External Thinking Tools – Laugh Your Way to Success

Learn how to use laughter as a tool for success in this entertaining and insightful guide to external thinking tools.


In today’s fast-paced and competitive world, the ability to think critically and problem solve is essential for success. However, sometimes our own thoughts can become limited and clouded, hindering our ability to come up with innovative solutions. That’s where external thinking tools come in. These tools act as aids to help us look at problems and situations from different perspectives, enabling us to approach them with fresh insights and creativity.

In this book, we will explore the concept of using laughter as an external thinking tool for success. Laughter is a universal language that can break down barriers and create positive connections between people. It has the power to transform our mindset, enhance communication skills, and spark creativity. By incorporating humor and laughter into our daily lives, we can unlock new pathways to success and happiness.

So, why laughter? Laughter has been found to have numerous benefits for both our physical and mental well-being. It releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, which can reduce stress, boost our immune system, and increase our pain tolerance. Laughter also improves our cognitive functioning, including memory, attention, and problem-solving skills. Additionally, laughter helps to build stronger social bonds, fosters a positive work environment, and enhances our overall quality of life.

Throughout this book, we will explore different ways in which laughter can be used as a tool for success. We will delve into the various external thinking tools available and discuss the advantages of incorporating laughter into our problem-solving and decision-making processes. We will also explore how humor can improve communication, diffuse conflicts, and enhance relationships.

Furthermore, we will discuss the role of laughter in stress management and explore techniques for using laughter as a tool for relieving stress and promoting overall well-being. We will also examine the connection between playfulness, fun, and creativity, and how incorporating these elements into our lives can boost our innovative thinking.

Additionally, we will provide practical tips and strategies for creating a laugh-friendly environment, whether in the workplace or in our personal lives. We will explore ways in which humor and positivity can be cultivated to foster a culture of productivity, collaboration, and success.

By the end of this book, you will have a deep understanding of the power of laughter as an external thinking tool. You will be equipped with practical techniques and strategies to incorporate humor and laughter into your daily life, enabling you to overcome challenges, enhance your creativity, and ultimately achieve success.

So, let’s embark on this journey together and discover how laughter can lead us to greater success and happiness!

Chapter 1: Understanding External Thinking Tools

In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, success relies heavily on our ability to think critically and creatively. However, sometimes we find ourselves trapped in a cycle of familiar thoughts and ideas, unable to come up with new solutions or approaches. This is where external thinking tools come in.

Explanation of what external thinking tools are

External thinking tools are techniques or resources that we can use to stimulate our thinking and problem-solving abilities. These tools provide an external perspective or framework that helps us to look at a problem or situation from different angles or consider alternative possibilities.

These tools can take many forms, such as physical objects, brainstorming techniques, visualizations, or even specific strategies for approaching complex problems. The key characteristic of these tools is that they provide an external source of inspiration or structure to guide our thinking.

Discussion on the benefits of using external thinking tools

By using external thinking tools, we can break free from our usual patterns of thinking and open ourselves up to new ideas and possibilities. These tools help us to:

  • Expand our perspective: External thinking tools enable us to see things from different angles and consider alternative perspectives. This broader outlook allows us to generate new insights and approaches to problem-solving.
  • Enhance creativity: External thinking tools provide a catalyst for creativity by stimulating our imagination and encouraging us to think beyond our usual boundaries. This leads to innovative solutions and out-of-the-box thinking.
  • Improve decision-making: By using external thinking tools, we can evaluate different options more objectively and consider their potential outcomes. This improves our ability to make well-informed decisions.
  • Overcome mental blocks: External thinking tools can help us overcome mental blocks and break through barriers that hinder our problem-solving abilities. They provide a fresh perspective and allow us to think more expansively.

Introduction to different types of external thinking tools

There are a wide variety of external thinking tools available, each with its own unique approach and purpose. Some common types of external thinking tools include:

  1. Mind maps: Visual representations of ideas and concepts that help organize thoughts and encourage creative thinking.
  2. Metaphors: Using metaphors to describe a problem or situation can help us see it from a different perspective and generate new ideas.
  3. Random word association: Using random words or unrelated objects to stimulate creativity and generate new connections and ideas.
  4. Role-playing: Stepping into a different role or perspective can help us gain new insights and solutions.
  5. Storyboarding: Creating a visual representation of a sequence of events or ideas to help organize thoughts and explore different possibilities.

