Do you feel like you are working harder than ever before and getting nowhere? If you do, you aren’t alone. According to an International Labor Organization study, Americans now work almost a month more than the Japanese and three months more than Germans. We are also working harder. In a survey, nearly 40% of workers described their office environment as “most like a real life survivor program.” In other findings the American Institute of Stress states that stress due to job insecurity has skyrocketed. Studies also say we are experiencing a trend of stress, concern and worry that is not only impacting productivity but also our physical and emotional health. While we can focus on the “what’s wrong” or “what’s so”, I’d rather create a Conscious StrategyTM to support us living powerfully and experiencing great success.
There is some stress that creates a positive response – such as the stress on a violin string – the appropriate amount allows there to be a great resonance when stroked, too much and there is a screeching howl. The ultimate quest is to find a balance, a dance between the two, yin and yang. I recently had the opportunity to see this first hand with my web consultant this past Sunday. I know it doesn’t sound like I was being too balanced working on a Sunday evening, trust me I was, I had just come from a long and fun workout – dancing nonstop for 2 ½ hours with some great friends.
When I met with Tom Elliott we got right down to business. First thing you want to know about Tom is he’s CEO of CKMG, besides being an aficionado in his industry he’s a man’s man who served as an Army Paratrooper, successful entrepreneur and now my link (pun intended) to the ever expansive business and marketing opportunities of cyber world. During our business conversation he light heartedly showed me a trophy he recently won. It sat proudly on his desk and read “Connect Four Tournament Champions”. Ok, I had to smile, mainly because you could see the joy all over his face and secondly I hadn’t played Connect Four since I was a kid. He and his COO had joined a team at a local pub and competed against other teams at Connect Four. I started laughing out loud, as Tom shared the highlights of their competition. This was a full force tournament with T-shirts, trophies and all the trimmings.
Conscious StrategyTM Fun, Laughter & Play Activate the Brain
Tom was a glowing example one of the easiest, yet not always utilized, Conscious StrategiesTM a successful entrepreneur can create; fun, play and laughter. So often we forget about the “F-U-N” and focus solely on the J-O-B. When we negate experiencing fun, laughter and play we aren’t allowing ourselves to reboot, chill or relax. I’m sure you’ve heard laughter is the best medicine. When was the last time you played a fun board game? Laughed so hard your drink came up through your nose? Got friends together for some beach volleyball? Studies show how important it is to activate and stimulate the brain in different regions, to increase mind flexibility, so if you spend all your time focusing on the business of numbers, business strategies, marketing, management you are utilizing more of the left hemisphere of your brain and there is an important need to use the right side of your brain, for continued limberness of creativity, fun and joy. Which by the way will bring new opportunities to your problem solving or inventive creation process in your business. The thought of grown professionals playing Connect Four in a pub in Santa Monica had my cheeks aching.
As adults we forget how to play. Not only did Tom have a blast (check out the pics), but he also allowed himself some time to have fun and set himself up to win – not just the Connect Four Tournament – but in life, through keeping his balance. What’s the point if you’re just working all the time and not enjoying the journey? Trust me, the mental health benefits alone will astound you. So the next time you are feeling stressed about your j-o-b or the m-o-n-e-y go out and
P-L-A-Y for a bit, then come back to your project and I promise you will have a better prospective and a new look at how to approach it.
Thanks Tom for the reminder. Congrats to Tom and Jim for being Connect Four Champions – I dare say they are champions in other areas as well!
Anyone for Yahtzee? See you soon!