Here’s our final year-starter from Henry David Thoreau. It’s one of my favorites:
“Not by constraint or severity shall you have access to wisdom but by abandonment and childlike mirthfulness.”
This reminds me if I’m going to get any wisdom, I’ll need to relax and have a little fun with it.
And this is important because if you watch the faces of folks going to work, you’re apt to see a lot of “constraint and severity.” A lot of stress and tension. And you wonder how much of that leaks out into home relationships.
Thoreau is suggesting it is actually wiser to bring a little playfulness to your work and to problems and relationships.
As someone has said, bring a spirit of playfulness to your work and you won’t have to work so hard at your play when you get home.
A sales manager for a big telecommunications firm called all of his salespersons together and told them: “This quarter, I’m not going to ask you how many calls you made or how many sales you closed. And we’re not going to talk about any of that at our weekly meetings. Instead, we are going to focus on how to make your work more enjoyable. We still have to do the work, but let’s talk about ways to enjoy it more.”
What happened? You guessed it. Over the next quarter, this team actually made more sales than any other team in the company. And they did it while making fewer calls.
Wouldn’t 2020 be a good year to explore the possibilities of seeking wisdom through “abandonment and childlike mirthfulness?”