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I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints . . . The sinners are much more fun. – Billy Joel
I’m a 40-something wife, mother of 3 and occasional Very Serious Professional, and I’m still rebelling against the ‘should do’s. I don’t want to be told I should do something, even if I’m the one telling myself I should do it. I don’t want to be Good, Virtuous, and Responsible. That’s for old people. Or boring people.
Not very grown up, I admit. Not sure where this attitude problem comes from. All I know is that as soon as I start thinking, “I should . . . ” my little rebellious brain starts thinking of excuses for why I don’t have to, seeking out loopholes that absolve me from the suddenly onerous ‘should’. As a result, goals that are cast as ‘should’s don’t get done. This means that, if I want to achieve outrageous goals, I have to trick my little inner rebel into thinking my goals are actually Play.
Is this a woman thing? Is it because I have to be Responsible in so many aspects of my life that Responsibility seems like such a drag? Or am I just particularly juvenile?
In any case, I’ve decided to approach my goals in a less virtuous and ‘success-oriented’ manner and, instead, frame them (at least in my mind) in a way that will entice my inner Peter Pan. This means I will cast my goals as play, winning a game, pretending. Thus:
- I should take my writing Seriously becomes => I will play the role of the Great American Writer, complete with costume (beret!), props (great pens! cool journals!), attitude (confident, mysterious, sexy), and output (crazy, fun, silly, amazing pieces)
- I should get a Job becomes => I am going to have a blast connecting with fascinating people who love what they do and brainstorming ideas to connect with other people who do what I love to do. The more, the merrier.
- I should lose weight becomes => I will get outside in the sun and run and play with my crazy dog. I will only eat food that delights my tongue. I will savor cooking, preparing and eating beautiful meals. And – I’m gonna dance and learn to hula hoop! [thanks to Kelly Diels at Cleavage for the link!]
How about you? Do you ever have trouble accomplishing your goals? Does re-casting your Serious Goals as Play help? Would love to know your experience.
Update: Here is proof that it works (it’s on the internet, so it must be true): How do you get people to use the stairs, rather than the escalator? Make the stairs more fun!
Thanks to Thefuntheory.com (and the folks at Volkswagon) for the video – and for a fun site. Check it out!
As always, if you liked this post, please consider sharing with a friend:
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- Setting outrageous goals, part 1 – What in the past year made you squeal, laugh, roar, kick, hop and dance with delight?
- Setting outrageous goals, part 2 – Don’t set goals that suck
- Setting outrageous goals, part 3 – write the story of your life
- Outrageous goals – outrageous ideas – we got ’em
- Achieving your outrageous goals with MAGIC!