Braverman's Blog
Terry Braverman and Company

He Must Have Died Laughing

In our time, the person most responsible for introducing humor’s healing power to the mainstream is Norman Cousins. The former editor of the Saturday Review and a UCLA professor, Cousins was diagnosed with a collagen disease that had never been cured before. The doctors gave him only six months to live. Rather than succumb to a state of gloom and resignation, he resolved to live gleefully in what appeared to be the abbreviated remainder of his life. At his request, people brought to his bedside funny books, tapes, cartoons, gag gifts, and anything that might provoke laughter. After just a few weeks of devouring a steady diet of comedy (with no other dietary or medicinal changes), his disease went into remission! And his sense of humor became a bit skewed.

Jovial Security, Your Hedge Against Deflation

Richard Cronin, a management consultant, once surveyed 737 company executives regarding the humor factor in good employees. He found that 97% agreed that a sense of humor is a determining factor in hiring personnel, and 60% felt that a sense of humor can be a key element that influences how successful a person is in the business world. In another survey conducted by Burke Marketing Research, 84% of the personnel directors who were interviewed said that employees with a sense of humor do better work.

Keep Asking, & You Shall Receive

An interesting lesson occurred last week when I went to my bank’s ATM drive-up. The ATM malfunctioned and not only did it fail to cough up some cash, it swallowed my ATM card. I went inside the branch and told a woman sitting at a desk what had happened. She said they only collect whatever is in the ATM twice a day, at 9AM and 3PM. It was 9:20AM, and since I was busy for the rest of the day, I asked her if it was possible for someone to pull out my ATM card in that moment. Her reply was negative. So I approached the teller’s window to complete the cash withdrawal. Just on a whim, I recounted my tale of loss to the teller, and she asked, “Would you like me to check the ATM and see if I can retrieve your card?” “Hmmm, is the earth round?” I said quietly, tongue-in-cheek. She smiled, and within a minute the card was back in my possession.

Airing Out Unrewarded Loyalty

Is it any wonder that in a recent survey, four of the ten most disliked companies in America are airlines (Business Insider, 6/22/12)? The endless nicking, pecking and yes, gouging, of customers with miscellaneous fees grows tiresome to those of us who reward airlines with frequent travel. Unless you are up there in the stratosphere with the million mile club, the price for our loyalty keeps going up, as if we were no different than a first time flier.

More to Happiness

In last week’s blog, I wrote about “Gross National Happiness” being the measuring stick of choice for the Himalayan country of Bhutan.

In a recent article about happiness, noted corporate trainer Brian Tracy wrote about 3 myths concerning the subject. As one who recognizes and admires Brian as a thought leader and an inspiration to many, I want to comment on his myth #1:

“The first myth about happiness is that it’s not legitimate or correct for you to put your happiness ahead of everyone else… Throughout my life, I’ve met people who’ve been very adamant about stating that happiness is something that you may or may not get from life, but it’s not a goal or objective by itself…These people say that it’s more important to make other people happy than to make yourself happy… Of course, this is nonsense…The fact is that you cannot give away to anyone else what you don’t have for yourself. The very best way to assure the happiness of others is to be happy yourself and then to share it with them… The human condition is that of natural emotional peace and happiness.”


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