By exploring and utilizing these different types of external thinking tools, we can enhance our problem-solving abilities, spark our creativity, and approach challenges with a fresh perspective.

In the next chapter, we will delve deeper into the concept of using laughter as an external thinking tool for success. We will explore the power of laughter in problem-solving and decision-making, and discuss the positive effects of laughter on creativity and innovation. So, let’s dive into the world of laughter and discover how it can be a valuable external thinking tool on the path to success.

Chapter 2: Laughter as an External Thinking Tool

Laughter is often associated with joy and amusement, but it can also be a powerful tool for external thinking. When we think externally, we step outside of ourselves and our usual thought patterns, allowing for new perspectives and creative solutions to emerge. In this chapter, we will explore the power of laughter as an external thinking tool and its positive effects on problem-solving and decision-making.

The Power of Laughter in Problem-Solving

Laughter has the amazing ability to lighten our mood and reduce stress. When we are stressed or overwhelmed, our ability to think creatively and solve problems effectively is compromised. However, laughter has been shown to release endorphins, which are natural feel-good chemicals that can boost our mood and alleviate stress.

By incorporating laughter into our problem-solving process, we can create a more relaxed and open mindset. This mental state allows for greater cognitive flexibility and the ability to see problems from different angles. As a result, we are more likely to come up with innovative solutions that we might not have otherwise considered.

The Positive Effects of Laughter on Creativity and Innovation

Laughter has long been associated with creativity and innovation. When we laugh, we are engaging in a playful and spontaneous activity. This playfulness stimulates our brain, leading to increased divergent thinking – the ability to generate multiple ideas and solutions.

Research has shown that individuals who engage in humor and laughter during brainstorming sessions are more likely to come up with creative ideas. Laughter creates a positive and inclusive environment where people feel more comfortable expressing their thoughts and taking risks. This free-flowing exchange of ideas often leads to breakthrough innovations and problem-solving.

Tips for Incorporating Humor and Laughter into Daily Life

Incorporating humor and laughter into daily life doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some simple tips to help you infuse more laughter into your routine:

  1. Surround yourself with funny people: Spend time with individuals who have a great sense of humor. Their lightheartedness and ability to find humor in everyday situations can be contagious.

  2. Watch or listen to comedy: Whether it’s a comedy movie, stand-up special, or funny podcast, exposing yourself to humor regularly can uplift your mood and bring laughter into your day.

  3. Find humor in the mundane: Train yourself to look for the humor in everyday situations. Laugh at your own silly mistakes, find amusement in the small things, and enjoy the lighter side of life.

  4. Share jokes and funny stories: Sharing jokes and funny anecdotes with friends, family, or colleagues can create moments of shared laughter and strengthen bonds.

  5. Embrace laughter yoga: Laughter yoga is a practice that combines laughter exercises with deep breathing techniques. It can be done alone or in a group and has been shown to boost mood, reduce stress, and promote overall well-being.

By incorporating humor and laughter into your daily life, you can tap into the power of laughter as an external thinking tool. Not only will it improve your problem-solving and decision-making skills, but it will also enhance your overall well-being and bring more joy into your life.

Chapter 3: Using Humor to Improve Communication

Enhancing Communication Skills with Humor

Incorporating humor into our communication can have several benefits. First, it helps to establish rapport and create a positive atmosphere. When we use humor, it puts people at ease and makes them more receptive to our messages. Humor can also help to capture and maintain the attention of the people we are communicating with, making our message more memorable. By infusing humor into our communication, we can make it more engaging and enjoyable for everyone involved.

Diffusing Conflicts with Humor

Humor can be a powerful tool for diffusing conflicts and resolving disputes. When tensions are high, a well-placed joke or a lighthearted comment can help to break the tension and create a more open and relaxed environment. Using humor in conflict situations helps to depersonalize the issue, making it easier to find common ground and reach a resolution. However, it is important to use humor sensitively and be mindful of cultural differences and individual preferences.

Incorporating Humor in Presentations and Public Speaking

Integrating humor into presentations and public speaking can greatly enhance your ability to engage and connect with your audience. A well-timed joke or amusing anecdote can captivate the audience’s attention and make your message more relatable. It also helps to lighten the mood and create a positive atmosphere, making it more likely that the audience will be receptive to your ideas. However, it is important to strike the right balance – too much humor can be distracting and take away from the main message. So, it is important to select appropriate jokes and use humor in moderation.

Humor as a Cross-Cultural Communication Tool

Humor can also be used as a bridge across cultures. While humor may be expressed differently in different cultures, finding common ground through shared laughter can help to break down barriers and build connections. It is important, however, to be aware of cultural sensitivities and avoid jokes that may be offensive or misunderstood. Humor should always be used in a way that respects and embraces cultural diversity, promoting understanding and inclusivity.

“Humor is the great thing, the saving thing after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations, and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.” - Mark Twain

Incorporating humor into our communication not only improves our relationships and connections with others, but it also lightens our own spirit and allows us to approach situations with a more positive mindset.

Benefits of Using Humor in Communication
- Establishes rapport and creates a positive atmosphere
- Captures and maintains attention
- Makes the message more engaging and memorable
- Helps to diffuse conflicts and resolve disputes
- Enhances presentations and public speaking
- Builds connections across cultures
- Lightens our own spirit and promotes a positive mindset

By utilizing humor as a communication tool, we can improve our interactions with others and create more meaningful and enjoyable connections. So, let’s embrace the power of humor and use it to enhance our communication skills.

Chapter 4: The Role of Laughter in Stress Management

Laughter is not just a tool for entertainment and amusement; it can also play a significant role in stress management. In this chapter, we will explore the relationship between laughter and stress relief, discuss techniques for using laughter as a stress management tool, and highlight the physical and mental health benefits of laughter.

The Relationship between Laughter and Stress Relief

Laughter has long been associated with stress relief. When we laugh, our body releases endorphins, which are natural feel-good chemicals that help reduce pain and promote a sense of well-being. This release of endorphins can have a calming effect on our mind and body, helping us to relax and reduce stress.

Furthermore, laughter helps to shift our focus away from stressors and negative emotions. When we engage in laughter, we temporarily set aside our worries and problems, allowing ourselves to experience joy and happiness. This shift in focus can provide much-needed relief from the stressors of everyday life.

Using Laughter as a Stress Management Tool

Incorporating laughter into our daily lives can be an effective stress management tool. Here are some techniques that can help us use laughter to reduce stress:

  1. Finding humor in everyday situations: Train yourself to look for the humor in everyday situations. Practice finding the lighter side of things, even in challenging or stressful circumstances. This can help to shift your perspective and reduce the intensity of stress.

  2. Surrounding yourself with funny and positive people: Spending time with funny and positive individuals can have a contagious effect. Their humor and positive outlook can help uplift your mood and reduce stress. Seek out friends, colleagues, or comedy groups that can bring laughter into your life.

  3. Engaging in activities that make you laugh: Identify activities or hobbies that make you laugh and bring you joy. It could be watching a funny movie, reading a humorous book, or participating in a comedy class. Make time for these activities regularly to experience the stress-reducing benefits of laughter.

  4. Playing with children or pets: Interacting with children or pets can be a great source of laughter and stress relief. Their innocence, playfulness, and unconditional love can help you let go of stress and embrace the present moment.

The Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Laughter

Aside from its role in stress management, laughter also offers various physical and mental health benefits. Some of these benefits include:

  • Improved immune system: Laughter stimulates the production of antibodies and enhances the activity of immune cells, which can boost our immune system and help us stay healthy.

  • Reduced pain: Laughing releases endorphins, which act as natural painkillers in our body. It can help alleviate physical pain or discomfort, providing temporary relief.

  • Enhanced mood: Laughter has been found to increase the production of serotonin and dopamine in our brain, neurotransmitters that contribute to feelings of happiness and well-being. Regular laughter can improve our overall mood and outlook on life.

  • Better social connections: Sharing laughter with others strengthens social bonds, enhances communication, and fosters a sense of belonging. Laughing together can create meaningful connections and improve relationships, which in turn can reduce stress.

  • Increased resilience: Laughing helps us develop a positive mindset and build emotional resilience. It enables us to bounce back from stress, setbacks, and challenges more effectively.

Incorporating laughter into our lives can be a powerful tool in managing stress and promoting overall well-being. By making space for humor and laughter, we can reduce stress levels, improve our physical and mental health, and cultivate a more positive and resilient mindset. So, don’t forget to laugh your way to a stress-free and successful life!

Chapter 5: Sparking Creativity through Fun and Play

In this chapter, we will explore the connection between playfulness, fun, and creativity. We will discuss techniques for incorporating play and fun into the creative process and provide examples of successful individuals and companies that use play and fun in their work.

The Importance of Play and Fun in Creativity

Play and fun are not just for children, they are also essential for adults, especially when it comes to fostering creativity. When we engage in playful activities and have fun, we open ourselves up to new ideas and perspectives. Play stimulates our imagination and allows us to think outside the box.

Techniques for Incorporating Play and Fun into the Creative Process

  1. Brainstorming Games: Incorporate games and playful activities into brainstorming sessions. For example, you can play the “Yes, and…” game, where participants build on each other’s ideas and avoid judgment or criticism.

  2. Creative Exercises: Introduce creative exercises that involve playfulness. For instance, you can use building blocks or art supplies to encourage participants to create something related to the problem or challenge at hand.

  3. Role-Playing: Encourage role-playing to stimulate creativity. By putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, you gain new insights and generate fresh ideas.

  4. Embracing “Down Time”: Allow for breaks and relaxation during the creative process. Often, our best ideas come when we are not actively thinking about the problem but rather taking a moment to unwind and have fun.

Examples of Playful Creativity in Action

  1. Pixar: The animation studio Pixar has a “Braintrust” meeting where their creative team gathers to provide feedback on each other’s work. Instead of a formal, serious meeting, they incorporate playfulness and humor to create a relaxed and open environment for idea-sharing.

  2. Google: Google is known for its playful culture, with colorful offices and various recreational activities available to employees. This playful environment fosters creativity and innovation among their workforce.

  3. LEGO: LEGO is not only a toy company but also a prime example of how play inspires creativity. Their employees are encouraged to build and create as part of their work, which allows for a more playful and imaginative approach.

Benefits of Playful Creativity

  1. Enhanced Problem-Solving: Playfulness and fun help us approach problems from different angles and find creative solutions that may not have been obvious before.

  2. Increased Engagement and Motivation: When we enjoy the creative process, we are more likely to be engaged and motivated, leading to better results.

  3. Reduced Fear of Failure: Playfulness creates a safe space where failure is not seen as a negative outcome but rather as an opportunity for learning and growth.

  4. Improved Team Collaboration: Playful activities promote collaboration and strengthen the bond between team members, leading to more effective teamwork and idea sharing.

Incorporating play and fun into the creative process is not only enjoyable but also essential for unlocking our full creative potential. By embracing playfulness, we can spark greater creativity and innovation in our work and ultimately achieve greater success.

Chapter 6: Developing a Laugh-Friendly Environment

Creating a laugh-friendly environment is crucial for fostering a positive and productive atmosphere. When individuals feel comfortable laughing and enjoying their time at work or in their personal lives, the overall morale and creativity are significantly boosted. In this chapter, we will explore some tips and strategies for developing a laugh-friendly environment.

Tip 1: Lead by Example

It all starts with leadership. Managers and team leaders should set the tone by engaging in playful behavior and demonstrating a sense of humor. When leaders show that they can laugh at themselves and find humor even in challenging situations, it encourages others to do the same.

Tip 2: Encourage Open Communication

In a laugh-friendly environment, open and honest communication is essential. Encourage team members to share ideas, opinions, and even funny stories. Creating a safe space where everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves fosters a sense of camaraderie and trust.

Tip 3: Incorporate Fun Activities

Integrating fun activities into the workplace or personal environment can help create a positive and light-hearted atmosphere. Consider organizing team-building exercises, game nights, or themed dress-up days. These activities provide opportunities for laughter and bonding among team members.

