There is a myth floating around out there – a myth that says worthwhile achievements are only accomplished through seriousness and discipline.

And if you happen to be a particle physicist, or deep-sea structural engineer, that myth may hold some truth. But for the rest of us, a little bit of laughter and good humor are just as essential in creating a meaningful existence.

Here are some heart-lightening thoughts on why laughter is an essential ingredient in the recipe for a happy life:

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” ― Victor Borge
In both familiar places and new settings, a smile or laugh can break down barriers that words cannot – helping us make new friends, acquaintances or introductions.

“Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine.” ― George Gordon Byron
Laughter is one of the bright colors in life’s prism, balancing out the heavier shades. Whether things are going swimmingly, or less than so, a hearty laugh can make us see that no matter what, life is good.

If you are too busy to laugh, you are too busy. – Proverb
Seriously, how long does one good laugh take? Thirty seconds? One minute? If we haven’t got the time to laugh in a day, it might be time to get a checkup from the neck up – and re-examine our approach to life!

There is little success where there is little laughter. – Andrew Carnegie
Laughter isn’t all fun and games, either. A good sense of humor seems to be a common, human quality found in many of the world’s great leaders and thinkers, including lots of successful businesspeople.

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book. – Irish Proverb
Finally, whenever the world does have us a bit under the weather, laughter can help bring healing, and the realization that things will be sunny again before we know it.