This post highlights the LAF deed of goodness.
LAF is about enjoying yourself and uplifting others.
LAF is closely associated with actions that cause "happiness", but these actions are infused with goodness. For example, laughing at others for their misfortunes or laughing to be hurtful is not LAF. Your fun should never be at the expense of someone else.
Inward Focus of LAF
LAF toward yourself are actions to enjoy the goodness in yourself. Enjoying yourself means having fun and appreciating life.
It means enjoying what you do, laughing at yourself for your own betterment, recognizing the beauty of life and the beauty in life, finding pleasures in the small things as well as the big things in life, finding joy in yourself and the life that surrounds you, and having hope for the future.
Outward Focus of LAF
LAF toward others are actions to uplift the goodness in others. Uplifting others means spreading joy to others and uplifting the spirits of others so that they may enjoy the goodness in themselves.
Like all deeds of goodness, there is a close and reciprocal relationship between the inward focus and the outward focus of LAF. Helping others to experience joy and contentment can be very enjoyable in itself. Uplifting others uplifts you.
Conversely, when you are sad and not enjoying life, it is very difficult to uplift others. You are in a better position to spread joy to others when you are feeling good about life and enjoying yourself.
Activities of LAF
Smile, Laugh, Play, Appreciate, Express Gratitude
LAF is much more than laughter. This includes smiling, laughing, playing, celebrating, socializing, appreciating, and expressing gratitude. The riches that result include pleasure, joy, contentment, positive energy, hope, and optimism, as well as your worthiness when you give these riches to others.
Research has shown these actions increase happiness. Several studies point toward smiling as a cause of happy feelings. An experimental study at being able to laugh at oneself indicated that those "participants who were able to laugh at themselves more also tended to be more cheerful and less serious overall, and were in better moods on the day of the experiment." Playing (which is important for adults, too) "can go a long way toward boosting our productivity and happiness." And expressing gratitude "is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness."
Supporting Core Value of LAF
To fully implement LAF, you must embrace the core value of gratefulness. Gratefulness means you are truly thankful and appreciative of the goodness that abounds in others and in yourself.
Gratefulness allows you to be:
- grateful for what you have at the moment,
- grateful for opportunities that come your way,
- grateful for living,
- grateful for the beauty that surrounds you,
- grateful for the hope of a better future,
- grateful to be capable of providing goodness in everything you do, and
- grateful for the opportunities to uplift and spread joy to others.
Studies have shown that being grateful provides several benefits to the individual. This article in Greater Good Magazine lists benefits that are:
- physical (stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, sleep longer),
- psychological (higher levels of positive emotions, more joy and pleasure, more optimism), and
- social (more helpful and compassionate, more forgiving, feel less lonely and isolated).
Influence of LAF
LAF is a motivator. When you enjoy doing something, you are more likely to do it or do more of it. The riches (true wealth) of pleasure, joy, contentment, positive energy, hope, and optimism from LAF make you want to "do much" LRN, LUV, and LIV. The enjoyment you receive when you LRN, LAF, LUV, and LIV motivates you to do more of those deeds.
Mascot of LAF
Laffy is the mascot for LAF.
LAF is represented on the body by the face. The face is where your joy is most visibly expressed, especially with the eyes and the mouth, the blushing of the cheeks, and the furrows in the skin. Laffy shows this representation with a big smile.
The color of Laffy is orange. Orange signifies warmth, like the sun spreading its rays of sunshine.
The next post will explore more of the LUV deed of goodness.