Life is too short to take it all so seriously. And last I checked, you only get to live this life once. There are no second chances or do-overs in life, so you need to create fun in all aspects of your life now, not later – and that means at work too!
Recently, I realized that I was getting really stressed at work and that I simply wasn’t having any fun anymore. It was giving me the worst knee pain I have felt in more than 20 years since I had orthoscopic surgery on both of my knees in high school because that’s where my body tends to manifest stress. Beyond that, I started falling into a horrible pattern of hitting the snooze button 2-3x every morning instead of getting up to do my morning exercises. Now if you’ve ever seen Tony Hsieh, founder and CEO of Zappos.com, talk about why he sold his first company LinkExchange to Microsoft, then you know that’s a really bad sign!
My guess is that if I’m not having fun, it’s much harder for me to be successful in achieving my goals. And when I don’t achieve my goals, I get stressed out and have even less fun in life. It’s a vicious cycle that can spiral out of control unless you take a step back long enough to see what’s going on. Even worse though, as a business leader, I can create an environment of “unfun” all around me when I act like that – and that’s just no fun! ☺
Fortunately, I’ve learned to pay attention to my healthy – and not-so-healthy patterns – over the past few years, so I’ve been giving myself permission to relax more and stop these undesirable behaviors before they really take hold. I’ve also learned to listen to my body and finally went to my chiropractor/kinesiologist, and not surprisingly my knees are quickly getting better. Now taking a week-long vacation to Maui at the end of the summer didn’t hurt, but even after returning to the office I have intentionally chosen to be “chipper”. I’m also very intentional about having fun now and creating a contagious culture of having fun all around me. I even told a dear friend who was grumbling about it being Monday recently that there is no “Grrrrrr” in “Monday”. I’m not sure she laughed at the time, but I know she got it!
It’s amazing how quickly being present to having fun can impact every facet of my life. My friends are commenting on how something has shifted for me, and at work we’re producing some phenomenal results seemingly out of nothing. The employees and clients I’m in regular communication with are starting to smile now too. I can just hear it on the phone, see it in the emails, and feel it all around us. My assistant and “Director of Everything Else” Jessica even started “Fun Fridays” on Plus Delta’s Facebook Fan Page and other online media channels last week.
I trust this positive energy will lead to very good things in the weeks and months ahead. Well if nothing else, it will be fun, so give it a shot. See what turning that grumpy frown upside-down does for you and those around you. You’ll be amazed… I promise!