Sleepy beagle dog in funny glasses near laptop

Find the Humor

Did you know there is a joke in every problem or difficult situation? Something that makes you laugh?

For example, you try and try, but cannot get a certain VIP patient to show for an important and lengthy appointment. She schedules, cancels, reschedules, forgets and so on. You feel angry and stressed each time.

So you step back and ask yourself, “What’s funny about this problem?”

You get the joke. “I have hundreds of patients, yet I give this patient the power to stress me out. Ha!”

Your stress disappears and you get a great idea. You order your receptionist to stop trying to schedule this one particular patient. You say, “I want you to be flakier than her.” Your receptionist, who is also stressed by this situation, cracks up and says, “Thank you!”

Two More Examples

A staff member wants a raise. He asks you every week and you cannot decide what to do. After all, he is not an exceptional performer and is not improving, but you do not want to lose him either. You want everyone to be happy, but you do not want to be a pushover.

You ask yourself, “Where’s the humor in this situation?

You then think, “Who cares? It’s only $25 a week. Ha! I have five million in assets. What do I care? He’s a great staff member and I want him to be happy. He gets the raise!”

Or maybe you think, “Ha! He’s not worth what I’m already paying him. I’ll tell him ‘No’ and start looking for a replacement. I’ll find someone much better and offer more pay. Great!”

As a final example, you are stressed that your patients do not refer their friends and family members like they did in the past. You drop hints and even hang up a sign that says, “Thank you for referring your family and friends to our practice,” but nothing works.

You ask yourself, “What’s funny about this problem?” Nothing comes to mind. But then the joke comes to you while eating at your favorite restaurant.

“Ha! I never recommend this restaurant. I like it and come here every week, but I never mention it to anyone. Why not? There is nothing remarkable about it. I would need to feel excited about it to go out of my way to recommend it. Same with my practice! Ha-ha!”

You then create a list of 30 large and small ways you can improve your facility, your processes and your staff interactions to help give each patient a “WOW” experience. Your patient referrals steadily rise.
When you find the humor in a problem, you can more easily solve the problem.


  1. Pick one of your most stressful problems; something that makes you unhappy or ruins your mood.
  2. Ask yourself, “What’s funny about this problem?”
  3. Allow yourself to laugh at the answer.
  4. If you cannot find the humor in the situation, keep looking. The joke is in there somewhere, guaranteed. If it takes you some time to see what is funny, so be it.
  5. Once you get the joke and stop feeling so serious, an appropriate solution will come to you.

You may decide the best solution is to skip it and stop trying to solve the problem. You might think of a solution you have never tried before. You might see a solution that is completely out of character for you.

You might even realize you ARE solving it and just need to lighten up and continue on.

Just find the humor and you will win the game.

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