On this day last year, I published my first ever blog post. It was mortifying… the coaching programme I was on had asked us to blog about our top 5 values and, although I’d hoped my writing debut would be a deeply philosophical reflection on noble, worthy concepts like integrity, respect and honesty, the fourth value that had snuck into my top 5 was:
I can’t write that, I thought. I’m a serious coachee/entrepreneur (ish) type person. Everyone else will have more grown up values. Can’t I at least pretend I’m a pillar of respect and integrity?
But despite trying to wriggle out of sounding like the emotional equivalent of a toddler, I began to accept that playfulness and a spirit of adventure can be more than just silly and frivolous… they bring things to life. And they were what had been missing from the very serious person I’d become.
They’re the reason why I can’t just write a CV for someone. I have to turn it into a hero’s journey (like the Lion King!). I couldn’t just teach grammar (boring!). I had to spend a week on an intensive digital animation course because I was obsessed with using a magic, huggable penguin to demonstrate passive structures (oh how they laughed at my amateur attempts to move a cardboard penguin across the screen!).
If you don’t invite it in, fun sneaks in anyway (the silly dance you do in your kitchen when you’ve fried an egg just right (verging on crispy at the edges, runny in the middle) for example).
We impose so many unquestioned rules on ourselves about what’s allowed and what isn’t… you can’t do important work and think like a kid at the same time. Asking for help is weak. If you say no, people won’t like you. Fun is frivolous… business people don’t do fun.
So I started owning my frivolous values (the one after fun is effortlessness… I’m basically an adolescent sea lion). Because when I find I’m not living them, I’m miserable… and boring.
Own every aspect of you… the Joey dance, the huggable penguin, the surfing sea lion or whatever makes you happy. Own the things you care about… because if it’s important to you, it matters.
And if you embody what matters, then guess what? That’s called integrity.
Have fun today 🙂
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