The problems that face us day today at work are small compared to the challenges facing most of the world. Keep your perspective and don’t take things personally or yourself too seriously. Laugh every day with others.
When we think about keeping things fun at work we may envision coffee bars, foosball tables or going out for beers on Friday. Although they may be nice to have and fun to do, it’s possible they are not required to tap into creating a fun environment for yourself and others while at work.
On my way to Toronto this week I finished reading the ground-breaking book, “Stealing Fire,” by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal. They have conducted extensive research in flow states, defined as an “optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best. Apparently, there is a kind of revolution that is spreading to the mainstream. And it is fueling a trillion-dollar underground economy and forcing us to rethink how we can all lead richer, more productive, more satisfying lives.”
I realized that for me, I am having the most fun when I find myself in one of these flow states. This includes when I have the experience of being fully connected with a team of people. Sometimes that is with our internal team here at Momentum and sometimes its when we are in the middle of a leadership offsite with one of our clients, as was the case for me this past week. As they describe in the book, “action and awareness start to merge. Our sense of self vanishes. Our sense of time as well.”
Its when it feels much more like playing than working. What if we became committed to having our work and our play become one experience? Where we find ourselves thoroughly enjoying what we do and having fun with those around us?
I’ve often overheard our two daughters, both in their twenties, relate to the groups of people they work with as a tribe, as a squad, even as family. They are creating work environments that blur the lines between work and play. And get this, their professionalism and performance is off the charts. Thank you next generation for waking us up! Maybe there is an opportunity directly in front of us: To snap out of the inherited illusion of a required, serious-business mentality to finding joy, play and fun in our every-day lives, even while, and most especially, when we are at work. I’m ready to heed the call.
Who’s with me?