Joy as an agent of change
As Roy Blitzer once said, “The only person who likes change, is a wet baby.” And the strange thing is that while we resist change, it is the only constant (apart from death and taxes, of course).
Bizarrely enough, the car company Volkswagen is giving out money to people (in Sweden) to see if pure enjoyment can change the way we behave. They call it ‘the theory of having fun’. In other words, they believe that the easiest and most pleasant way of helping us change for the better is through happiness.
One experiment set out to see if people would throw their rubbish in a bin if it brought a smile to their lips. When you throw rubbish into this special bin, it goes ‘weeeeeeeee-eeeeeeeeeeee’ and then bonk. (That’s the sound of the rubbish falling a long way down and then hitting the bottom of what they named ‘the world’s deepest rubbish bin’.) The result was that 72 kilos of rubbish was put in the bin during one day. That’s 41 kilos more than the rubbish put in a nearby ‘ordinary’ bin.
In another experiment, the brains behind the test wanted to encourage people to take the stairs instead of the moving escalator. Did they succeed? Yes! A whopping 66% more people used the stairs that day. And they had a lot of fun doing so, as you’ll see from this short video.
So next time you want to persuade someone to do something for you – or if you want to change the world (or just that smelly nappy): then remember that bringing joy into the lives of others will help you on your way!