From Little League to the Office Part III: Have Fun

Of the three rules, this one is hardest for me. I do pretty well with hustling and respecting others. It may sound strange but I have to remind myself to have fun frequently. Watching my son, Hall, grow up has helped me loosen up. As a player, he hustled, was respectful and usually remained light-hearted along the way. One game I was coaching third base and Hall was on first after getting a base hit. The next batter hit the ball into shallow right field. Hall ran to second and kept coming, sliding safely into third. I was dusting him off when he grinned and proudly showed me a worm he had picked up at first base. I laughed and was reminded that this really was just a game.

Rule #3: Have Fun

Life is really hard at times. Even so, we could use some perspective along the way. We need a way to blow off some steam on a regular basis. Pressure valves keep devices from blowing up. How do you release internal pressure? What do you do that really makes you come alive? Who were you with and what were you doing the last time your really laughed hard? I mean a belly laugh. Maybe you need to plan to do this more often.

Some people are energized by being alone (introverts). If that is you, make time in your week to be sure that happens. Do you have a place you can go, an activity you enjoy by yourself that is a reset for you? Some get lost in a book. Others take a walk outside to reconnect with nature. Maybe it is taking a drive in the countryside. I love the mountains and the beach but I can’t get there very often. On a daily basis I start with reflective time in my living room chair to get some perspective on what’s on my plate. Weekly I really enjoy reading the Sunday paper in front of a ballgame. The lake is a great place for me once or twice a month to enjoy nature and do projects. If you are an introvert make sure you are carving out time regularly to recharge.

Others get energy by being around others (extroverts). What groups do you have fun with regularly? Do you have a hobby or play a sport routinely with a group of people? Do you volunteer frequently for a cause that is important to you? Do you have a group of friends you can easily laugh with doing whatever? My wife and I were invited to join a Never Have I Ever group. We get together with other couples and take turns choosing something to do as a group that one member has always wanted to do. It has been fun learning to line dance at a Country and Western joint, water skiing in costumes, figuring our way out of an Escape Room, learning to curl at an ice rink and hitting a late night dance club. The key here is intentionality. We all love the organic, unplanned times that turn out fun but can you count on that happening regularly? Admittedly, there is plenty of room for both. The point is to make sure it happens for you frequently enough for you to get energized and gain some needed perspective along the way.

Lastly, most of us do not spend the majority of our careers in our dream job. If your work is a grind, look for ways to tap into a passion while you are there. If you like to cook then consider bringing in one of your specialties to share with coworkers. If you enjoy sports consider putting together a softball team from work or organizing a group to go to a ballgame together. This can help add some fun to the inevitably mundane parts of every job. Consider creating a personal mission statement that will help give you meaning and purpose at work. It will also provide clarity and a filter when making decisions about your future.

Hustle, respect others and have fun were three rules I came up with to help remind the young baseball players how we were going to measure success. I did not realize the impact it would have on me as I applied them not only to sports but also at work and in life. By the way, Hall is having fun as a financial planner today.

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