Humor, Seriously Book Summary - Humor, Seriously Book explained in key points
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Humor, Seriously summary

Jennifer Aaker & Naomi Bagdonas

Why Humor Is a Superpower at Work and in Life (And How Anyone Can Harness It. Even You.)

4.1 (464 ratings)
23 mins

Brief summary

Humor, Seriously by Jennifer Aaker & Naomi Bagdonas is a book that explores the power of humor and how it can improve our lives. It offers practical advice on how to use humor to enhance creativity, build stronger relationships, and improve overall wellbeing.

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    Humor, Seriously
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 8

    Humor is a learned skill, and it’s benefits are myriad.

    Let’s start by considering what might be holding us back. Often, it’s because we’re worried that we’re not funny or that our jokes are going to fall flat. Sometimes we don’t think we’re particularly entertaining and our friends and family don’t think we’re funny – the author’s kids sure didn’t. And you can’t even learn funny, so what’s the point? 

    The point is, none of that is true. You don’t need to be a comedian to have levity, to understand the value of humor and bring some sincerity to a situation. And no one is born funny! Except maybe those babies who try lemon for the first time. Humor can be present without comedy and it’s a skill that you learn, adapt, and grow over time. 

    According to the results from a Gallup survey of 1.4 million people across 166 countries, the frequency at which we laugh or smile drops significantly once we hit 23. Which is sad, because as kids we laugh all the time! But then as we grow up and enter the workforce, we seem to lose our sense of play. There is the very real pressure to be “professional.” But why should professional mean überserious? 

    The lack of levity and laughter in life and in work is causing us to miss out on so much of the good stuff. The good stuff, you ask? Let’s take a look at the science. 

    “Laughter is the best medicine” isn’t just a phrase. It’s true! Laughter has been scientifically proven to benefit you both physically and emotionally. When we laugh, our brains release a cocktail of hormones. We get endorphins which give us that euphoric feeling we might have after exercise. We get a big release of dopamine that makes us feel happier. Oxytocin, the “love hormone,” is also released, which makes us more trusting. And our cortisol levels are lowered, which means we’re a whole lot less stressed. In short, according to the authors, laughter is like exercising, meditating, and having sex all at once. How great! And it’s HR approved! 

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    What is Humor, Seriously about?

    Humor, Seriously (2021) explores the value of a human-centered approach to business, and of the funny that can be found and created in any environment. It relies on science, psychology, and humorous anecdotes from experts in the field to show how using humor can create a culture of levity, build trust, and unlock creativity.

    Humor, Seriously Review

    Humor, Seriously (2021) explores the power of humor in our lives and why it is crucial for success. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • It offers a refreshing perspective on humor, explaining how it can unlock creativity, build stronger connections, and enhance our well-being.
    • The authors combine rigorous research with real-life stories and practical tips, making it a valuable guide for incorporating humor into any situation.
    • With its sharp insights and wit, the book keeps readers engaged and entertained, ensuring a fun and enlightening reading experience.

    Who should read Humor, Seriously?

    • Leaders looking to build trust
    • Managers who want to enhance creativity
    • Anyone seeking more joy in work and life

    About the Author

    Dr. Jennifer Aaker is a leading expert on how purpose and meaning shape individual choices. Her work has been widely published in leading scientific journals, and featured in the Economist, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, and Science. She counts winning a dance-off in the 1980s as one of her greatest feats.

    Naomi Bagdonas, a Stanford professor, facilitates interactive sessions for leaders, Fortune 100 companies, and nonprofits. She also coaches executives and celebrities for appearances on shows ranging from Saturday Night Live to Today. Her constant stream of foster dogs describe her as gullible and full of treats.

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    Humor, Seriously FAQs 

    What is the main message of Humor, Seriously?

    Humor, Seriously explores how humor can be a powerful tool for connection, creativity, and resilience.

    How long does it take to read Humor, Seriously?

    Reading time for Humor, Seriously varies, but the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Humor, Seriously a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Humor, Seriously is worth reading as it shares valuable insights on how humor can enhance various aspects of our lives.

    Who is the author of Humor, Seriously?

    Humor, Seriously is written by Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas.

    What to read after Humor, Seriously?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Humor, Seriously, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The Storytelling Edge by Shane Snow and Joe Lazauskas
    • Wired To Create by Scott Barry Kaufman & Carolyn Gregoire
    • We Are All Weird by Seth Godin
    • Possible by William Ury
    • Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari