8 reasons why being a fool can help your career and life

by Simon Henry @simlington

April Fool’s Day may be over, but the foolish life is still available to us all.

There are two schools of thought on this subject. .

1. ‘Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something.’ (Plato)

2. ‘Everyone likes a nice arse; no-one likes a smart arse.’ (Normal people)

No-one really understands what Plato was on about, whereas nice arses are universally admired.

To underline this point, here’s the Rear of the Year site. It has women’s and men’s bottoms on – so it passes the sexism test.

Flavia Cacace's and Vincent Simone's bottoms. (They won the prize in 2013.)

Flavia Cacace’s and Vincent Simone’s bottoms. (They won the prize in 2013.)

I’m glad we’ve got that cleared up.

Here’s how being a fool can help your career and your life:

1. You don’t get promoted beyond your abilities. There are enough people in this awkward position. Have a look round your office. You don’t need to join them do you?

2. People like fools – especially if you know some jokes. Here are some of the world’s best jokes to get you started.

3. People feel sorry for you. Sympathy is good – it means you’re less likely to get the crap jobs.

4. You’re not trusted to do important things. This means you don’t have to do presentations in front of scary bosses.

5. If you’re right all the time, people stop listening to you and think you’re a smart arse. That’s why I always put mistakes in my blog posts.

6. If you have really strong principles, you become predictable. And people stop listening to you. I don’t really believe that. Or maybe I do.

7. Being a fool leaves lots of room for self-improvement. As the famous Zen phrase goes:

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.‘ (Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind). One brilliant thing to do to improve your life is to start practising Mindfulness. No joke!

8. You don’t have to use horrible office jargon – like ‘Going forward’, ‘Thought leadership’ and ‘Boulders on the runway.’ Here’s the full A to Z of horrible office jargon as used in 2014. It makes really uncomfortable reading. Read it, then forget it. Fools don’t need this stuff. Only the successful do.

What about if those eight strong reasons haven’t convinced you?

If you’re still undecided about the virtues of the foolish life, read this from Cole Porter’s Be A Clown:

All the world loves a clown. Act a fool, play the calf, And you’ll always have the last laugh.

Okay, so he could have rhymed ‘play the calf‘ with ‘take a selfie in the bath‘ (Ricky Gervais does this – and everyone loves him.)

Ricky Gervais looking gorgeous in the bath

Ricky Gervais looking gorgeous in the bath. He tells his followers they can use hispictures as porography

So lighten up, be a fool, and be happy. 

And in case you’re interested in April Fool’s jokes, there’s a site about them.

Some of the classics are:

In 1957, BBC’s Panorama said a mild winter had eliminated the spaghetti weevil pest, and Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. Here they are harvesting it:

Spaghetti harvest in Switzerland. (BBC prank.)

Spaghetti harvest in Switzerland. (BBC prank.)

In 1962, Swedish telly announced that viewers could convert their black and white tellies to colour by pulling a nylon stocking over the screen.

And in 1992, National Public Radio said Richard Nixon was running for President again with a new slogan: ‘I didn’t do anything wrong, and I won’t do it again.’

Remember, it would be foolish not to read some of my other blogs.

Don’t be shy – follow me @simlington for more nonsense and here’s a bit more about me – if you’re still a bit nervous.

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One thought on “8 reasons why being a fool can help your career and life

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