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Family Fun is No Trivial Pursuit

memories.jpgIs there a better way to spend your play time than spending time with your family?

We know … we know – it depends on the family!

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Family time is special time. It’s great to just hang out with people who you know really care about you.

The great thing about family time is that we can have fun without spending a lot of money. There are so many options, especially when the weather is nice. How much does it cost to go outside and play Frisbee?

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marylynnGeorge’s family has a bigg reunion every year. One of the festivities is a lively game of softball. His family is incredibly competitive, but it’s all good-natured fun.

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georgeWell, it’s usually good natured! You definitely have to be able to take some ribbing!

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Your Family’s Trivial Pursuit

Games and family go hand-in-hand. So how about creating a game that’s all about your family? Think of it as your own family’s Trivial Pursuit.

It may not cost a thing. It certainly won’t cost much unless you choose to make a really deluxe version. It can be as simple as sheets of paper with the questions written on them and a blank sheet of paper for scoring.

You may create a list of questions about your close family. It will be a walk down memory lane! You may extend it to the larger family. It’s a great way to help your kids learn more about your whole family.

Make the questions both interesting and fun. Obviously, you want to avoid embarrassing family members so that it remains a fun endeavor and doesn’t turn into the family feud!

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marylynnHere’s a question I would ask. George will know the answer right off the bat. This author was one of my mom’s favorites and is also one of my husband’s favorites. Who is he?

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george
Dashiell Hammett.

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marylynn
Extra points if you can spell it, George!

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georgeI had to look it up! I can think of an interesting question about my dad. I bet a lot of my family doesn’t know it or they’ve tried to forget it, but it made our local paper! My dad actually spent a night in jail! So that would be the focus of my question: for what did he spend the night in jail? Answer: It was a contract dispute. Dad lost the case. He said he would go to jail before he paid the money. The judge obliged! It only took one night before dad decided he’d had enough and paid the amount required.

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marylynnSo I guess George is suggesting that our game include a “Go directly to jail – do not pass “Go” – do not collect $200” card!

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That’s the beauty of this idea – you can create this game however you want. Have fun with it! It’s a creative endeavor. Sometimes we get more creative when we try not to spend money.

This simple game is an example. So have some fun with your family for free and work on your creativity skills all at the same time. Sounds like a bigg success to us!

What does your family do for fun?

Please share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks so much for reading our post today!

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Please join us next time as we talk about insurance … just for the health of it! Until then, here’s to your bigg success.

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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Learn to Play to Learn

playing.jpg We recently did a show on the tradeoff between work and play. We said that it was important to make time for both productive play and pure play – things you do just for fun. We said it really is true – we do seem to get more done when we’re busy.

Ryan left a great comment on that topic. He’s one of our regulars and he often leaves comments. We love the feedback!

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Pre-paying for play plans improves productivity

He said that he’s learned that it’s good to keep busy with his downtime. So he goes to a sporting event or a concert just about every week. Because he’s paid for the ticket in advance, he feels compelled to go. That’s his secret – it forces him to work more efficiently to get his work done.

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georgeI had never thought of that little trick! We schedule fun activities of course. But I had never thought about purposefully and routinely scheduling an activity that I paid for in advance as a way to ramp up my time at work.

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marylynnIt’s a great suggestion. It’s easy to get so busy working that I fail to recharge myself by doing something that gets my mind off of work. By committing my money, I’m more likely to commit my time!

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georgeI’m one of those people who can go and go and go. But at some point, my body and my mind start saying, “Enough already! What are you doing to us? We need a break!” Ryan’s suggestion helps make sure that doesn’t happen.

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marylynnFortunately, and maybe unfortunately, George and I are very similar in that respect. I’m a bit of a workaholic myself. So we work very well together. But I agree – it would be helpful to schedule more time for fun knowing that I’ll be more productive at work.

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It’s about living with purpose on purpose. After all, we’re only human. We should live on human time! Plan something fun and pay for it in advance. You’ll be more likely to do it!

Ramp up your downtime

Ryan also said that when he was in college, he got better grades when he took eighteen credit hours than when he only had twelve in a semester. His personal observation sparked a thought for us …

… we should always be a student!

It pays bigg dividends to be curious about everything with which you come in contact, not just your area of expertise.

Since Ryan brought up sporting events, you can learn from studying the players – when they’re warming up, idle, in the middle of a play, or when the game’s on the line.

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georgeThis is something I do. It’s interesting to see the differences among players when the game’s on the line. I’ve learned a lot about operating under pressure by watching sports.

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marylynnAt concerts, there are a lot of details. The artist’s stage presence, the lighting, the way musicians play together, and even their hair! If it’s a symphony, study the conductor and how he or she leads. They’re masters of their craft and we can learn lessons that we can apply to our crafts.

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georgeOne of my favorite things to do is to be a student when I’m talking to people in social settings. I can read a book or an article, but there’s nothing like learning about someone’s occupation and interests first-hand. You get to ask questions and go deeper into a subject with a real person who is living it.

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marylynnWe have a friend who made a great suggestion that has forever changed how I watch movies. He said to think of yourself as a director. When the movie is over, ask yourself what you would have done differently. It gets my creative juices flowing and makes for great conversation afterwards.

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Always be a student. It helps keep your mind young. It expands your imagination. It will help you reach bigg success even faster!

