Tragic Thinking


You may have heard me refer to my Comedy Coach, Pete Crofts, from time to time.

Pete has been training and coaching people in Humour, Comedy & Laughter for 50 years. He’s also created the greatest collection of books, memorabilia, ephemera, CD’s and DVD’s about Humour, Comedy & Laughter.

Pete helped me step onto the Stand-Up Comedy stage in 2001, an experience I will never forget. I value the learning I have received from him every day of my life!

The courses I took at The Humourversity in Melbourne not only showed me the structures and formulas of comedy but encouraged me to change my thinking about life. Pete has written a lot of articles on the difference between Tragic Thinking and Humour Thinking and how, in Australia, we’ve developed the Grate-ful Southern Philosophy on life.

How does this impact on my daily existence? It helps me to view the world less seriously because as Pete says. “If you take seriousness seriously, you’re insane!”

Throughout my daily conversations with other people, I notice a tendency to focus on the negative. No matter what we have experienced, heard or seen, there is a human tendency to hone in on the negative aspects.

Just recently, I attended a fabulous event where we enjoyed hearing an excellent speaker interviewed, were served a five-star meal at a venue overlooking some of the biggest yachts I have ever seen on a magnificent harbour.

Joining two other attendees afterwards, I noticed that their whole conversation was about how the event could have been better. They were full of hints and tips on how the presenters and organisers failed to do things properly.

I sat quietly for a while, taking in the conversation but trying not to add to the negative language then simply asked the two people how many times they had set up or presented at an event such as the one we had just experienced. They both replied that they never had and never wanted to.

I didn’t need to say anything else. They realised just how black they were painting their experience and how much they were disrespecting the people who had worked hard to make the occasion a wonderful experience for us.

It made me wonder how their bodies felt about all the words they had used that were bringing the energy of the day down. Perhaps they were the ones who were creating harmful energy for themselves? While they may have thought their “analysis” of the event would provide “constructive feedback” to the organiser and presenters, they were in fact, drowning their bodies in harmful vibration. They were the biggest losers.

Taking ourselves seriously is a global habit. It can certainly become a national attitude. We can, in fact, become addicted to the negative emotions we experience from this activity. It becomes a habit that is far more toxic to our being than any drug or alcoholic beverage we’ve tried.

That’s where the insanity comes from. Bathing ourselves in negativity and dark, dirty energy instead of looking around at the beauty, the joyfulness and the connection we can experience each and every day of our lives.

My recommendation? Take note of your language! Is it a recital of what’s wrong or a celebration of what is fabulous about your life? When you complain about things in your life, other people, the national politics or even a meal you just consumed, you’re not actually changing the situation, you’re just filling your body, mind and soul with toxic energy.

By all means express your opinion! If you feel you can improve something, speak up about it to the person in question (and not anybody else you can force your thoughts onto, whether they want to hear it or not) and let them know that you care enough to help them improve their performance.

I suggest an entrée of praise for what’s working, followed by a main course of laughing at yourself before placing a delightful dessert of feedback before them, presented like a five-star dish.

That way, everyone benefits – most importantly, you avoid the insanity of being serious about your seriousness.

“The path between human unconsciousness and human consciousness is one of constantly developing our sense of humour. The development of a Comedy Attitude combined with the development of spiritual transcendence, leading to pure consciousness, or what I like to call comiciousness – meaning, making developing your sense of humour, comedy and laughter compulsive. You can either live in fear or live in funny.” Pete Crofts 2018

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