I had a chance to work with over a hundred people last week in workshops around career planning. The theme of each session was on developing your own resilient career, which many people are struggling with right now. Worried about insecurity and job loss, many are finding it difficult to realize that they have options and choices.
But I wanted to talk a bit about humor, lightness, and energy. One of the things I worked hard on for those workshops was to create an environment which was significantly more upbeat than normal. As an introvert, this is quite difficult for me to do, and it takes an unbelievable amount of energy. But I’ve found that my clients are much more creative, and much more energized, when things are light.
I describe to people an image of you being in a head-to-head battle with your problem. You push on the problem, and it pushes back, and ultimately it ends up as a battle of wills – like two sumo wrestlers.
Rather like having a teenager, sometimes.
But when you are able to have some humor and energy, this gives you the mental and emotional agility to dance around the problem and look at it from different points of view. You become more resilient, and can see that few problems are truly insurmountable.
My purpose last week was to help people out of their current focus on the immediate problems, and instead to think more optimistically about the future and dance with it. If you were at one of the workshops, I’d be interested to hear about how this worked for you.
Remember: When you’re struggling with a problem, start dancing. Move laterally, with humor and grace, and it will help you see more creative solutions.