Did you get anyone? Did anyone get you? Were you amused? Angry? Surprised? Shocked? Relieved?
I believe that the jokes that we tell reveal a ton about who we are.
Yes, go ahead and analyze the jokes that your friends played on you on April Fools’, even at the risk of them saying “you think too much”.
Here are 3 things that you can learn about the joker:
1. What he would like to see happen in his life (or what is really on his mind)
2. The impact that he would like to have on the world, and
3. The way he would like the world to react to him.
Here are some of the jokes that I saw on Sunday:
“I won the lottery, and I’m giving away some of the money to the first 10 responders to this FB post, if they can justify their need.” What do you see? Influence? Power? Luck?
“We are having a baby!” (saw a few of these). Defining family, finding balance, and definitely wanting to be seen, no?
“We are moving to Hawaii!”. Burnout? I see a need for change, and time for big decisions. What do you see?
“I decided to become a monk.” Seeking balance between finding a bigger audience and creating inner peace, perhaps?
“I’ve patented the color Purple”. (Great post from Seth Godin). And it sounds like he is seriously working on figuring out the right balance between giving and getting.
From my experience, most April Fools’ jokes are not about disasters. For example, I haven’t gotten any “I’m dying of an incurable disease”, “my house burned down and I need help”, or “I got fired” jokes in my inbox or in the Facebook feed. Jokes like that take place when someone desperately needs to be noticed.
More commonly, humor is a safe way to put something into the world and try it on, and in the process decide whether it is something that you really want in your life. You can always discard it by adding “just kidding”. April Fools’ is a good time to try on a new job, a big move, a transformed family, a different business, and notice how your heart (and the world) reacts.
Try it now: if you were to joke with someone [whose opinion you care about] by sharing something fictional and Huge about your life, what would you say? How would you want them to react?
This exercise should give you clues to what is important to you and what you would like to experience.
It shows you where your attention is.
From here, you can decide if you would like to shift your attention to something else, or to start doing something about turning your “big joke” into reality.
Of course, you can say that sometimes a joke is just a joke, and there is no need to read anything into it.
In that case… Some of you may know me only as an executive coach, so you may be surprised that in the past year I have been secretly finishing up a Ph.D. in Neuroeconomics, while homeschooling my kids.
Ha-ha! Just kidding!