I find that many people are in a better mood on Fridays than on most other days of the week. And because of their better mood, they may even have a little more fun at work as well. Or is it they make work a little more fun? Is it the day of the week that makes work fun, or is it our approach to work, our attitude, that makes the fun?
Over the last few posts, we have been talking about having FUN at work! Fun in the sense of an acronym that stands for F – Focused Priorities, U – Uncovering the Obstacles, and today, N – Never stop Dreaming.
Remember back to when you were younger and you dreamed of being a famous ball player, or a princess, or a powerful king or queen, a prophet, an inventor, or a world traveler, or _____. Well, the possibilities are really quite endless… I hope you were able to fill in the blank. I hope you had lots of dreams. In fact, I hope you continue to have dreams. It’s dreams that created the smart phone, and then the apps that can be used on it. Somebody created the car, air conditioning, hail-resistant shingles, coffee, hard-boiled eggs, cinnamon toast, asiago bagels, 55-inch flat-screen TVs, etc. There are better ways of doing things all the time. I’ll bet you can imagine a better way of something, if you gave yourself the opportunity.
Often, we are so busy, that we don’t allow ourselves the time to think. Oh, I know, we are thinking all the time, but those are the times that our minds are so cluttered that we don’t have time to think clearly. To think fresh and new, we must come ready—with an “empty mind.” In martial arts, this is called mushin. Empty the mind of everything else in ordeer to receive new information and new thoughts.
For me, I find the best time of the day to think new thoughts is early in the morning. Before I have cluttered my mind with all the other things of the day, I allow my mind to ponder, and sometimes wander or take its own journey. I may even ask myself the question, “Where do I see myself going to become all I can become?”
This reminds me of a survey that sociologist Anthony Campolo conducted, where he asked the question “If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently?” The following three themes came out: I would (1) reflect more, (2) risk more, (3) do more things that would live on after I am dead.
Aristotle is credited with the phrase, “We are repeatedly what we do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.”
And more currently, Peter Diamondis, engineer and entrepreneur, said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it for yourself.”
I do think that we start out more creatively, and with more dreaming tendencies as babies and children.
Many of us teach our children the creative aspects of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Santa Claus brings toys to all the good boys and girls all over the world on one night of the year and coal to all the naughty children. As children, we wanted very much to believe in this good-willed spirit. And before anyone gets concerned about me destroying that notion, rest assured, I won’t be. Children “come of age” usually because there are some older kids who are being raised in an environment where negativity rears its ugly head. We may have even talked to ourselves in this manner. “What are you thinking—how is it even possible for one person to travel completely around the world in one night?” And then there’s the questions about chimneys and toys. Once someone raises the question of reasonable doubt in another, doubt now exists.
Instead, I prefer that kids believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. In fact, as a faithful person, I find greater value in far deeper beliefs, which have a far greater impact than Santa Claus on how I live my life.
Some doubt is good—especially if it drives one to look for answers. Getting back to babies and how they learn and grow in their environment, and as it applies even to the creative side of our brains like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny—B. F. Skinner said, “No one asks how to motivate a baby. A baby naturally explores everything it can get at, unless restraining forces have been at work. And this doesn’t die out, it’s wiped out.”
If you are a bit chronologically advanced (older), remember when computers were first coming out and the memory was something like 256K? Someone said, this is all the memory we will ever need on a computer. If everyone believed that statement, where would we be? Today, we would not have laptops, smart phones, and gigabyte thumb drives.
If instead you have great ambition, follow the words of Mildred McAfee: “Take as big a step as possible in the direction of fulfilling it, but if the step is only a tiny one, don’t worry if it is the largest one now possible.”
My friend, who do you dream about being? Focus on growing the skills, developing the talents to become all that you ever wanted to be. You won’t get there tomorrow, but someday when you look back, you will be so glad that you got started.
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