Take Yourself Lightly, Take Your Work Seriously
by Dan Gascon
“Have fun. Life is very fragile and success doesn’t change that. Anything can change without warning. That’s why I try not to take any of what’s happened too seriously.”
Some of us have long forgotten the value of humor, how it insulates us to stress and makes us more resilient at work. It can be instinctive, to be overly passionate about our job. After all, didn’t most of us grow up with the “bear down, get serious, nose to the grindstone mentality?” It can also seem to be very hard for us to lighten up when we perceive that doing so will somehow stop, slow or destroy our job and work. Or, we may even reserve our humor, and use it as a statement. Take this story as an example;
A boss returned from lunch one day in an especially good mood, so he decided to gather his staff, and tell them a couple jokes. Everybody but one girl laughed uproariously. “What’s the matter?” grumbled the boss. “Haven’t you got a sense of humor?” “I don’t have to laugh,” she replied. “I’m leaving your company on Friday.”
We need to understand that humor and laughter are contagious, but so is cynicism. We often assume roles that have more to do with fitting in and conforming than expressing who we really are and what are sense of humor is. Remember, if somebody truly gets embarrassed, if exposing a weakness provides the laughter, if profanity is required to make it funny, if something sacred is made to appear common, if people are excluded from the joke – it is poor humor. But don’t let fear stop you, humor is an integral part of our working life’s, all of us are some how involved with it.
The safest way to be light on the job is to laugh at yourself. Self-confident people can admit their mistakes, let go of them and bounce back. It will also make you more open and approachable. Recognize what makes you laugh and put more of it into your life, don’t just leave your sense of humor to chance.
Another, always great way to achieve lightness on the job is to tell funny stories and jokes.
Like this one; A businessman was having a tough time lugging his lumpy, oversized travel bag onto the plane. Helped by a flight attendant, he finally manages to stuff it in the overhead bin. “Do you always carry such a big a bag?” she signed. “No more,” the man said. “Next time, I’m riding in the bag and my partner can buy the ticket!”
Use your humor to be light and remember the words of the great Winston Churchill;
“I love my job, it’s the work I hate.”
Copyright 2005 by Dan Gascon. Reprinted with permission. Founder of Humor for your Health. Reach Dan at www.humorforyourhealth.com