It might seem reasonable that the main role of enjoyment in success comes after you have succeeded in achieving a goal: you achieve a goal and kick back in a wave of enjoyment. There is nothing wrong with that, but I am going to offer you another point of view about enjoyment and success. Wouldn’t it be great if you could enjoy your way to success? This may seem counter-intuitive to those of us who were brought up on the value of hard work as the way to success; work first – play later. But in reality, enjoyment is a crucial factor on the way to achieving a goal. In fact, is it success if you don’t enjoy yourself on the way to achieving your goal? When you are too stressed to enjoy what you are doing, you actually get in the way of your own success. Here is an example of what I mean.
I recently completed a round of coaching with a client and asked him to share what he had gained from our work together. He said that he came into coaching wanting to figure out how to make himself take action to achieve his goals and left knowing how to let it happen. We took a look at how he was using his energy. As a result, he saw that he could enhance his use of the energies of creativity, enjoyment and relationship to accomplish his goals. He started playing toward his goals with a colleague. They partnered, with the specific intention of having fun with creative ways of interacting with potential clients. As a result, he made significant progress toward his goal; he had more clients and more income.
Enjoyment is a crucial form of energy because it is so closely related to creativity. Creativity thrives in an environment of enjoyment. Creativity can be stimulated to flow in life-threatening circumstances (think about Apollo 13, for example), for the most part, fear and anxiety do not support creativity. Also, enjoyment is also connected with the free flow of physical vitality, since enjoyment supports the free flow of energy through relaxation.
How do we put that to use? My client chose to enjoy his work. One way to see the word enjoy is not as a passive experience, but as the process of bringing joy into what you do, to en-joy your activity.
Here are some suggestions about how to en-joy your work:
- Remember that you can choose to en-joy to what you do; enjoyment does not come from the outside.
- It does not take extra time to en-joy your work, so don’t listen to inner conversations that say you are too busy.
- Be alert and fully present to what you are doing.
- Focus on the action, not the outcome. Enjoy the trip, not just anticipation of the destination.
Choose an activity that you experience as mildly unpleasant and experiment with bringing enjoyment to it. What have you got to lose?