Wee, Fun! Creativity Lives Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Miles, at 18 months, has yet to equate danger with fun.

by Pete Ferguson

Last night we were at Applebees for dinner, seated in a booth.

My two-year-old son, Miles, grasped his chubby little hands on the table with his feet pressed firmly up against the back of the bench and would take a few steps up to poise himself in a plank position, and then release his feet.

Each time, he would climb his feet up a little higher until they were well above his head. As he would release his feet and gravity would take over, he would say, “wee, fun!” and look at us with eyes wide open and eyebrows flying at full mast.

As a parent, I sat quietly trying not to think about the dental work required if his hands released before his feet, or the crying that would ensue if he got hurt somehow. But as I admired his courage and “not knowing better” to have so much entertainment and fun for free, I restrained from wanting to interject and ruin the “wee, fun!”

I wrote a great bit about this in the morning today, and then something happened which caused all my efforts to disappear. But I try to always look at life as a continual lesson and the lesson today is “wee, fun!”

We have a new VP at work who came and talked to our group and talked about how he likes to get people outside of their comfort zone and see what creativity arises. I love this approach. As children, we didn’t have to do much at all to become very creative. But as adults we have to learn new perspectives to daily occurrences to try and unlearn the rigidity of rules, processes, and prose to find new and creative ways to approach problems.

Abbie, my eight-year-old, mixes Groucho Marx with Harry Potter for her own “fun committee”

The other epiphany I had before the crash this morning was that in Corporate America, we actually have to assemble a group of people for a “fun committee,” because otherwise I guess the fear is that we do not know how to have fun without a committee and the accompanying meetings, formalities, approvals, and process!

I have five children, who have cousins and friends over often. I have come home to find a dozen or so children running about. I haven’t seen them congregate in a formal “fun committee.”

Ever.

However, as the summer wears on, they will likely begin to approach us with the proclamation that boredom has set in and they need encouragement and outside input. Ironic that then the parents become the “fun committee!”

What are you doing to put yourself a bit out of ease? Crack open your creativity with a bit of fun.

Learn: I dare you to do something you’ve always wanted to do! Walk up to a perfect stranger, talk to the person next to you on the plane, pick up a skate board. I recently was at a top resort and asked to meet the security manager and was given a full tour of the property. Very cool.

Act: I have recently made friends with a couple who have a variety of successful businesses and they introduced me to the concept of setting an immediate deadline – Monday by 5:30 pm. I’ve learned to only have a lunch date on a Tuesday as talking about something on Friday only gives you the weekend. What are you going to do by Monday at 5 pm? I’m keeping mine a secret for now.

Share: Once you have your “Monday by 5:30 pm,” write it down and start telling anyone who will listen. This will commit you further and also crowdsource your resources.

I have to work on my Monday by 5:30 pm tomorrow morning, so I’ll talk to you again on Monday! Have a great weekend.

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3 thoughts on “Wee, Fun! Creativity Lives Outside of Your Comfort Zone

  1. Hi Pete,

    Great post. Wow, five kids, you’re a busy guy. I like the idea of immediate deadlines. I’ve recently started doing the same things with my daily tasks, and planing fun deadlines will be a blast! I think it’s interesting that your post talks about corporate having to create a formal “fun committee”. I don’t think so much that as adults we’ve forgotten how to have fun. I think it is a culture of “I’ll be punished” if someone actually tries to have fun while at work. I’m intrigued to hear more about how your company responds to the fun committee. Thanks for this post!

    • Thanks Rick. There is a reluctance to have “too much fun.” Not sure where the line is for “too much,” but it is there somewhere and you know as soon as you crossed it.

      I’m working on my Monday by 5:30 pm as we speak …

      Pete

  2. Pingback: Comfort Zone | learnactshare

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