When did we lose our sense of fun?

Or joy.  Or at least smiling!  We don’t have a phrase like joie de vivre.  We had to steal it from the French!  But is it just that our stiff upper lip stops us enjoying ourselves.  And how can I be talking about “enjoying ourselves” – don’t I know that times are hard?  There could be a triple dip!  America is catching a cold – we will catch flu!  All those shops shutting – where will it end?  Let’s end the day with a smile, not a frown.  You can’t change the past, only aim to do better and make the most of the future.

Happy people make happy organisations make happy customers make happy accountants   (Sorry – it is proven).  I look at the sheer joy of our great nephew (and he is great in many ways).  He turned 3 just before Christmas.  He is not deliriously happy all of the time – but he smiles loads more than most adults.  It is infectious and just lovely.  I guess he is not alone in this 3 year old style outlook?  But I think he is probably unusually good fun (and this is a biased Great Uncle Phil talking, I know).

1323An image from my friends at Glasstap – Trainers Library www.glasstap.com

When did we get so serious?  I know we do have fun and banter at work – and places that have more of it are the places I like to visit (and keep as my clients).  I did a presentation once were I said that work should be fun.  This was to a group of small to medium sized business owners. (The business size, not fat cats…)  One (who had arrived late) collared me at the end to berate me.  “I disagree – work shouldn’t be fun.  I pay them as their reward.  They’ve got a job haven’t they?”  His disagree meant of course, that not only did he think he was right, but that I was stupid to think differently.  So I disagreed back, and hoped he had a fine life, and enjoyed himself outside of his work, because that means at least half his life would be fun!

The macho, hard nosed, hard driving, kill at all costs ‘lunch is for wimps’ 1980’s attitude may still prevail in some sectors (Investment bankers anyone?).  It isn’t the only way.  It isn’t the best way to make things happen – for everyone in the organisation.

Smile.  Be happy.  People may wonder why you are smiling.  At least you will have something to talk about!

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