Archive for the ‘Daily? humour from the workplace’ Category

Laughter or Lecture?

June 6, 2016

I haven’t posted an article for a while but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been busy doing things that are fun and that help develop life skills.

For example, today I found myself counselling family members on leadership. I would have entitled the engaging discussion we had as “Laughter or Lecture.”

In this day and age when adult children are staying longer periods with parents, it’s really important that everyone gets along in a harmonious fashion. Without belabouring the point, in what way are you more apt to be able to teach such adults? With laughter or a lecture?

Intuitively we realize that laughter is the key. However, too many of us are tired or in difficult jobs, so sometimes we lack the energy to educate effectively.

Just remember, adults are more likely to learn things from older adults if they are taught in a fun way. This demonstrates real and authentic leadership. Don’t be the “prince of darkness” in your approach with them. All doom and gloom and lecure-y! There’s no quicker way to tune them out and to lose their interest!

Remember to laugh and to have joyous times with them, and they are much more likely to imbibe the important life lessons that you wish to impart to them!

Best regards,

Nilesh Shreedhar.









Jeffley’s “Dial it Up!” (to Life).

August 21, 2015

Speech giver: James Jeffley

Organization: (International) at TM International Conference: August 13-16, 2015.

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Purpose of this post (Acronym: R O S E):

  1. To Retain this valuable information for posterity.
  2. To Offer inspiration to people.
  3. To Share the wisdom gleaned from motivational and inspirational speech givers at such events.
  4. To Effect positive changes in the world.

This speech (“Up Yours!”) was given by James Jeffley, speech contest participant at Caesar’s Palace during the just completed International Toastmasters Conference in Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Dial it up. James Jeffley. Life is like a thermostat….up yours. Dial up your thermostat. Find Peace and greater consciousness. Up yourself. There are tools to dial oneself up….

On the 18th Mar 2015, he was talking to his sister who called. What’s up? Then came the cold, hard facts….dad passed….He fell to the ground….

Even as minister, sometimes he needs help too….having learned through difficult experiences the purpose of his speech was to provide some tools. He himself was able to dial himself up…refocus, centre, and rededicate himself to life, and he continues to do so today.

What does it mean – ‘to dial oneself up,’ how do we do this? Shift your state (of consciousness) when you’ve been knocked down…and remember always…to…breathe….

2015 was an incredibly difficult year. On the 08th  Jun he received a second blast of negative information…He had been happily married for 20 years, the last four, well, let’s just say, he should have seen it coming …Even then, despite the coldness, lack of intimacy and sharing, he still wondered later….if he was going to be missed, if he jumped at the edge of the pier….as his marriage fell apart completely and divorce proceedings had begun.

His bucket list is what saved him…he’d always wanted to join Toastmasters…and somehow, miraculously at this, his lowest point, the thought… “why not join Toastmasters?” entered his mind life). In Toastmasters he found an esprit de vivre, an enthusiasm, a joy and a new way of looking at life! For these very reasons, James credits Toastmasters as saving his life!

Reach out to positive people. Yes, 2015 was a bad year, with losses that were difficult to bear – no one wants to lose a close relative, especially someone as dear as a father. And to add to this, the utter breakdown of his marriage…regardless to say, there were some pretty desperate moments in James’ life in 2015.

Counting his blessings though, he had the support of good friends, like Kiran P. and he remembered to be grateful for everything in the world – he gave thanks for every breath, being able to hear, for absolutely everything…and these thoughts turned into hope and happiness…Is there something you would like to dial up? Breathe, be grateful, join in!….Life is like a thermostat….so…Up yours….!

Business Lessons from Bruce Lee

September 10, 2012

Bruce Lee's widow, on a shoot for documentary ...

Bruce Lee’s widow, on a shoot for documentary about Bruce Lee. Part of a series called “The Greatest” which first aired on TLC in October of 1998, produced by LMNO Productions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Hong Kong, teams visited the memorial statu...

In Hong Kong, teams visited the memorial statue of martial artist and film star Bruce Lee on the Avenue of Stars. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Is Bruce Lee as relevant today as he was 40 years ago? The short answer is a resounding yes! From a business, health, lifestyle, or family point of view.

Last night while watching a few Lee videos which appear on YouTube I was enthralled and was able to piece together some interesting information about him.

These lessons translate well into the world of work (and other areas) and I will explain further.

In my YouTube research, there were a few surprises along the way….For example, how many people know that Lee is the father of Mixed Martial Arts as we know it today? I certainly did not know that!

Bruce Lee was a philosopher, an educated man, and a man of action…although…he really was much more…more of a person with limitless potential and gifted with an acute self-awareness which he brought to his art and apparently to the philosophy of his life….

