I looked up the definition of workaholic today.

It’s very simple. A workaholic is a person who works compulsively at the expense of other pursuits.  Those other pursuits are often: health, family, relationships, love and of course… the pursuit of happiness itself.

In my work as a coach to corporate high achievers I’ve helped many workaholics… probably becauseI’ve been one myself. I know the cost of holding work as a constant priority above everyone and everything else.

During the month of NOvember, we chose to access our Inner Child, here at Adaptaa, be childish and say more Nos.  Work less and play more. Be carefree. Not easy for someone like me.

I forgot to be playful early in my life. I was this serious, curious, and guarded little girl. This little girl learned to conform early in life, as she navigated the nursery boarding system from the age of three!   She learned to follow the rules to protect her younger sister and avoid punishment and humiliation in the communist school system.

And as an adult, she became an expert in being serious, strong, a fighter, an advocate for others, who carried on like a soldier.  In fact, she became a general.  It didn’t matter that life was not a war!  She learned to overcompensate for the inner seriousness, with big smiles. 

In my last few years of deep inner work, I am learning and re-learning to let go of soldering and be mischievous and playful.

I recently attended an Improv class with Patricia Ryan Madson, the author of the great book “Improv Wisdom”. A powerful experience of learning a new skill. Learning to let go and “relax your clever”. Improv is about being present. And being playful. Not being clever.

I’ve learned that innovation is about what’s “inside the box” and not what’s outside the box. And seeing it with new eyes. An improviser is like a person walking backwards. They have no idea where they are going.  They just know where they are! And they get excited about receiving gracefully whatever is presented to them! And the memory they create is more real than a real memory. Pure magic play!

Where are you in your life? Is your life all about grabbing the brass ring on the corporate merry go round or is there a part of you that knows in your heart you want it – you need it –  to be about more?

Chasing the lifestyle, we THINK is success is something many of my clients have confessed an addiction to… as well as the emptiness they found when they got there.

Success on the outside does not always lead to feeling successful on the inside. And success does not lead to happiness. It’s happiness that leads to success.

I’ve learned that in life all is love and play, everything else is a misunderstanding.  So play hard, work hard, and be kind!

ADA, 14 Nov 21