Tip 4: Celebrate Milestones and Achievements

Recognizing and celebrating milestones and achievements is an important part of developing a laugh-friendly environment. When individuals feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to enjoy their work and find joy in their accomplishments. Hold regular celebrations, whether it’s a small office party or a team outing, to acknowledge and celebrate successes.

Tip 5: Create a Relaxation Space

Designating a specific relaxation space can provide a retreat where individuals can take a break and unwind. This space could include comfortable seating, games, puzzles, or even a mini library. Taking short breaks to relax and recharge can lead to refreshed minds and increased productivity.

Tip 6: Incorporate Humor into Meetings and Presentations

Meetings and presentations can often be dry and monotonous. To create a laugh-friendly environment, try incorporating humor into these settings. Start meetings with a funny icebreaker, share a humorous story related to the topic, or use visual aids with amusing illustrations. This will lighten the mood and make the experience more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Tip 7: Embrace Flexible Work Arrangements

A laugh-friendly environment recognizes the importance of work-life balance. Embrace flexible work arrangements, such as remote working or flexible hours, to allow individuals to better manage their personal commitments. When people have the flexibility to attend to their personal lives, they are more likely to be happy and relaxed at work.

Tip 8: Encourage Collaboration and Team-Building

Collaboration and team-building activities create opportunities for laughter and connection. Encourage collaboration by assigning group projects or organizing team-building exercises, such as escape rooms or outdoor activities. These activities not only promote teamwork but also provide moments of laughter and lightheartedness.

Tip 9: Provide Training and Education on Humor

Not everyone is naturally funny or comfortable using humor in professional settings. Consider providing training or workshops on using humor effectively. Teach individuals how to incorporate humor in their communication, presentations, and interactions. This training will not only boost confidence but also enhance the overall humor quotient in the environment.

Tip 10: Implement Recognition Programs

Implementing recognition programs that acknowledge and reward individuals for their humor and positive contributions can reinforce a laugh-friendly environment. Consider creating a “Funny Friday” award, where team members vote for the person who made them laugh the most during the week. These recognition programs encourage the use of humor and keep the laughter flowing.

By following these tips and strategies, you can create a laugh-friendly environment that promotes positivity, creativity, and success. Remember, laughter is contagious, and when people feel at ease to express themselves and share moments of joy, the overall work environment becomes a more enjoyable and rewarding place to be.


In conclusion, external thinking tools are powerful resources that can enhance our problem-solving abilities and contribute to our overall success. Throughout this book, we have explored the concept of using laughter as an external thinking tool and its various benefits.

Laughter has been shown to have a profound impact on our creativity and innovation. By incorporating humor and laughter into our daily lives, we can tap into our imaginative and inventive abilities, ultimately leading to more innovative ideas and solutions.

Additionally, humor plays a crucial role in improving communication skills. It helps to break the ice, diffuse conflicts, and build stronger relationships. By incorporating humor into presentations and public speaking, we can engage our audience and leave a lasting impression.

Furthermore, laughter is a powerful tool for stress management. It has been found to have a direct impact on our physical and mental health, helping to relieve stress and promote well-being. By incorporating laughter into our daily routines, we can better navigate the challenges and demands of life.

Moreover, fun and playfulness are closely tied to creativity. By embracing a playful mindset, we can unlock our creative potential and approach problems with fresh perspectives. Successful individuals and companies have incorporated play and fun into their work, leading to breakthrough ideas and successful outcomes.

Creating a laugh-friendly environment is essential for fostering creativity and positivity. By encouraging laughter and humor in the workplace or personal space, we can create an atmosphere that promotes collaboration, innovation, and overall well-being. Several examples of companies and organizations have successfully implemented laugh-friendly environments, leading to increased productivity and employee satisfaction.

In conclusion, laughter is a valuable external thinking tool that can significantly contribute to our success. By incorporating humor and laughter into our daily lives, we can enhance our problem-solving abilities, improve communication skills, manage stress, spark creativity, and cultivate a positive and productive environment. Let us embrace the power of laughter and walk the path to success with a smile on our faces.