Let Your Little One Play

Do you have fun? It’s a pretty simple question. Do you have fun? You’d think it would be an easy question to answer, but I’ve recently become clearly aware that I was not having fun – at least not in the ways that I wanted to. One of the unexpected challenges of deeply loving what you do is that working is truly enjoyable, so it can be easy to confuse it with actually having fun. It’s often easy for me to fill my schedule up with work and networking, and since I also love people and conversations, I’m almost always having fun when I’m “working.” But that’s not the same as just having fun.

While that’s been changing for me over the past six months, I really threw the switch on fun during my recent vacation trip to the Hawaiian Islands. In fact, it wasn’t me who threw the switch – it was the little boy part of me. And I’m inviting you to let your little boy or little girl take over the fun for you. Despite conventional wisdom, lawyers can have and are allowed to have fun. Trust me!

During my trip to Hawaii, I reconnected with a friend of mine who’d been following my travels on Facebook, which included the first three days of my trip on Oahu. When I saw him, he commented on my Facebook posts and pictures and said, “It’s been so great to see your adventures on Facebook. Standing at the ocean. Pictures of your feet in the ocean. Pictures of the many new things you’re doing, clearly for the first time. It’s like a little boy.” And that’s when it hit me, and I told him that’s exactly who’s been having this adventure—the giddy little boy inside of me.

You may not often hear the word giddy, but it’s a word that I love and often use when I’m really happy and excited about something (anything). That’s exactly what I experienced throughout much of my Hawaii trip – giddy joy, excitement and fun. While I, as an adult, can have fun, my little boy is the one who really likes having fun, trying new things and smiling in ways that only little boys can smile. He – my little boy – is the one that longs to have more fun and seeks pleasure just for the sake of pleasure (without any agenda, schedule or plan). It’s my little boy who is best at living in and experiencing the moment because, after all, our little one doesn’t care about schedules and plans, but revels in the moment and the experience.

Do I have your attention? Are you ready to tap into the joy of the little one inside you and let him or her come out and play? I know he or she wants to come out. I know that your friends, family and even team members would love to see more of your inner child coming out. There’s always plenty of time to be working hard, focused and diligent, but there’s way too little time allowed for just having fun. By the way, you can also have fun at work, but you have to be open to it and let your little one run the fun show. Frankly, as the adult you can be way too somber and take life way too seriously, and lawyers often bring a new art to the practice of being serious and intense. Isn’t it about time you skipped across the floor, jumped in some puddles and colored outside the lines?

By now I hope your little one is getting excited about coming out more often. As you’re reading this article, your little one is saying “Yes, yes, let’s play!” The only question is whether you’ll be willing to slow down enough, lighten up enough and unwind enough to let the fun happen. While I had already started on the journey to more fun, the trip to Hawaii helped me to really unleash my little boy, but you don’t have to go to Hawaii to let your little one out. It only takes a decision to have more fun and to be willing to let yourself be yourself—and perhaps to do something small to remind yourself that you have a little one alive and well inside you. There will always be plenty of time for you to be the serious lawyer, but there’s precious little time (for most of you) to have fun.

Come on, won’t you get your giddy on? Join me and thousands of others in having more fun, in not taking life (and yourself) so seriously, and in allowing yourself to be in the moment and to do what comes most naturally—to let your little one out and to simply have fun. Jump on in—the water’s fine, and it’s just waiting for you to join in the fun.

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