If you’re reading this on Sunday morning, then two things:
I’m on a Plane to NY
I got the newsletter out on time this week (Gold Star for Greg!)
I want to explore the topic of Work As Play.
This came up recently with some friends as we’re all around that age/stage where you think about shit like do we love our jobs/careers? Is this it? Can I do something else? Do I want to do something else? Should I do something else? Can I afford to do something else?
First...Work is work. If it was Play, they’d call it play but work really is work and no matter how close your work gets to feeling like play, it’s still work. Start thinking your work is all play and you’ll find yourself looking for new work....
‘Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions.’ – Mark Twain
I am really getting tired of some of these “Influencer” fuckwads out there preaching and posting every day about how we should just drop everything, follow our passions, quit our jobs and run off somewhere to where the grass is seemingly greener and where all of our dreams will come true so that we can live an insta story perfect life. That if we don’t love every minute of our current life, who we work for, who we work with and what we’re doing then we’re somehow not being true to ourselves.
I’ve also unfollowed and am willing to debate with anyone who believes in the notion that we need to be hustling’, grinding and competing every damn day. I think we’re drowning in motivation, inspiration, books, videos and social media telling us we need to be not only working 24/7 but that our work also has to be the single greatest source of fulfillment in our lives. It's bullshit.
I’m speaking to the 1%’ers...The married with kids, successful, balanced man who has a lot figured out but is still figuring out more every day....
So how close can you get to having your “Work As Play”?
Maybe this dates me a bit, this is called The Midlife Male after all but remember that scene in City Slickers with Billy Crystal (And do not tell me that you haven’t seen City Slickers at least 20 times....) where he says “I’m not gonna quit my job, I’m just gonna do it better...In fact, I’m just gonna do everything better”. That’s it! Right there. Just do that. Do your job better. Do everything better.
For example, I’m in the insurance business. Quite frankly, I could insure anything...But I choose not to because just “insuring” stuff doesn’t interest me...What inspires me is working with people, brands and businesses that I have a real interest in. So if you can eat it, drink it, wear it, workout with it...Then I like to insure it. I’ve spent 20 years combining my personal passions with my professional expertise. That’s how I make my “Work As Play”. I seek out those types of opportunities, like minded people, organizations and I work very hard to be an expert in those fields where I have a genuine interest, where I’m a consumer, advocate, believer and where I can add real value, have better relationships and be inspired.
I’m on a movie thing today so bare with me...That scene in Jerry McGuire (Don’t tell me you haven’t seen Jerry McGuire...) where Jerry and Rod are hugging at the end and the other football player turns to his agent and says “Why don’t we have that kind of relationship?” And so the agent tries to hug him and he gets pushed away...That’s it! Right there. Which one are you? If you have trusting and authentic relationships with people and businesses you really care about, you’ll have achieved “Work as Play”. If you don’t...Your work is just work and eventually you’ll go in for that hug and get pushed away...
If you’re a lawyer and you love music, be the best music lawyer out there. If you’re an accountant and you love sports, be the best accountant that works with athletes. If you’re an insurance broker who loves food and fitness, be the best food and fitness insurance expert in the market. If you’re a teacher who loves acting, be the best drama teacher in the school district.
Leo Babauta said it very well. "I can’t stress the importance of work as play enough. It has turned my life into something joyful, it’s allowed me to create and accomplish so much more than ever before, and I love every minute of it. I wish you nothing less than this simple happiness."