Speaking of Joy Blog

How One Person Can Fix a Traffic Jam

by Dave Caperton - on Monday, April 10, 2017
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The Power of One Person to Solve Problems Requires Two Key Attitudes   Read More...

It's No Bull: Joyful Play Builds Trust

by Dave Caperton - on Friday, March 24, 2017
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I once had the opportunity to speak at a retreat for a group of physician recruiters that took place at a dude ranch. In the client’s event confirmation letter, they instructed me to “wear clothes you won’t mind soiling” so that I could take part in their cowboy-themed team-building activities. When the games began, I foolishly volunteered to participate in something called “chute-dogging” mostly because, although I don’t speak cowboy, I do like dogs. As it turned out, no dogs were involved. Instead, I was to work with a partner to grab an adolescent steer by its horns as it was driven out of an enclosure (the chute) and then wrestle it to the ground, aka “dogging it.” When they said clothes I wouldn’t mind soiling, I didn’t realize they meant from the inside Read More...

Saving the World

by Dave Caperton - on Friday, March 03, 2017
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Seven percent. No, it's not the approval rating of congress (it's slightly higher) or the amount of actual cheese in Cheetos (it's much lower) . It's the percentage of respondents in a poll by Maritz who said they believed their leaders could be trusted to have their backs. Whoa. Trust is broken, and it's not just our trust in our boss at work. The level of trust in virtually every major institution that once enjoyed unquestioned authority is at all time lows. Government, education, churches, law enforcement, banks, corporations, the media, you name it, all have lost authority and trust.

The Happiness/Success Connection

by Dave Caperton - on Tuesday, November 15, 2016
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Here’s the happiness and success formula you’ve probably been taught: 1. Work really hard 2.Succeed 3.Be Happy 4.Raise the bar 5. Repeat (until you die). But there are two things wrong with this formula. First, it’s, well, nuts! And second, it’s wrong! No, not just wrong, it’s 180 degrees wrong. It’s the opposite of right. It’s the equivalent of confusing day and night, the sun with the moon, chickens and eggs, Kardashians for talent, cause for effect. Especially that last. You’ve probably been indoctrinated from childhood that hard work would make you successful in ways that would allow you to be happy, right? Your parents, your teachers, your coaches, your bosses, the movies and TV shows you watched all reinforced that formula. If you bought in, you studied to make the grade and the next class got harder. You worked to meet your goals and the goals got bigger. You hit your targets and they pushed them farther away. What you ended up with were celebration moments in which you briefly felt happy before the game reset to the next level and you started over again except with slightly more stress and slightly less chance for success.  Read More...

Cultivating a Legacy

by Dave Caperton - on Monday, October 17, 2016
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Was there ever a time when you were a kid that there was some toy advertised on TV that you wanted? Do you remember how brightly that that desire burned? I still vividly remember when I was about 7 years old, Texaco gas stations began selling a plastic fireman’s hat with a microphone that allowed you to amplify your voice through a speaker set in the shield on the front. The result was a buzzing garbled voice that sounded not so much like a firefighter dispatch radio as a McDonald’s drive-thru, but it was so cool and I wanted it like Ralphie wanted that Red Ryder BB gun. I pestered my poor parents relentlessly for it. Finally, one night after my month-long campaign, my folks agreed that I could have one. So, after dinner, my mom and I got in the car and headed for the Texaco station. But when we got there, they were out of them. The man there suggested another location and off we went. Same story. We widened our search area and crisscrossed the county. Now the stations were closing down for the night but I insisted on pressing on. I ran my poor mom around until after midnight trying to find a Texaco that was open late and still had some hats in stock. We dragged home in defeat that night, but by 5:30 the next morning I was shaking my dad awake to start the next leg of the Great Fireman’s Hat Quest. Within the hour I came home exhausted but victorious and fell asleep with that red gleaming hat firmly strapped to my head.

The Joy of Pizza

by Dave Caperton - on Thursday, May 26, 2016
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A friend of mine recently told me about an experience he had in a pizza place just north of Atlanta where he lives. Now, Atlanta isn't exactly known for its pizza and although there are undoubtedly lots of pizza places in an area that serves several million, most of them are either national chains or serving a product that is only pizza by the broadest possible definition, or both (I'm looking at you, Dominos). The point is, if he finds a place that makes a decent pizza, he believes it's worth some effort, expense and time to go outside his neighborhood to get it.

What Can't Be Measured Can't Be Ignored

by Dave Caperton - on Wednesday, March 23, 2016
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We human beings have a few qualities that make us unique in the world of living things. We can communicate abstract ideas using symbols. We possess the ability to make art for art’s sake. But perhaps our most unique attribute is our amazing and seemingly unlimited ability to accept utter nonsense as long as it is disguised in a catchy phrase.  Read More...

Why a Funny, Motivational Speaker?

by Dave Caperton - on Thursday, January 14, 2016
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And How to Avoid Booking Matt Foley

I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked, "Are you a motivational speaker?” I talk for a living and somehow that question always makes me stammer because, although coming from me it may seem funny, motivational speaker is a term with which I’ve always been uncomfortable. Part of the reason is because it conjures comparisons to those motivational giants whose arena-filling public seminars and flashy infomercials make what I do seem kind of puny in contrast.   Read More...

A Longevity Recipe

by Dave Caperton - on Tuesday, April 07, 2015
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Last week marked the passing of the oldest person in the world, Misao Okawa of Japan who, before she died at 117, credited her long life to “eating delicious things” (apparently in Japan that doesn’t include Cinnabon and bacon-wrapped pizza). Her passing conferred the oldest-person status on 116 year-old Gertrude Weaver of Arkansas who said that she believes that kindness is the key to longevity, “I’ve always treated others the way I want to be treated.” Eating well can certainly improve health and might make us live longer, and treating other people kindly improves social connections, which also has powerful health benefits. But those two philosophies got me thinking about a story my mother often told.  Read More...

Moment of Clarity Opens Door

by Dave Caperton - on Friday, January 30, 2015
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Have you ever experienced a ‘moment of clarity?’ The phrase originated in addiction recovery and it refers to a moment when the individual can see clearly what the influence of a substance has long obscured. We don’t need to be in recovery to experience it, though. Sometimes the contrast provided by the juxtaposition of experiences is enough to reveal a sudden insight capable of profoundly changing how we think and what we value.  Read More...

Funny Motivational Speaker Dave Caperton

About the Author, Funny Motivational Speaker, Dave Caperton

Dave Caperton is a motivational speaker, author, humorist and educator who teaches organizations and individuals the many benefits of humor to manage stress, to improve communication and to strengthen teams. Dave began his professional career as a school teacher, later writing and performing comedy onstage and on radio. For almost 20 years, Dave has been a professional speaker serving individuals and organization all over North America. He provides tailored conference keynotes, closings and breakouts all aimed at creating a joyful and successful culture that includes healing and compassionate humor. Dave is also the author of Happiness Is a Funny Thing, a book he calls a “why-to” book for making the choices that will result in greater joy at work and at home.

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