He was able to merge ancient Chinese philosophy with the practical art of self-defense. As an innovator and a person with a highly creative and strong mind, he sought for continual improvement of the art with which he was so dissatisfied because it wasn’t as direct as he felt it could be. This is the reason that he developed the new martial art of “Jeet Kune Do,” precursor of modern-day Mixed Martial Arts of which we are so fascinated now. This is also why we remember him so well, because if he hadn’t brought such a radical change to the landscape of martial arts, he would be just another forgotten practitioner.

Lee considered himself an ambassador to the United States in terms of bringing martial arts to it. His legacy is that he brought martial arts to everyone and it still lives on to this day! It was plain from the extensive video collection that he is also still remembered as excellent father, a great motivator, and a kind soul who brought people together.

During his quest for finding his final purpose in life,  he started at least three schools of martial arts in America which he wanted to open up to all, not just a few.

To achieve this goal, he literally had to fight to get his way, in a showdown between traditionalists (who wished to keep this art strictly Chinese), and, clearly outnumbered… himself – who fought to share the philosophy and art with everyone.

Through YouTube I discovered that in school he majored in philosophy which interest stayed with him for life and helped him develop the completely new form of martial art called Jeet Kune Do, the art of the intervention, or, literally “way of the intercepting fist”  ( In this art, the victim quickly became the protagonist, instead of succumbing weakly to his adversary.

Why will Bruce Lee and what we learned from him always be timeless? It’s mainly because he stood up to the establishment and because of his conviction in himself!  There is of course a legacy of movies that he’s left us to enjoy and it is an understatement to say that was very talented. His achievements however are all foundationally based on all the battles he  won before…his drive to expand martial arts, to improve it, to share it with the many, not the few. Ultimately this translated itself to the screen for us to watch and appreciate.

Let us try to appreciate this a further by expanding on just what he accomplished during his life…..

Before his successful movie career, and in a span of about eight years, he singlehandedly took on hundreds if not thousands of years of history and traditional methods of fighting. The fight we see on celluloid captured forever for all to enjoy began with him many years earlier when he openly criticized the existing martial arts such as judo and jiu jitsu which he did not find to be practical or direct as the form that he eventually developed – Jeet Kune Do, “the way of the intercepting fist.”

Along the way he fought an old-fashioned honour fight or duel where he had to win, otherwise he would have to give up the right to share Kung Fu with the many, which then would have prevented him from sharing himself with us so exquisitely on video with his immense talent. (You have only to see how fast his kicks were, the strength with which they were delivered, and the tenacity with which he fought his opponents, to see this for yourself).

In one video, his widow Linda Emery (now Caldwell) explains how he overcame mainstream resistance with his sheer tenacity and willpower. She relates a story of how established martial arts masters of the San Francisco area challenged Bruce to what might be termed an honour fight. The establishment didn’t like how Bruce was opening up the art of Kung Fu to everyone where tradition kept it to only people of Chinese origin.

There are lessons that we can draw from Bruce Lee’s life….

His business lesson legacy is extensive and teaches us a lot of important skills that he learned from life, briefly encapsulated above.

Lessons I drew include, but are not limited to: tenacity, not being afraid to challenge established ways of thinking or the establishment, being innovative, creative and believing in oneself , among others. (See Waldo Emerson’s essay on Self-reliance which is so apt to Bruce Lee’s self-belief; we must ask ourselves – do we have such courage and conviction in ourselves?)

Long live Bruce in our hearts and may his spirit live on within each of us as we continue our life journeys.

As you can see, his lessons and advice can be practically applied to any area of life successfully, whether it be business, family, work, health or in general life skills.

Good luck in your endeavours!; or Google: Nilésh (Neil) Shreedhar. Email:

Shreedhar on Huschilt’s Value of Humour Workshop

April 21, 2012

Event: Human Resources Professional Convention.

Date: 01 February 2012.

Location: Metro Convention Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Speaker: Paul Huschilt.

Topic: Humour in work and life.

Paul Huschilt’s Value of Humour Workshop

At the HRPA (Human Resources Professional Association) Annual Conference in February 2012, I was fortunate to be able to attend a seminar by another Canadian leadership/ human resources/ professional entrepreneur/ management guru by the name of Paul Huschilt.

As soon as I entered the workshop I knew I was in for a treat as I have always loved comedians and strongly believe in the value of humour in the workplace and in life in general. (To the point that I’ve actually started a humour book which is in a perpetual state of incompletion, sorry, I should be more positive, rather, it is a work in progress). LOL.

Paul entertained us with his poor man’s PowerPoint presentation which required a set up of two stands with flipcharts for both sides of the room. (This instilled the point of what ridiculous lengths Paul was willing to go to entertain us, but more importantly to remind us ‘not to take life so seriously.’ We all probably realize that we will live a lot longer if we inject a bit of humour in our lives, and Paul made this very clear as he yes, galloped across, umm, ‘to meet his time constraints’ from one flipchart for attendees on one side of the room, to another flipchart, for those on the other side of the room. It was hilarious! In his own quirky yet sweet fashion, (Paul possesses a unique voice, much like that of a comedian), he made the point of just how important humour really was in the grand scheme of things (work, life, leisure).

