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On most weekday, I get to have recess with my friends between 2 and 3 p.m..
We all enjoy playing table tennis, which gives us a chance to kick back, catch up, and of course, compete.
In years past, I always considered play as an unnecessary indulgence and something you only do when all the work was done.
Sadly, for most of us, it never is.
This attitude has made me a pretty serious guy and a bit of a fuddy-duddy. All work and no play definitely made me pretty dull and telling me to lighten up definitely didn’t work.
Thank goodness for the coaching I’ve received from my grandchildren over the years. As a pop-pop with a bit of extra time, I have been able to ease off the gas pedal of work and see play as a critical part of a full and happy life.
How often do you take the time to play and have fun?
What activities feel like recess for you?
How can and will you make these pursuits a more integral part of your life?
What are your definitions of work and play? Consider examining the numerous activities throughout your day to determine the ratio of one to the other.
Which of your efforts are both enjoyable and productive? What duties do you dread and often avoid altogether for more pleasant pursuits?
My grandson Weston loves to play, and within minutes no one would ever recognize that the house was cleaned moments earlier. Getting him to clean up and put things back where they belong is no fun for him or mom and dad. Making clean up a game where numbers, colors, shapes, and toy categories are identifiers helps immensely, especially when his efforts are timed.
How can you gamify and add a bunch more fun to some of your more challenging or distasteful tasks? Consider reading Brian Tracy’s book, Eat That Frog for more ideas on getting things done.
Where do you use metrics, milestones, scoreboards and quotas to measure your achievements and level of success?
Examine both your professional and personal life. What activities produce these results, and how many of them do you consider fun and a source of happiness?
What are some of the fun activities that come to mind that seem to be reserved for weekends, vacations, or other special occasions? Examining how you feel on Friday and Sunday evenings can be one way to see if your work has the positive elements of fun you look forward to.
What activities can and will you add to your days or begin doing to score more fun in your life?
What activities can you do less of or stop entirely to make room for these happiness supplements?
Every summer when I was a kid I got to camp for two months at Indian Lake in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. I look upon those yearly adventures as some of the happiest times of my life. Our days were simple and always included friends, food, fun, and sun.
On July 1st, my daughter Rachel realized FaceTime was not sufficient. She decided to get a COVID test and bring our grandson Weston to Michigan for “Grandma and Pop Pop Camp.”
Family, food, fun and sun are still essential elements of many happy times over a half century later!
What are the essential elements—internal and external—of a full and happy life for you?
How and in what ways can you rediscover the happiness and joy in the simple things in life?
“Today was good, today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”
—Dr. Seuss, Pen Name of Theodor Seuss Geisel
Rachel, Chris, and Weston
On May 17 at 1:16 am, a little miracle named Weston Luke was born, making my daughter Rachel and her husband Chris first-time parents.
It was a very, very good day, and except for the process of labor for Rachel, the excitement and fun was off the charts.
Following the birth, I took a Pop-Pop one-week Paternity Leave from work to be present for the daily changes and growth little Weston experienced with each new day. It seems we adults are far more present to and aware of even the slightest change in newborns than those in our own lives.
How and in what ways can you more fully appreciate all the good and fun each day presents, with the intent and hope that tomorrow will be another one?
“True wisdom lies in gathering the precious things out of each day as it goes by.”
Image from Unsplash by RawPixel
My wife Wendy’s “happy place” is the beach. She loves nothing more, except family and friends, than her time on a sandy ocean beach, looking for interesting and beautiful shells. Among her favorites are brightly colored or interestingly shaped mollusk shells, particularly if they are shaped like a heart or infinity symbol.
When she is not at the beach, she sets a wonderful example for me, my children, and others, by squeezing the most out of each precious day. It is not uncommon for her to alter the hours she sleeps, simply because she doesn’t want to miss any of the joy and sweetness life has to offer.
How and in what ways can you seek, discover, and savor more of the precious things around you to make more of each and every day?
“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, risk-taking, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”
—Mary Lou Cook, late Peace Activist
During the Personal Excellence Workshop that begins each of my coaching programs, my clients list their personal strengths. I am somewhat surprised that less than half of them include creativity in their list.
When prompted about their level of creativity, they humbly deflect, stating things like, “On Occasion / Not Really,” or “That is why I do _____ for a living.”
I suggest that we all are far more creative than we believe and that we all create our lives each and every day, for better or for worse.
How can you take Mary Lou Cook’s coaching to increase your daily level of inventing, experimenting, risk-taking, rule breaking, and mistake making to expand your creative capacity and make your life a lot more fun?