We are a driven culture. A can-do society with an addiction, at times, to over-achieving. Or maybe that’s just me.
Or me and many of my clients.
One thing I’ve learned in my years of supporting – and challenging – leaders is that at least as necessary as achieving and doing and getting things done, is resting and playing and enjoying ourselves. It is the fuel that can stoke our fire and the space that can ignite our imagination and innovation.
I’ve witnessed clients (and myself) push themselves to the point of distraction and even error. I’ve seen clients work so hard and sleep so little that their worst behavior traits inflamed. I’ve had clients who felt they had to always be so serious that they left no room for creativity.
And I’ve watched how leaders, teams, and organizations thrive and flourish – and achieve – when they take a break, or laugh, or make time for fun.
The mind and body are powerful, and when we give ourselves what we need to feel strong physically and engaged mentally and emotionally, we can be at our best. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure we enjoy ourselves, and enjoy ourselves often.
That person who delights you and makes you laugh will most likely help you see things in a new way and ease up on your stress. That favorite book or walk through the park will give your mind a break so that you can jump back into the challenge even more determined. That great movie, yoga class, favorite cup of coffee or glass of wine, comfortable chair, beautiful flower – whatever it is that does it for you – each of these are a way to strengthen your leadership.
I challenge my clients to make lists of the things they love – at work, at home, in life – and to actively add a few things from their lists into their daily life. As often as possible. I challenge myself to stop and breathe and enjoy the moment, before I dive into my next task.
I have learned, and I firmly believe, that enjoying ourselves is a key to powerful leadership and an amazing life. And it’s a fun key to put into practice.