During his workshop he demonstrated the utility of staying upbeat and humorous in helping us to combat excess stress. As one of his takeaways he encouraged us to complete his “Totally Unscientific Stress Test,’ (TUST) which guided us to recall ‘I am exhibiting the following symptoms of Stress,’ providing a point tally for the amount of stressful situations we placed ourselves in (lack of exercise, not enough sleep and so on) daily. As he successfully demonstrated throughout his workshop he reinforced by his TUST which concluded with a worksheet of possible list of do’s and don’ts and solutions for stress such as: ‘watch TV, meditate, walk.’ He concluded this Stress Test with the following: ‘(This)…totally unscientific test….is meant as a self-exploratory exercise….designed to help you identify the following: what stresses you, what stress looks like for you, and things you can do about it.’ Don’t fool yourself; this was a very practical exercise and a wonderful tool that he provided us with as extra value from his workshop!

Even though you didn’t attend the workshop,  you may wish to try to reflect on the various stressful situations you find yourself in during your busy lives and then take some positive action by reducing that stress by injecting some laughter or some other fun activity!

In sum, Paul’s humorous workshop was not only educational, but inspirational and an important reminder that he who laughs last, lives longest; or as Mary Pettibone Poole put it: “He who laughs, lasts!”

Here are tips from Paul’s ‘7 Humour Habits Handbook” along with some benefits of laughing….

Take time to:

Relax Simplify your Life Smile

and Laugh MoreGalileo* PrincipleDo Something Nice for someoneReward YourselfDare to be You!

Some Benefits: breathing becomes deeper, body temperature rises, making you warmer; pulse and blood pressure drop. (For complete list, see below).[1]

*He recommends taking an embarrassing moment and writing something funny about it thereby helping you to acknowledge that ‘you’ are not the centre of the universe!

To keep my own work/ life/ leisure balance in synch, and so that I can inject a little bit of humour into my own life (I love watching comedy on the Comedy Channel) I want to keep this posting reasonably short, but not without first mentioning the excellent takeaways that I got from this workshop. These gifts will be longstanding and a constant reminder that there is a silly (I mean that as the highest form of compliment to Paul) person out there who is willing to go the extra mile just to prove the point about the value of humour. Here they are: because of Paul, I now have a humour calendar at my workplace. It is not only humourous, but puts important facts about humour in place right on my work desk, where I realize how few things are worth putting your energy into i.e., not anger, frustration or discouragement, but rather positivity, wit, humour and general good-spiritedness.

I am glad I attended this humorous workshop as attending such a workshop every once in a while helps to put things back into perspective…..You will see at the end of this article a reference to a Harvard study which supports Paul’s claims. You may wish to have a look at it.

Here’s to our good health, or, as Paul says, “don’t forget to give yourself a hug!”

– Nilésh (Neil) Shreedhar.; or Google: Neil Shreedhar.

For more information: (Tales, Talks, Training, Inc.) (Harvard study entitled: Positive Feelings May Help Protect Cardiovascular Health).

[1] According to Paul’s ‘7 Humour Habits Handbook,’ other benefits include: 1.Muscles contract and then relax 2. Oxygen levels rise, boosting cardiovascular, immunity and energy levels while reducing tension 3. Activates T-lymphocytes and white blood cells that help destroy invading microorganisms. 4. Increases production of immunity-boosting gamma interferon and speeds up production of new immune cells.

5. Lowers levels of stress hormone cortisol which can weaken immune system 6. Releases endorphins – body’s natural pain killer (chemically related to morphine and heroin) 7. It is aerobic and gives diaphragm, thorax, abdomen, heart, lungs and possibly even liver a workout….LAUGHING ten minutes is like rowing 100 times.

Daily? humour from the workplace.

March 28, 2012

Who – me?…and computers….Just who or what is the problem here?! 

One of our computer systems was down, so I asked a colleague (call her Gracie) ….”Are you having difficulties as well?” She replied…”No, it’s just you! “I laughed, getting the joke; she added softly, “you’re probably just working too hard.” I added, “I’m probably working it (the computer) too hard.” (We both giggled).

Daily? humour from the workplace

March 14, 2012

Just who or what is the problem here!

 One of our computer systems was down, so I asked a colleague (call her Gracie) ….”Are you having difficulties as well?” She replied…”No, it’s just you! “I laughed, getting the joke; she added softly, “you’re probably just working too hard.” I added, “I’m probably working it (the computer program involved) too hard.” (We both giggled).

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