that works

The Missing Skill For Success and Happiness At Work

by Andrew Tarvin


501 ways
to use humor

to Beat Stress, Increase Productivity
and Have Fun at work

by Andrew Tarvin

recommended humor reading

I like to read. It expands your mind, teaches new ideas, and is one of the most succinct and structured ways for people to express their thoughts. However not all books are created equal and there are only a handful of books on humor that I think are worth their cost (both in terms of price and time spent reading):


Authors Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher take a research-driven approach to preaching the values of humor in the workplace. The book is chock-full of real-life examples of how levity has helped improve business in real-life companies.

From the authors: "With interviews, exercises, and case studies, the book reveals how humor in the workplace will help you communicate messages, build camaraderie, and encourage creativity for a better workplace and bigger profits."


While this book isn't specific to humor in the workplace, it's such a powerful read on the applications of improv to life that it deserves mention on the list. In the book, Patricia Ryan Madson shares concepts from improvisation that can help you deal with everyday life, both at work and at home.

From the cover: "Patricia Madson distills thirty years of experience into thirteen simple strategies, including “Say Yes,” “Start Anywhere,” “Face the Facts,” and “Make Mistakes, Please,” helping readers to loosen up, think on their feet, and take on everything life has to offer with skill, chutzpah, and a sense of humor."



The Personal MBA isn't a humor book at all, but it is one of the best business books you'll ever read. Why? Because author Josh Kaufman took what he's learned from reading hundreds of the most esteemed business books and distilled their key concepts down into digestible tidbits of knowledge. If you understand business as well as Josh does, finding ways to incorporate humor will be easy.

From Seth Godin: "File this book under NO EXCUSES. After you've read it, you won't be open to people telling you that you're not smart enough, not insightful enough, or not learned enough to do work that matters. Josh takes you on a worthwhile tour of the key ideas in business."

50 quotations series

The 50 Quotations Series shares inspirational quotations from some of the greatest minds in history
on some of my favorite topics: humor, laughter, and happiness.


Humor is powerful. It can help heal, communicate, create, relate, lead, and, of course, add some fun. It’s also easy to use–just be yourself.

This collection of quotations shares the power of humor coming from great minds from all walks of life.


Laughter is universal. It is said to be the shortest distance between two people and has no accent. It has the power to relieve stress, burn calories and build relationships.

This collection of quotations expresses the value of laughter from a variety of likely (and unlikely) sources.


Happiness is vital. For many, it is the goal of life: to be happy. And for good reason. Happiness improves relationships, increases success and extends lives.

This collection of quotations includes pearls of wisdom on the value of happiness and how to find it.

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