Humor As a Mindset


Dessert makes Drew Tarvin smile. He encourages smiling every hour. (Photo by Cynthia Price.)

I take my work seriously, but I also laugh often and have fun most days. Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t be more serious. But then I heard Drew Tarvin speak.

He said we will likely work 90,000 hours in our lifetimes and why not enjoy the time?

Tarvin is the world’s first humor engineer and an award-winning speaker, trainer, author, and coach. Through his company, Humor That Works, he teaches individuals and organizations how to use humor to be more effective, more productive, and more awesome.

He is the best-selling author of Humor That Works: 501 Ways to Beat Stress, Increase Productivity, and Have Fun at Work and the recently released The United States of Laughter: One Comedian’s Journey Through All 50 States. Through his journey, he discovered that, despite what we may see on the news or read on the internet, there is one thing that unites all Americans: laughter. His TEDx talk has been viewed more than 100,000 times.

At a recent talk, he had his audience in stitches, especially as he shared stories of texting with his grandmother. In one, she replied to him with WTF, which alarmed Tarvin. He asked her if she knew what the initials stood for. Of course, she did, she said, “Wow, that’s fun!”

I’ve not met Tarvin’s grandmother but I already know I would love her.

He believes that we desperately need humor and noted that 10 to 15 minutes of laughter equals five minutes of exercise. He also emphasized that we are each responsible for our own happiness.

“Humor is a choice,” he said, while encouraging us to develop humor as a mindset. He challenged us to smile at least once an hour. And he asked us to consider the micro choices we can make each day.

“We are defined by our actions,” he said.

I’m choosing humor. How about you?

2 thoughts on “Humor As a Mindset

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