I was in the grocery store checkout line with a very dear friend. We were roaring with laughter about one thing after another, which made the monotony of our wait hardly noticeable.

In front of us was an important-looking man in a business suit, who without a doubt could hear every one of our punch lines and giggles. My friend decided to try to bring him in on the joke too, but he wouldn’t have it. No smile. No laughter. No reaction. Nothing!

My suddenly sad-faced friend then turned to me and said, “Aww! No funny with strangers.”

Since then, this anecdote has transformed into an inspirational allegory. We at LightBox Collaborative do not want to live in a world where there’s no funny with strangers. We want to be able to laugh with the man in front of us at the grocery store, laugh with our colleagues, and importantly, laugh at ourselves.

We want funny with strangers.

We also strive to make it fun to work with us. One of our goals is to have lots of fun. No one wants to sit in a boring, stuffy meeting, and neither do we. When people are having fun they become more productive and generate better work. All around, it’s beneficial to make funny with strangers.

Here are a few simple tips to make your life and work a little more fun:

Be present: Be emotionally alert and available for the people around you. Being present shows respect, improves communication, and strengthens relationships. Interact and relate to those around you. Set aside the text messaging, inbox, and IM for a while. Squash the urge to multi-task.

Pay it forward: Find a simple way to help or delight someone in a meaningful, memorable way. Do something nice for someone because it makes them, and you, feel good.

Play! Take a time each day to channel your inner child, your creative side, your most fun self. Fun drives a creative mind, so play with every idea. Fun is a frame of mind you can—and should—bring to everything you do.

(image courtesy Flickr user presta, Creative Commons)