of people he'd experienced. Peters allows us to enjoy laughing at ourselves and the silly things we do.

I feel Peters is a great new ambassador of laughter for the multicultural communities of Canada. Not only is he a visible minority he is also highlighting communities that are normally invisible into mainstream media. According to Wikipedia, his popularity overseas is enormous. For example in Dubai, his tickets sold at a rate of one ticket every two seconds, crashing the on-line servers and creating pandemonium at the retail outlets.

What Makes You Laugh?

So start making your emergency list of all that makes you laugh. It'll come in handy when you find yourself in a low energy state, feeling confused or lethargic. Your list will be a beacon of light waiting to re-energize you.

Maybe there are photos you've collected that make you laugh. Maybe it's your cat or dog that do silly or stupid things. Maybe it's a favourite sitcom or movie that has always made you laugh. Maybe there are jokes that have been emailed to you that made you laugh once. Make a list of what makes you laugh and print it out.

Remember everything that tickles your funny bone and treat yourself to a good belly laugh once in awhile. And if your stomach feels sore that's okay because laughter exercises ten different muscle groups. Just think, you'd have treated yourself to a great workout too!

"I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose."
Woody Allen

"Laughter is an instant vacation."
Milton Berle

"Seven days without laughter makes one weak."
Mort Walker

Related Tips:
Tip#46: What Makes You Laugh? - Part 1 
Tip#678: What Makes You Laugh? – Part 2 - Grown-Ups 2 
Tip#697: What Makes You Laugh? – Part 3 - Russell Peters’ Notorious 
Tip#769: What Makes You Laugh? - Part 4 - They Came Together

Emmanuel Lopez© Emmanuel Lopez 2007