Lighten Up to Get More Done – Dr Estelle Ramey

The life lesson: you don’t have to be serious or grim to get more done and pursue your dreams! The successful woman: witty feminist Estelle Ramey, who was a Georgetown University endocrinologist and women’s libber (1917-2006).

“Men were designed for short, nasty, brutal lives,” said Ramey. “Women are designed for long, miserable ones.”

She was kidding, of course…wasn’t she? Women do live longer, and maybe we are more miserable. We’re certainly subject to the whims of PMS and perimenopause, and fits of jealousy and insecurity. We hold grudges and compare ourselves to other women (both successful and not). Are we miserable? More importantly: are YOU miserable?

Here are few facts about the late, great Dr Estelle Ramey, with a special emphasis on her wittiness, sense of humor, and ability to lighten heavy topics. Plus, how lightening up makes you more productive and effective! And, if you’re serious about lightening up, click on Simple Happiness: 52 Easy Ways to Lighten Up by James Ryan.

How to Lighten Up and Get More Done – Dr Estelle Ramey

My sister always told me, “Lighten up – don’t take everything so seriously!” The older I get, the more I agree with her. This life lesson of lightening up and getting more done is important because I’ve spent far too much time being grim. Life’s too short to be mad or bitter! Or jealousy — read Making Envy Work for You – Helen Gurley Brown.

Dr Estelle Ramey earned her master’s degree in chemistry at Columbia University in 1940 and a doctorate in physiology at the University of Chicago in 1950. Ramey was a teacher, speaker, researcher, and writer. One of the founders and the second president of the American Women in Science, Ramey wrote an article called “Men’s Cycles – They Have Them Too” for the first issue of Ms. magazine.

Definitely not your typical well-behaved woman!

Lightening Up and Achieving More

There’s nothing less healthy, less attractive, or less appealing than a woman with a grim face and stone cold sober personality. Lightening up reduces stress and draws people to you, which can help you get what you want out of life (if you learn to delegate and accept that people do things differently than you).

Whether you’re aggravated at your boss or disappointed in your partner, “grimming and bearing it” doesn’t help. I’ve gritted my teeth through work meetings, bad situations, and traffic jams – and in hindsight, I wish I would’ve lightened up because I had to experience it anyway.

Irritability or a grim attitude isn’t going to make the situation easier or more tolerable – so we might as well tap into our senses of humor, wit, and cheer. For an immediate laugh, read Funny Quotations and Sayings by Women – Paula Poundstone.

Lightening up helps you get more done by:

  • Making others feel more comfortable and relaxed – and more open to cooperating with you.
  • Keeping your stress levels low, so you can see new solutions and opportunities.
  • Making you appealing to be around, which means you’re less likely to be left shouldering the burden!
  • Keeping your thoughts clear and focused, so you can work more quickly and efficiently.
  • Making you more memorable to others…in a good way.

Developing a sense of lightness, wit, and humor is a habit that can take you further in your career and personal life!

One last quotation from Dr Ramey:

“Now, I like testosterone. Every home should have some,” she said. “But it becomes damaging as a man gets older. I’m trying to help men live longer, although I’m not sure all of them deserve it.” See how she is honest, light-hearted, and authentic? Now that’s a life lesson from a successful woman: how to be real and assertive.

Do you think women are more serious – grim, even – than men? I do, and I think it’s because we take on more responsibilities and burdens. By the way, Ramey said the female of every species is stronger in terms of stamina, longevity and performance under stress. :-)

To learn more about this woman who wasn’t well-behaved, go to The Washington Post’s Estelle R. Ramey: Used Wit in Women’s Advocacy by Patricia Sullivan.

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