My niece turned 9 over the weekend and she decided the best way to celebrate 9 years of existence was a party at a skating rink. I don’t have any kids, but when your niece looks you in the eye with wild excitement and asks you to roller skate with her…all form of logic goes out the window. I hadn’t put on a pair of roller skates in about 15 years, so saying I was a little nervous was a monstrous understatement.
I didn’t just get roller skates. I had to get the speed skates. I figured if I’m going to go down, I might as well go down in style in a blazing fire of glory. All the guys reading this totally know what I’m talking about. I was a little wobbly at first, but I found my groove pretty quickly. I had an absolute blast and today I feel like I have been on the business end of a ball bat. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The look on my niece’s face made it worth it. Not only was it great to see her have a great time, I genuinely enjoyed myself.
I started my Monday with so much vigor and residual excitement. I felt like I had gotten younger just over the weekend. Sure my body hurt, but my spirit and emotional well-being was recharged and ready to take on the world. I had lost sight of the value of approaching fun with reckless abandon. It was liberating and rejuvenating all at the same time.
So, what have you been doing for fun? We (in the northern hemisphere) are coming up on summer. The time to get out and shake off the cabin fever. The weather is much more welcoming to be a little more active. We can easily get so caught up in being responsible and doing leadership stuff that we forget part of good leadership is having fun. It needs to be an integral part of how we choose to do life in and out of work.
- Laugh out loud – LOL has become such commonplace with texting and chat abbreviations that it has almost lost its meaning. Take some time to have a good belly laugh at least once each day. Life is funny, so let’s not take it so serious all the time. Nothing feels quite so good as having your face and belly hurt because you laughed until you cried.
- Be a kid – Stop worrying so much about “being a professional” that you become a complete bore who acts like you starch your underpants. We’re all humans living on the same planet. Laughing and humor is a natural part of our humanity. Roll with it and find something fun and interesting in your world. Explore and have fun!
- Laugh at yourself – We all do some bone headed crap occasionally. Learn to laugh at yourself and don’t get your nose out of joint when others find your bumblings and mistakes hilarious. Just be sure to return the favor when they wade into the shallow end of the gene pool.
- Let others laugh – Don’t be such a prude that if someone (or a group of someone’s) are laughing at work. If laughing means people aren’t doing their job, then you have a pretty pitiful place to work. Wouldn’t you rather people actually enjoy themselves at work? Engaged workers are happy workers and happy people laugh.
Over the next week or two, try something you’ve always wanted to do for fun but never had the courage. Maybe you haven’t done it because you worry what others may think about you. Let your hair down and enjoy life. We only go around once, so don’t leave any regrets…no matter how small they may seem now. Live loudly, laugh deeply and love wildly!