When you’re able to do what you love around other people doing what they love, communication feels effortless.
Ideas and information flow freely between everyone. It feels good. You want to do as much as possible. You’re more productive than ever, but it feels less like work. That’s because it’s what humans are best at: play.
So a phrase I can’t help but use when I ask people to get into the frame of mind necessary to work with me when I’m leading a team or coaching is “play with me.” It’s a phrase that works some days better than others.
One time, I was doing a workshop for a group of entrepreneurs in South Dakota. They were all stern-looking guys, many wearing Western gear. I was wrapping up my opening speech and I said, “Okay, are you ready to play with me?” They didn’t expect to hear that. They looked around and asked each other, “Did this guy just ask us to play with him?”
When I’m leading or coaching, I’m in my playground. I love helping people set their goals. I love to ask questions that motivate you to live your life. If you have a desire to work on yourself, or a desire to learn more tools to do it, and if you’re ready to play, then we can do this. If you don’t do this for yourself, if you don’t take charge of your own life, who will?
Working on yourself doesn’t have to be a chore, and it certainly won’t work well if it’s something you don’t find enjoyable. There may be some uncomfortable truths you’d rather not address. It may be surprising to see the habits you need to change and the new ones you’ll have to cultivate, but making the adjustments you need to make to become the person you really want to be is a purely positive process. It’s something everyone has an ability to do, and once you allow yourself to be open to it, learning lessons and making changes in order to achieve results is one of the most rewarding activities in life.
So let’s play. Ask yourself: What do you want in your world? Who do you want in your world? As you look around and notice what or who is or isn’t in your life right now, realize—it’s up to you.
It’s all up to you.
Are you ready to play?