Thursday, August 7, 2014

Seriously, y'all...

Friedman's Fables begins with four illusions in need of shattering, among them "that seriousness is deeper than playfulness."

Growing up, we quickly get the playfulness shoved out of us. Life is deadly serious, we're told. 

And yes, there is plenty horrible in the world. 

And there is always work to do, but dilligence need not be humorless. 

Heck, with a little whimsy and creativity, our productivity can surge, and we can break through to new understandings.

Some days I take myself far too seriously, and the items on my to-do list seem like a precarious stack of heavy rough stones. I accomplish things with a certain relief, but little joy.

When I enter in a spirit of play, everything feels lighter and so much more
For better or for worse, I do not have this
basket of llama heads in my office.Yet.
possible. I take things a little less personally, and with something of a "try, try, try again" attitude. If I fail, it's an amusing pratfall, where I dust myself off, take a bow, and carry on.

Getting to playful is not entirely natural or even comfortable for me. In my more cynical moments I roll my eyes at the mere idea of an attitude adjustment, considering it an unwelcome detour from nose to the grindstone. 

What does help me make the shift?

  • Goofy playlists
  • Amusing articles and webcomics
  • Joking with my coworkers.
  • Little whimsical objects in my office-my timer is a little blue penguin, my magnets are geometric shapes in bright colors.
  • When I head to a meeting, I have pens in a variety of pretty colors and I get to change the ink color every few lines.
  • A quick walking break, especially to take a picture of something amusing
What helps you to lighten your mood and your load?

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