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Why can’t work be fun?  The implication is that real work must be difficult, a struggle.  But the true essence of work, the glorious part of work, is being creative.  Enjoying work, or finding some element in it that you can be passionate about, puts you in the frame of mind that encourages creativity.

While fun in work helps nurture creativity, frenetic energy acts against it.  Frenetic energy is that awful experience of buzzing around a lot but ultimately accomplishing little.  It’s panic mode, when you work against yourself and feel stressed out, completely overwhelmed, and besieged by deadlines with everything due at once.  No time to breathe; to grab a meal; to run to the bathroom.

For a long time, I lived this type of life.  Working in the corporate world, there were many times that I didn’t take time to eat, use the bathroom or even catch a breath between meetings.  When we are frenetic, there is no room for fun, creativity suffers, and our health and overall well-being is in jeopardy.

It has taken me a long time to become aware that I was operating in a frenetic work mode.  Once it becomes habit, it’s difficult to break free from it.  In addition, the workload itself grows, since others come to expect you’ll break your back to squeeze out one more project.  Rather than becoming a champion for winning ideas that would make the product or service remarkable, the most one can hope for is checking off another checkbox, mission accomplished.  I made the deadline.  Next …

Self-proclaimed experts will tell you to simply apply affirmations and you will break free; to write down your intention to change and seal it in an envelope or repeat the words to yourself as a mantra:  “I will slow down.  I will focus.  I will learn to have fun.”  Unfortunately, this approach is not very effective.  Just ask millions of folks who vow to lose a few pounds and desperately float from one diet to the next, only to fail time and time again.

Just like getting in shape, the key to successfully abandoning frenetic work habits is to truly embrace changing our lifestyle, deep inside.  To be fit for the rest of our lives, we must commit to permanently changing our eating habits and making exercise routine just like brushing our teeth.  To leave the frenetic work style, or even to simply find passion in the work we do, it takes the same level of commitment.

Tip:  Research studies cite that it takes at least 28-30 days to change a habit.  After about a month, any new activity that is introduced will become a routine.  So, the key is being consistent and introducing change one little step at a time.

The results are worth it.  Once we are truly enjoying what we do, or find a way to bring out the passion in what we do, creativity is free to flow.  We become receptive to new ideas and we seed the world with fresh insights of our own.  We ship remarkable products.  We provide outstanding services.  We build new and exciting client relationships.  We self-actualize.  We value excellence and being remarkable.  And that’s what makes it all worthwhile.    

In the book, “Purple Cow,” Seth Godin acknowledges that we are all born unique but only a few of us are remarkable.  While vacationing in France, he was mesmerized for twenty minutes gazing at herds of cows covering the portrait rich landscape when suddenly they all faded into oblivion.  When an image of a purple cow appeared in his mind, this image grabbed his attention and began his thought experiment.  “The essence of the Purple Cow is that it must be remarkable.”  His “book is about the why, the what, and the how of remarkable.”   

We all have innate creativity.  While reading Seth Godin’s blog on Coloring Inside the Lines and Mary Warner’s blog, I’d Rather Color Outside the Lines, I realized that every individual has a unique voice that must be discovered.  Did you color inside or outside the lines when you were young? 

The key is awakening the creative sleeper inside, or simply freeing it from the frenetic work style monster.  In the coming articles, I will explore the familiar as well as the uncharted terrain of the world of creativity.  Will you join me on this journey?  Click here for more information on discovering your creative power.  Stay tuned for new scenes and interesting adventures as we enter the creative playground. 

 

 Will you come out and play?

 Wanda

2 Responses to “Work, the Creative Playground”

  1. keri says:

    Since I am currently in a weight loss routine, I can totally relate to the idea of small steps. I think it’s awesome to remember how to “play” and beable to actually do it with out feeling bad about it. I think my biggest struggle as a mom is I don’t remember how to play and get aggitated when it goes on to long or when he wants to do things other than the activity I had planned. It took so long to get the courage up to do the activity, that it defeats me before we begin.
    Strangely at work, I bring out the play in everyone else, but if work makes me miserable, I quit. If it excites me though, and I enjoy it, I often learn things I never thought I would be good at before. It’s amazing when that happens.

  2. faulkrob says:

    I find this to be so true. When I am enjoying what I do and feel I have a purpose, things just seem to work out. I am really looking forward to seeing your future articles on this subject.

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