"The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play." -- Arnold Toynbee
I turned another year older this week. Birthdays put me in a reflective and often sentimental place. It's a time to look back and look forward, not only on what I've accomplished but where I want to go, what I want for myself and for others. The quote above is one I shared with my offices this week. It is my birthday wish for myself and everyone I touch, that we all might find this exquisite balance each and every day.
As I get older one of the most important things I've learned is that you have to have fun and laugh. If you don't have that, everything is a chore and feels heavy. Increasingly I'm learning to blur the lines between work and play. I'm not alone, the millennial generation has been leading the way on this and many companies, from Google to the startups in Silicon Beach, embrace this idea that work and play co-mingle. It's one of the reason in real estate we've seen a tremendous surge in requests for "creative office space." People spend more and more time at work, they want to feel relaxed, engaged, and happy.
Real estate has never been 9 to 5. I was drawn to this work because it was fun for me; it challenged my mind as well as connecting me with people that I enjoy spending time with. I've always believed my clients are my friends and that I want to work with people who fire me up and inspire me so we can bring out the best in each other. It's not all fun and games, I'm a pretty competitive person, but when I lighten things up, when I remind myself to be present, I can find a way to get something to enjoy about every moment.
Just about all the things we do can be viewed through a more joyful lens. A workout isn't a must-do, instead it's a pleasure, a gift, to have this body which can be made stronger and which can be used to fully participate in life and in the activities I enjoy such as golf or leading my company softball team to victory. Even my commutes across the city, which can be long, are a chance to make phone calls, develop connections, or just think and plan for the next meeting, all while enjoying the weather and views in this city I love so much. The challenges of a tough real estate transaction are a chance to prove my skills as a negotiator and strategist, something that brings me the pleasure of accomplishment.
As you go through your week, try to find those places where you can do more than just grumble or go through the motions. Focus on participating fully and with a smile on your face, you might find that the ordinary can become extraordinary and surprise yourself with a laugh or two.