Yeah we all grow up and at some stage in our life’s develop some sort of physical and mental maturity. Some people more, some people less.
Maturity is a good thing, it comes with experience and having gone through certain things will ultimately help you make better decision at important intersections at your life. However can maturity have a negative side as well?
Yes, if it kills your inner child!
All too often I see people who go through their days like robots, mentally cold and stiff, trying to fit into systems they feel unwell within. It’s like at some stage they are not allowed to have fun anymore and do nonsense without being penalized.
Fortunately with my current employer, childlike behavior and play is encouraged within certain boundaries as well. As an example, we had a Onesie day in the office the other week with a substantial amount of employees dressed like kangaroos and cows as well as penguins and zebras. There was also one bat and pikachu.
At first it is relatively hard to trade shirt and jeans for a dino overall, but hey after a while (and with other people participating) it can be a really enjoyable break from your normal work life. Not mentioning the lasting memories captures in video and still images.
Here’s a our team photo from that day –
Another example (and a little less extreme) is incorporating play into every day. Whether that’s a game of chess or poker or pool – who cares? As long as it’s fun and get’s your mind of all the grand problems it’s grinding on for the rest of the time.
When is the last time you took 1-2 hours out of your busy day just to sit in front of the Wii and chase Super Mario across the screen? (phone/tablet to just play angry birds without feeling guilty)
Again, this is quite hard to do, especially when you are in business, 24/7 connected and maybe responsible for a team or a family at home as a mother or father – think about it as an investment into your own energy levels.
I recently read an article on HBR called Manage your Energy, Not your Time. Some really good points in there how to stay in shape from an energy perspective.
Last example and something we all can do – cycling.
It’s one of the most liberating and exciting forms of transportation, rolling on 2 wheels. If you ever ridden a bicycle, Scooter or Motorbike you know exactly what I mean. It’s probably not the forward motion, but the adrenaline being poured all over our brains while leaning in a curve and defying gravity, zooming around a corner in a smooth motion.
For kids, this comes naturally, the excitement to get on a bike and get moving is just there. For adults it often has to be learned again – ask yourself – when was the last time you cycled? I know many people who do it weekly, but equally many who don’t.
Yesterday I had another 1:1 outdoor meeting and decided to take my meeting partner on a spin via bicycle. We raced each other down the harbor for 20 minutes, up some hills and around some crazy serpentines – arrived breathless, slightly sweaty and perfectly happy back at work. It’s hard to explain what a difference this kind of stuff can make to a day.
Oh, almost 6:30, time to get the monkeys out of bed!
Before I leave, last advise – give it a try, do something a child would do today. Just for the sake of doing it.