What if You Effortlessly Efforted?
“Being serious about something isn’t the only way to honor that it’s important to you.”
I’ve been meeting so many moms who express the desire to have more joy in their lives, that they wish it didn’t have to be so serious, but somewhere along the way they lost touch with their playful, joyful child self, and instead find themselves faced with their successful, serious woman self that they perhaps take pride in, but find that they don’t enjoy being very much. What if it didn’t have to be so serious? What happens if you fold a little levity into your ambition?
The ancient Greeks had a concept for approaching life that they called serio ludere, which roughly translates as “serious play.” Dr. Julian Seifter writes in his book After the Diagnosis, “Serio ludere was shorthand for a set of ideas about how to live: contain opposites. Embrace variety. Hold two thoughts at once. Be rational and informed (serio) but also creative and joyful (ludere).”
You can have an AND relationship with things. As mothers we instinctively know this—how deeply we love our children yet loathe ____ (insert any parenting chore right here) experience of being a parent. It’s like motherhood sets you up to be successful at what Dr. Seiftert describes.
If this idea sounds delightful (and a little bit crazy), I invite you to read on…
3 Tips for folding levity into your ambition…
- Open your mind to the idea.
The first step in encountering something is to first seek it. Let go of how you think Oprah, or your neighbor, or the smiley lady at drop off would do joy, gratitude, and fun, and open your mind to discovering your version of joy, gratitude, and fun. There is so much content out today about happiness and gratitude that it can feel like there’s one way to do it. Screw that — find your way.
- Look for examples, then find your fun.
Now that you are committed to embracing your own unique expression of fun and delight, see what examples you notice in those around you. This sounds like the opposite of #1, but it’s important that you commit to discovering your own authentic expression first so you don’t find yourself lost in comparing. How are women in your field embracing levity and fun as they deliver for a major client? How might you follow suit or find your own fun?
- Don’t leave your legacy, live your legacy.
When people think of legacy, they think of what they are leaving behind for future generations. But this gift of your legacy can be experienced and expanded every day of your life. By embracing your passions with seriousness and levity, by engaging fully with the present moment in all of its contradictory fullness, you’ll find that you can live your legacy, rather than merely leaving a legacy.
I’d love to hear how you are folding more levity and joy into your ambitions! Tag me on Instagram or Facebook to let me know what kind of fun you are getting up to.