“There is little success where there is little laughter” – Andrew Carnegie
You would expect one of the wealthiest industrialists of the gilded age to have a lot to say about success, but you wouldn’t necessarily expect laughter to come up in the discussion. Laughter, however, is a crucial tool. Obviously, there are times for professionalism and decorum, but there are other moments for levity. These are often the same moments that require creativity, frankness, and an unguarded disposition. Humor can help with all three.
In group settings, laughter can be a much needed way to ease tension, build camaraderie, and make the long hours spent working as a group survivable. Looking back on my time in CE last Summer, I’ve realized that our team didn’t start to mesh as a unit until we started laughing with (and, on occasion, at) each other. Even when working alone, laughter is an important tool for keeping things in perspective. Not taking yourself seriously can prove destructive, but so can taking yourself too seriously. The next time you find yourself confronted with an apparently insurmountable obstacle or blindsided by a stroke of bad luck, don’t be afraid to laugh at it; apparently, you’ll be building libraries and creating an industrial empire in no time.