Have Fun. It's Serious Work.

If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. Every morning I awake torn between a desire to save the world and an inclination to savor it. This makes it hard to plan the day. But if we forget to savor the world, what possible reason do we have for saving it? In a way, the savoring must come first.
— E. B. White

When I bought into The Little Gym Franchise in 2007, the official tag line or motto of The Little Gym was “Motor Skill Development made Fun builds Confidence that leads to a lifetime of Success.” We had that hanging in the lobby, on the backs of our staff shirts, and trained the staff to say that’s what we did at The Little Gym. And then corporate did focus groups with parents. And they realized that even the most loyal customers of the franchise had no idea what that statement meant, and they didn’t bring their children to the gyms for that purpose anyway. They brought them there primarily because their kids had fun. And the parents recognized there were things going on in the classes that were beneficial- but primarily they wanted their children to have fun. And so a new tag line was born- Serious Fun. That’s it.

Now when someone asks what we do at The Little Gym, we say we have Serious Fun. First of all, that is MUCH easier to teach a teenage staff member to say, and secondly, it put the focus exactly where it should be- on the fun. Do we build confidence? sure. Do we work on motor skill development? sure. We also work on turn-taking and following directions, and balance and flexibility and core strength. But mostly we have fun.

And I honestly savor every moment I’m teaching there. I never wish I wasn’t at work when I’m teaching. I’ve been given permission, no sanctioned, to have fun. Imagine if classroom teachers in the school systems were allowed to put “have fun” back at the top of their lists. Maybe they could save and savor.

We all know that play is the work of children. And it doesn't inhibit their progress, quite the contrary, it is how they make progress. How they learn. Adults however tend to think of fun as a reward for work. Something to do after the job at hand is finished. I'm suggesting we could do both. Save and savor simultaneously. And maybe, just maybe, be happier and more productive. 

Where could you practice saving and savoring? I’d like to suggest you put “have a good time” on your list of goals for any project.  Or to make measurable goals you could say, “laugh at least 10 times, engage in one silly off-topic conversation, mentally note and marvel at the environment around me at least once, find 3 things worthy of awe, take a moment to celebrate my accomplishment while it’s happening, graciously accept and agree with at least 3 compliments given about my work.”

or something like that... Try it. Just my random suggestion for today....