Laughing at Labels Part 3
–By Jan McInnis, Comedian and Keynote Speaker
About two months into my computer-printout-delivery career, I was walking down the hall to the cafeteria and one of the computer guys asked if I wanted to join his group for lunch. I’m pretty sure he thought he was being kind and doing me a favor. The lunch table chatter turned to colleges and who went where. I chimed in that I had just graduated from Virginia Tech. You could have heard a pin drop, aside from one guy who actually blurted out “But we thought you were . . .” before catching himself. I explained that I was temping and they had me working with Bob. In an instant I felt the energy shift and the label these people had given me change.
In my keynote, Finding the Funny in Change, I reference Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, because he’s a great example of watching the way you label things. He talks about using your personal energy to change the behavior of dogs, and that you should watch the thoughts that go through your head because they influence the dog’s behavior! Cesar says that “you must change the conversation in your head” and “speak from the inside out.” He understands the power of a label. He’ll even strongly suggest that someone change their dog’s name, if it is something like “Killer” and the dog is vicious.
We try to prepare ourselves with labels about the past, the present and the future, but many times we are way off. Remember the millennium? All of our computers were supposed to crash at midnight. That didn’t happen until a couple years ago when Microsoft came out with Vista! Remember when eggs were bad and asbestos was good?
According to the book Stumbling on Happiness the average person spends 12% of their waking hours thinking about the future, and I bet we’re labeling most of it. Instead, why not just take it easy on the labels and enjoy the ride? Even if it takes you to a stripper clothing factory.
About the author. . . comedian and keynote speaker Jan McInnis has shared her customized humor keynotes with thousands of associations and corporations. She is also the author of “Finding the Funny FAST; How To Create Quick Humor To Connect With Clients, Coworkers And Crowds,” and “Convention Comedian: Stories and Wisdom From Two Decades of Chicken Dinners and Comedy Clubs.” Jan was featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Huffington Post for her clean humor. From a recent client: “Jan McInnis took the time to learn about our company and delivered jokes tailored to our audience. Jan’s comedic performance is universal which makes her a great choice for a variety of events. We have received numerous compliments from the attendees and would highly recommend her.”
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