Can you take anything fun and turn it into work?
Like that fun house project which is now like 11 separate to do items?
Or that party you’re going to where you’ve decided to make your own costume?
Or that garden you decided to start which turned into 10 different varieties of fruits and vegetables?
When you begin to transition out of the rat race you discover this thing called free time – which may freak you out like it did me. You try to fill this free time – with to do lists. You over commit and take the expectations you had in your career home with you and anywhere else you go…and you overdo life. Not in a fun “I love life” kind of way but in a “I’m tired and everything seems like work” kind of way. The word “free” in “free time” has not changed you and it did not change me. I wish it was that easy…
Why? Well if you’ve been in a position of leadership for a substantial period of time…it may be because you’ve had to. While having a solid work ethic can be a good thing, you need to be able to shut it off…or shut her off.
Yep her. It’s easier to identify our behaviors and habits by giving them faces. The her is Ms.Work Ethic today… (note: she is one of the characters in my book called the “The Birth of a Dream Catalyst: Unlocking the Dream from Within”).
You see Ms.Work Ethic has been controlling your brain for a LONG time and she wants to continue to turn fun into work. Ms.Work Ethic is constantly trying to quiet her fears by covering them up with busyness. She’s the part of you who’s a perfectionist. The one who can’t let a glass stay on the table without a coaster…the one who won’t let you plant just one tomato plant because that would be too easy…she is why you agree with Walk Kelly’s quote “We have met the enemy and she/he is us”.…
Overwork and business is one contributing factor to feeling lost. You may have sadly turned everything in your life into work and have forgotten how to have fun. This isn’t something that you can change overnight yet with practice you can change it – my life is proof.
The next time you have free time tell Ms. Work Ethic she’s not invited! While she does a great job of holding you together she is also part of the reason you feel lost and like you’re falling apart. Here is one way to spell FUN. It’s these three letters that help take you from feeling lost to finding yourself again. Isn’t it worth a try?
Fraggle Rock: Just listen to the theme song….that is all…seriously though – what sparks your imagination? Is it animations, music, creating things, coloring, watching movies, reading, talking or ______? What doesn’t feel like work to you?
Unicorns: What has become a unicorn in your life? You know that rare thing that you believed existed as a kid and now you no longer believe because it seems silly? Often in that longing and that silliness are your dreams. What’s missing? Think about what brings you joy, love and laughter.
Nostalgia: Spent time reliving the “good old days” with friends and family. Reflect on how grateful you are that they’re weren’t camera phones or Face Book around when you were younger. Relive the good memories of the past. Have lunch with an old friend; go roller skating – reconnect with the kid within you. Think of who your mentors have been. Write a thank you letter to one of them.
How will you use these 3 Letters to Help You Find Yourself TODAY?
Copyright 2015 – 2016, Mary R. Miller Author of “The Birth of a Dream Catalyst: Unlocking the Dream from Within”