Finding enjoyment at work

Did Peter Pan Get it Right?

(Originally posted on LinkedIn, June 2015)

” I won’t grow up … I won’t grow up

” I don’t want to go to school … I don’t want to go to school

” Just to learn to be a parrot … Just to learn to be a parrot

“And recite a silly rule … And recite a silly rule

” If growing up means it would be, beneath my dignity to climb a tree. I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up …

And so goes the song from Peter Pan, and his defiance of becoming what he perceives a grown up to be. As I go through the amazing journey of raising a teenager who is searching for balance between fun and responsibility, sticking to rules (happily she does this part well) and finding her own path, I wonder … where would I be today if I had followed my creative heart more and my rule based mind less?

As I get older I seem to be willing to take a few more risks than I was in the past. I am finally coming to terms with the fact that if I mess up, what’s the real harm? (Note: since I am not a surgeon or other life-saving professional, this statement is relatively safe to make.) The trick is to be able to find a new approach for the next time, and continue to learn from the past.

Yet, even with the “new and improved” me who goes out on those skinny branches more often than ever before …. I still conform and take the practical route when something is new. Moreover, when I talk with my daughter about her future plans and dreams, I can hear the pragmatic mom come out and temper her “why not” dreams and goals with “be realistic” feedback. When she was little it was always OK for her to be wildly creative, sometimes even unusual and silly. How much more could she, and all of us, contribute and innovate if we stop worrying about fitting in and really lay it all out on the line?

To all those who have hidden their inner child for too long … its not to late to go back and refuse to be a grown up. Create, inspire, encourage  … and maybe fail a little along the way. And remember – let the young people around you see you play from time to time too!

Imagination and entrepreneurial spirit are at the heart of many of the great businesses of today and tomorrow. To encourage idea exploration, a focused investment in innovation; this is the path to the exciting new products, services, solutions and discoveries our communities and lives are waiting for and need.