Does growing up mean all work and no play??

Are the “good ‘ol days” gone for good??

Is there anything left to look forward to??!!

I remember walking through Toys “R” Us and singing along to the song they played over and over again. “I don’t want to grow up! I’m a Toy’s “R” Us kid!”  I remember thinking to myself, “I never want to grow up. Adults don’t have any toys and they never have any fun!” (Anyone else ever sing along to that song as a kid???)

What happened to all the fun we used to have??!!

I must admit that this was sparked by “date night” with my wife. We did the traditional dinner and a movie and had a great time. However, we turned into CRAZY party animals and decided to watch a SECOND movie since it was only 10 pm on a Saturday. We started watching Pixar’s Inside Out. My wife fell asleep shortly after it started, but I was determined to keep the party rocking.

As the movie progressed I began connecting moments in the main character’s life to my own. She begins to lose parts of her personality that make her who she is. The unique things that made her happy and made her life fun began to disappear. By the end of the movie I was an emotional wreck sitting all by myself and may or may not have shed a few tears of joy, sadness, and laughter. There were no witnesses so it is yet to be proven that James Schleicher cries.

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My challenge to you my fellow leaders is to reconnect and bring back the “fun” in life. I made the mistake of becoming the “corporate robot” the first 5 years of my career. I was so focused on being a “business professional” at all times that I lost a big part of who I really was. I wasn’t happy anymore. I was suppressing my personality and creativity in order to be what I thought others wanted me to be. I was just another “cookie cutter” guy in a suite and tie.

As I began to focus on what made life and work fun for me, my success in business reached levels I didn’t even think were possible. I’ve always had fun interacting and sharing time with people. Initially, I was primarily focused on getting straight to business and hoping that my clients enjoyed the experience. However, I was letting the process of business overshadow the importance of people.

I now try to have meetings with clients that not only accomplish a business agenda, but more importantly, accomplish my agenda of trying to make our time together as enjoyable as possible. Life is too short not to have fun living it.

I look forward to seeing you use your creativity and personality to make life more fun. The increased results and success will come naturally when you are simply enjoying what you do.

Enjoy the day!

— James Schleicher