Do you ever catch yourself making your life harder than it has to be? I know I’ve been guilty of it. We’ve all experienced this: we bombard our brain with negative, self-defeating messages like, I hate this job, I wish I didn’t have to do this, I’m not good at this. When we say things like this to ourselves, we program our brain to not do a good job (or not even start doing what needs to be done). I know I have a hard time feeling motivated toward new projects when I’ve decided something going to be difficult before I even start.
I want to share a fantastic strategy I picked up for having more fun and enjoying the moments in life. I learned this from one of my mentors, Dini Petty, who is a great inspiration to me. She hosted her own television show (which was the number-one-rated talk show in Canada) whose theme was Live, Love, and Laugh. I believe her show was so highly rated because she was enthusiastic, funny, and always left people feeling uplifted and good. Dini and her staff of producers decided there was already too much negative television and they wanted to add value to the lives of their viewers with positive subjects.
One thing that I realized that helped make Dini such a tremendous success, is that she deliberately programmed her mood before being introduced to her live audience. She would turn to the staff and producers and announce, “Let’s have fun! Let’s go PLAY TV!”
After watching Dini consistently do a great job, I decided to check out her strategy and try playing at certain tasks that, in the past, I’ve considered difficult or unpleasant. The week after I observed Dini’s strategy, I had three speaking engagements back-to-back in different cities. This type of trip was usually grueling, but this time I decided to take a new approach. I told myself before I left for the airport that I was going to PLAY vacation traveler and that I was going to enjoy the trip. I realized that in the past I had created the feeling of dread because of my attitude of “let’s get this trip over with.” So this time, instead of feeling stressed out and hurried to get to my destination, I simply kept saying to myself, “I’m a vacation traveler and I have all the time I need.” I faced the same obstacles I normally do while traveling, but the difference this time was that none of the obstacles were as stressful as they normally are.
Since it worked so well while traveling, I thought I’d to try this new strategy out on an office task I’d really been avoiding. I have tons of research, and while I’m working, it tends to get stacked up around my personal office. Once it’s stacked, it winds up getting shuffled and re-shuffled, never actually getting put away (also wasting time and therefore money). So I decided that I would PLAY professional file organizer for just one hour. I tackled the job with the mindset that it was my most important task at the moment and I was going to enjoy doing it quickly and efficiently. As I began organizing my research and filing it away, instead of my usual muttering under my breath, I kept my focus on the fact that I was good at this and that I would enjoy the benefits of a clean office after it was done. To my surprise, I finished faster than I ever had before…and it was a lot less painful than ever before.
Food for thought: go “play” whatever role you have to be at the moment. If you are playing golf, be a pro; if you’re gardening, be a professional landscaper! If you have what you consider to be mundane tasks to accomplish, pretend you’re a pro while you’re doing it. Try it; time passes more quickly and you’ll probably even have fun! Most importantly, you’ll feel better about what you’re doing.
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