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Failing funny at Foyles

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A Book Launch at the world famous Foyles in London? What could possibly go wrong?

Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book? 
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
And I wanna be a paperback writer
Paperback writer.


I recently had the honour of launching the paperback version of my book, Humourology – The Serious Business of Humour at Work at the most famous bookstore in the world – Foyles.

It was a charming evening chock full of comedy, creativity, and connection. I was honoured to share the paperback release of my book with my publisher, members of the press, and a close friend.

There is a saying in psychology that if you want anyone to go into any state, you must go into that state first. My team, my publisher, and my son took this saying to heart when they voraciously set the tone of the evening. Their energy along with the excitement of seeing the books on the shelves served as the perfect atmosphere for a celebratory night of laughter and leadership. 

In a moment of kismet luck (or lack of luck) my glasses broke mid-reading and clattered onto the lectern. We all had a laugh and I explained to the audience, moments like that are really the essence of Humourology. When you can see the funny side when things go wrong and accept what’s happening it reframes everything and relaxes your audience because they know they are laughing with you.  

In moments of stress, Humourology serves as a lifeboat to carry you through the storm. When you can find the funny in fearful situations, you can approach any difficulty with a smile. 

Life is a rollercoaster of ups and downs, and inevitably, we all encounter challenging and stressful situations, like your glasses breaking when you are doing a reading from your book in front of very important members of the press at the most famous bookshop in the world!

Whether it’s a demanding work deadline, a personal setback, or a global crisis, navigating these difficult times can be overwhelming. However, one invaluable tool we often overlook in managing our state during such moments is humour. Humourology offers a unique and effective approach to help us stay resilient and maintain a positive outlook even when things go wrong. So, why is humour so valuable in managing and controlling your state during stressful situations?

Humour as a Stress Buster:

Humour has long been recognised as a powerful stress buster. When we laugh, our bodies release endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones that promote relaxation and relieve tension. By incorporating humour into our lives, we can reduce the physical and emotional symptoms of stress, such as elevated heart rate, muscle tension, and anxiety. It serves as a natural coping mechanism, allowing us to momentarily detach from the gravity of the situation and gain a fresh perspective.

Language that Lightens the Load:

Humourology techniques play a crucial role in humorously reframing situations. Through clever wordplay, puns, and linguistic creativity, Humourology helps us find alternate meanings or unexpected connections. It enables us to reinterpret stressful events in a lighter, less threatening manner. By shifting our language, we can change our perception of the situation and invite laughter into our lives, thus alleviating stress and building resilience.

Humour as a Catalyst for Resilience:

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity (Bouncebackability!). Humour acts as a catalyst in building resilience by fostering a positive mindset and adaptive coping strategies. It helps us develop a “lightness of being” that allows us to navigate stress with greater ease. Humour encourages creative problem-solving, promotes social connection, and enables us to maintain perspective amidst the chaos. By cultivating resilience through humour, we can transform setbacks into opportunities for growth and self-improvement.

Humour as a Social Bonding Agent:

In times of stress, sharing a laugh with others can be immensely powerful. Humour acts as a social bonding agent, bringing people together, and fostering a sense of connection and support. When we find the ability to laugh together, we create an atmosphere of camaraderie and shared understanding. It not only lightens the mood but also strengthens relationships, making the journey through difficult times more bearable.

Image by Peter Freeth

In the face of adversity and stress, humour emerges as a valuable tool to manage and control our state. By incorporating humour into our lives, we can tap into the power of laughter, release stress, and gain a fresh perspective on challenging situations like breaking your glasses in the middle of a reading.
At the end of the evening, so many people came up to me and said that they enjoyed the reading from the book and a few even asked if I planned on breaking my glasses because that was really hilarious!
While I would never plan on anything like that happening, I am stress-free when they do because I know that having a Humourology attitude can help you turn your mistakes into the most mirthful and magical moments. As I always tell my clients around the world,

“Look forward to something going wrong in your speech because that is when you will have the most fun. Attitude is everything!”

If you would like to learn more about the power of Humour in business and life, Humourology (Now in Paperback!) is a must-read for you. Get your copy at the world-famous Foyles or order your copy on Amazon.

See you next Tuesday.


Paul x


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