A few weeks ago we went to a show at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. As is often the case, the night ramped up with a steady stream of comedians leading into hilarious sets by the headliners — Bill Burr and Maz Jobrani. When the Iranian entertainer wrapped up his act, we were ready to pack up and go but were surprised that the night was not over.
The next two comedians weren’t as seasoned but they had decent material. But the final comic of the night came out on a mission. First, he told us all exactly what our problem was. It turns out that as Los Angelenos, we were all hopeless dreamers who would never be satisfied since we were all destined not to achieve our lofty career ambitions. Clearly we didn’t appreciate what we had. After all, there were people in hospitals with tubes in their arms as he spoke and here we all were, able to afford a night out at a comedy club with a friend or two. We should be happy but, in his eyes, we obviously weren’t.
Now, if he had been in the room about 20 minutes earlier, when modern masters like Burr and Jorbani were on the stage, he would have seem a very, very happy group of people. But none of us were really up for a lecture at one o’clock in the morning on a Saturday night. While we appreciated his point, his delivery fell short. In fact, it so missed the mark that he actually stopped mid-set and said, “Are you guys tired or do I just suck?” We’ll go with the Thumper rule on that one and opt to not say anything since we’re struggling to say something nice.
Fast forward a couple of weeks. We rallied early on a Saturday morning to attend Oprah’s SuperSOULSessions Event at UCLA. We’re always happy to get a dose of motivation from Ms. Winfrey’s stable of inspirational gurus, even if it does require a drive across town on the same day as our turn at the Creative Arts Emmys. When Oprah’s team calls, we answer.
First up on stage was scholar and the best-selling author of “Daring Greatly” Brené Brown, who broke down the elements of trust in such a way that even her young daughter and we could understand it. She was followed by a rising exhortation from the Reverend Michael Beckwith of Agape International Spiritual Center.
But when Shawn Achor took the stage we were reminded of that misguided stand-shows at the Comedy Store — in a good way. The best-selling author of “The Happiness Advantage” had similar themes. Life is good. Enjoy it. Appreciate what you have. And, most importantly, choose to be optimistic. And all the while, this happiness expert had the audience in stitches. He made his point with humor — and 12-years of research at Harvard to back it up. The Comedy Store should book him ASAP.
We became instant fans and defy anyone to watch his TedTalk and not feel the same joy that we did. And now thanks to the good folks at OWN, it’s even easier to experience all the bliss that is Shawn Achor. Starting on November 2, OWN will partner with the man who brought us a smile percentage of 100% with a two-part course “21 Days To Happiness” on Oprah.com Each part of the course will run for three weeks in duration and will help spark happiness and impart life changing habits and strategies for navigating the tough times and people learn. We can practically guarantee that hilarity will ensue — plus there’s no two drink minimum.
Registration is open now at www.oprah.com/happiness.