By George W Nyabadza
LEADERSHIP, integrity, motivation, personal development, overcoming difficulties, walking through deep personal valleys, goal-setting, visualisation, persistence and determination are pr
obably some of the terms you would use to describe the type of person who regularly applies the principles I share in this column.
But is that all that life should be about – I mean the seriousness implied by the life management process? Thinking about it, I wouldn’t want that to be all that characterised my attempts to create space for myself in this universe. I want a life that is full of fun.
Recently I had a catch-up meeting with my personal coach who shared with me what he considered a profound part of his personal life philosophy – the need to have fun while living. He told me that as he approached the late fifties he had a deep sense of satisfaction that he had lived the life that he truly loved. He had worked for the companies that he loved, involved in politics when he wanted to, set up his consulting business when he felt it was right for him, developed fulfilling and enduring relationships, travelled, did all the life management thing to great depth but, above all, he has had enormous fun at every possible turn.
I asked him to explain “enormous fun”. I thought I would get a nice philosophical view of fun but no, this was pure fun, which included satisfying his desire for driving a fast sports car and visiting exotic places when he took time off to re-charge both physically and mentally.
It got me thinking about my own ideas of fun. The first thing that crossed my mind was how little time I really set aside for fun – I mean the pure fun where you really let go and let your spirit soar. I do make time for “rest and recuperation” but I have really only recently incorporated fun into my life journey in the last few months.
I have just spent two weeks with my three-and-a-half-year-old hero who has kept me up to the early hours of the morning – now that is fun. A few days with him by the beach were cream on the top.
But looking back beyond that I can’t recall making time for fun, let alone incorporate it into my lifestyle, it’s been all about putting proposals together, chasing the next contract, doing the next seminar and so on and so forth. Maybe a day off over the weekend and a couple of hiking days but nothing more than that over the past few months. Now that’s a boring life.
One thing I have resolved to do in the past few months is to minimise the potential for regret in my life, at least with the things that I can control. One thing that I have realised over the years is that each of us has much more control over their own time and its utilisation than generally acknowledged.
For me this has meant an aggressive look at what I do and doing a serious time analysis, some painful prioritisation and elimination of “nice-to-haves” but not necessities from the diary. It’s amazing how many commitments accumulate in the diary leaving little time to have fun.
I have also realised that another deterrent to having fun is false perceptions about its costs. I recall when I first joined a hiking club the reaction of my friends. Their perception was that hiking was an exclusive and elitist sport that would cost a fortune in subscription fees and equipment costs but when we got down to the details it was an eye opener to realise that the average weekly hiking fees are less than the average cost of a ticket to a soccer game. There is the issue of hiking gear but that is more of “nice-to-have” for the casual hiker for I completed my first few hikes on an old pair of “tackies” and a gym bag.
While you are setting your goals and doing all the visualisation remember to take time to have fun and enjoy the process. Life goes by so quickly and you owe it to yourself to have as much fun as possible. In fact, not just on planned get-away but in everything that you do. It’s your life. Live it.
*South African-based George W Nyabadza is the chief executive officer of Achievement Success Dynamics International. For more information on leadership development programmes please visit our website www.achievement-success.com or e-mail George on firstname.lastname@example.org