Don’t have to be solemn to be serious

In case of fire...“It’s really good. I could hear laughter as I came up the stairs. That’s different.”

There is no way to avoid the indiscretion. Anyone who knows me from this period of my working life will recognise the context of this dysfuntional organisation. I was appointed into difficult circumstances without honest disclosure by those involved. However, I don’t want to dwell on the negative aspects.

I was committed to make the most of a situation, which was not of my making, to turn it around. An important part of that opportunity was to develop the relationships with the new colleagues who had been through a period of uncertainty. It required people management and it worked. The quote above, from an occasional visitor to the office, shows the atmosphere had changed.

Laughter really is the best medicine. I have been an advocate of the view that “if it ain’t fun, we don’t do it”. Sometimes it is a hard dictum to adhere to when the going gets tough. The most enjoyable hard-work I have done has been with people who had different interests. Single-interest people are generally not very interesting people. They need a more varied perspective. Taking oneself too seriously is usually without regard to the wider picture. Enjoyment, a marker of enthusiasm, gains success. It works for me. I don’t believe the cure has to hurt to do you any good.

Humour can be slippery and dangerous. Not everyone gets being light-hearted and to avoid offense it must be appropriate. But I see it as a sign of passionate commitment. It’s serious.

I still have that sense of fun to bring to new areas of work.

Source of title:
Political songs are entertaining and inspiring. You don’t have to be solemn to be serious!
Roy Bailey, folk musician

Some colleagues might laugh at this upbeat perspective because there is also an ‘inner-Mr Grumpy’ lurking within. I wrote a guest post on where I explained:

A good old moan is a coping technique and is usually about something over which you have no control. Getting it off your chest just makes you feel better. And that’s the paradox: having a grump is live enhancing. It’s enjoyable and fun! File under ‘sense of humour’. The pressure-valve is released and you move on. In grumpiness rests our well-being.


By Angus Willson

Angus Willson is editor of this site and author of this blogpost.

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