Living and working in the Midwest, I have had the opportunity to climb the corporate ladder quickly. Throughout my last four years I have noticed a growing trend that is both threatening and dissappointing. My enthusiasm for life, ideas, growth, and opportunity is being met with disbelief and criticism. I’ve heard people say, “is this guy for real?” Yes! I’m for real, and the enthusiasm is genuine, and far from the contrived version worn by the opportunists putting on a show.
As I watch my children grow, and see how excited and enthusiastic they are for little events each day, I ask myself when most adults lost this treasure. Locked in cubicles, reading spreadsheets, downing the 10th cup of coffee to finish off a proposal due in the morning, somewhere amidst the seriousness of our careers this enthusiasm for life has been suffocated. When we were kids if something wasn’t fun, we stopped doing it and moved on. In business, I see people continue to work without fun or energy involved in what they are doing. It doesn’t make sense to me.
Economic conditions and legitimate concern for the wellbeing of our families may play a role. Health of mind, body, and the quality of our relationships also bears weight in our level of enthusiasm. I am not an idealist, but I can see opportunity in great challenges and lessons in every loss. Those are the focal points everyday. Worry and acting serious have never been productive for me in my business or personal endeavors. If anything, my serious moments are contrived.
If I’ve learned anything its that people act on their self interest. People, in general, like to have fun and be around others who make them laugh and appreciate the good in the world. These rules apply firmly to business as they do social environments. People have enthusiasm for something in life be it fishing, sports, stamp collecting, hiking. Let’s unleash that same energy and enthusiasm in the place in our lives where we spend most of our time. Work.