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The Hump Day Humor-Gram, October 6, 2004 Issue #106

In this issue . . .

1. Be Happy, Don’t Worry
2. Mike’s Fun at Work Tip
3. Quote of the Week
4. It’s a Wacky, Wacky World
1. Be Happy, Don’t Worry

It’s hard to have a sense of humor about work and life when
you’re preoccupied by needless worries about meteors headed
towards planet earth, whether or not your pants make you
look fat or, god forbid, what will happen to civilization
if disco ever returned.

A University of Wisconsin study suggests that we spend far
too much time preoccupied with needless worries, when really
we could be having a whole lot of fun. According to their
study, the average person has 66,000 thought per day, of
which a whopping two-thirds are negative.

And of those negative worries, 40% are about things
that never, ever come to pass; 30% are about past events
(which is really, really a waste of energy, because, well,
news flash: they’ve already happened!); 12% revolve around
needless health concerns that never come to pass, 10% are
ridiculously petty, while only 8% fell into the category of
a “legitimate worry.”

But let’s not worry ourselves silly over even the legitimate
8% of the worries; instead let’s remind ourselves that
worry can play a positive role in our lives if we keep it
in perspective. Pilots who say “Let’s de-ice the plane
one more time” are practicing what I would call a positive
form of legitimate worry. “Would I get in trouble if
put my boss’s tie through the paper shredder?” is the
kind of legitimate worry that can save your career.

So this hump day, take a moment to think about the needless
worries that are sucking up valuable real estate in your
brain, squashing your creativity and dampening your
sense of ha ha.

And if you’re having trouble vanquishing some of your worries,
try the old “What’s the worst thing that could happen” trick
and have some fun with it. Exaggerate wildly until you can’t
help but laugh about it and regain some much needed
perspective. Or do what some psychologists suggest, and
set aside ten minutes each day to worry about things.
If that doesn’t convince you that most of our worries are
a waste of time, then . . . well, then I’m a little worried about
2. Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

Ban worrisome, idea-killing, but-headed language (“but we tried
that before” or “but if we do that we’ll all get fired and live
on the streets and eat shoes for the rest of our lives”) from your
meetings in a fun way: fine people a dollar every time
someone uses an idea-squasher, spray them with a water pistol
or make them sing a goofy song.
3. Quote of the Week

“Ain’t no use worrying about the things out of your control,
because if they’re out of you’re control, ain’t no use worrying
. . . Ain’t no use worrying about things in your control, because
if they’re in your control, ain’t no use worrying. Anonymous
4. It’s a Wacky, Wacky World

The winners of the Ig Nobel prizes were announced last week.
This annual award recognizes strange, silly or seemingly
trivial research projects for their, well, silliness.

This year’s winners included a scientist who studied
fish flatulence, a physics professor who analyzed hula-hooping,
and a fellow who looked into whether or not country music causes

Happy hump day everyone. Be happy, don’t worry!
Copyright Michael Kerr, 2004

Back issues of the Hump Day Express can be
found at

International speaker Michael Kerr, “The Workplace Energizer” is
the author of five books, including When Do You Let the Animals
Out? and You Can’t Be Serious! Putting Humor to Work. Michael
delivers keynote talks and workshops on humor in the workplace,
business creativity and public speaking skills.

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