Of what are you a student in your downtime?

Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks Ryan for your thought-provoking comment. And thank you for reading our post today.

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Please join us next time when we talk about how to get to the greener grass on the other side of the fence.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00377-042109.mp3

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(Image in today's post by davdibiase)

The Need to Lead – Part 2

career_opportunities On The Bigg Success Show today, we continued our discussion with Douglas E. Welch, host of the popular Career Opportunities, podcast. Last time, we discussed why Douglas has declared 2009 the “Year of the Leader.” Let’s get back to the conversation …

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georgeOne of the challenges we face is getting started. You’ve talked about inertia – we tend to remain inanimate unless we really push ourselves. One of your quotes that I love is that we need “leadership over laissez-faire.”

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douglasThere’s the old phrase that the only person who likes change is a wet baby. I see that every single day. It is so important. Newton had it right – objects at rest tend to remain at rest; objects in motion tend to remain in motion. I find that if I can get someone in motion, making the smallest step, the next step becomes all the easier. There is something about momentum and forward movement that builds on itself. Unfortunately, inertia builds on itself too. We can become really sedentary in our lives in a variety of ways – both physically and mentally. That’s part of the reason I write the column. Sometimes when I write, I picture myself giving that stone just a little bit of a push downhill. If I can get it to roll a quarter of a rotation, maybe it will start to roll a little bit further. That’s something we need to do in our own life and also cultivate in others.

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marylynnLeaders are admired for their ability to keep pushing, taking all the steps necessary to keep progressing toward goals. Does your knowledge in this area stem from a time when you didn’t push yourself enough?

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douglasI have to admit that I face this problem every day. I think we all do. There are days when we just want to sit down and do nothing. We just want the world to go spinning around us and not have to worry about whether we have groceries in the house or if that check has come in from that client. It just gets a little overwhelming to us. I grew up in a very small town – a rural town – in Ohio of about 2,000 people. Frankly, in a town that small, there’s a lot of inertia. There’s not a lot of push to go on. I found out very early, though, that I get bored very easily. If I don’t have a constant set of stimulus coming in, I can very easily settle down and just let the world go by me. So as part of learning about myself, I realized I have to have a new book to read, something new to watch, a new place to go to, a new area to go for a walk. I have to constantly have that new input so that I can continue to create the output that I do create such as my column, my podcast, and the other stuff that I do.

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georgeThat’s a great way of looking at it. Look at the inputs – the actions that you take – and then the results will come at some point.

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douglasThat comes from an artist coach that I had become friends with many years ago. I worked at Walt Disney Imagineering for five years as an IT professional in the computer department. One of the biggest perks I got at that job was that I had access to all of the art coaches that all the creative people did. One of the things we discussed was that you cannot output art or other great things in life unless you have enough input coming in. Those are the raw materials that you use for your creation. I really took that to heart and have lived that particular philosophy for a long time now.

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Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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georgeAnd if you can’t afford a coach, find that friend who may be a little bit ahead of you in life or in their career. I have a friend who I meet for coffee. We would always say we needed to get together more often, but it never happened because we didn’t make it happen. So we finally said that we would meet at a particular time every month. That’s what made the difference – getting it pre-planned.

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douglasI started a whole new event here in Los Angeles specifically for that reason. It’s LA Friday Coffee. It is coffee and casual conversation between work and dinner. We meet at various coffee places all around the city. But at its essence, that is my attempt to get myself out on a Friday night to meet and talk to people that I don’t see often enough.

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marylynn
And boy you just can’t beat coffee!

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george
Unless it’s a martini!

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douglas
Anyone who follows my Twitter stream knows that I’m into coffee!

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george
We have to be, doing what we do. Right?

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douglasIt’s weird. I’m a geek in all things. When I find a new interest, I geek out on it as much as I geek out on technology or anything else I’m interested in. So I’ve read up on roasting coffee, how to make coffee, and the perfect espresso shot. My wife’s family is Sicilian and we’ve been to Sicily so I’ve tasted real coffee. That whole geekness kind of filters into my whole life as well.

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george
I’ll bet you make a mean cup of coffee though. When will it be ready? We’re on our way!

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Thanks Douglas for sharing your thoughts with us. He has started a free online resource called Career Camp where members of his community can share their expertise. We highly recommend it to you!

And thank you for taking time to read our post today. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00333-021809.mp3

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Play at Work

play child’s play: something that’s easy to do.

We often don’t think about it, but play is actually child’s work. It’s all we had to do as kids and we learned essential skills by doing it.

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Then we grew up. Work becomes work. Play is what we do after all the work is done.

We see it as a trade-off. We work at our jobs. We get home and work on our chores. Maybe we’ll get some time to just have fun this weekend … or next … or when we take a vacation … but who has the time to do that these days? Oh well. That’s life.

It doesn’t have to be that way. We have a choice. We can integrate our work and play.

We can hear the objections already …

  • I need more play time. I don’t need to try to make work fun.
    Here’s where we need to learn a lesson from kids. If you can make your work feel like play, then you can play all the time.
  • No way. I can’t have fun at work. It’s just a job, not my dream job.
    We all have the power to choose. When we were kids, if we got tired or bored with whatever activity we were doing, we would do something else.
  • Times are tough. I’m happy just to have a job.
    This is a good point. As adults, we have responsibilities we didn’t have as kids. But just because we can’t change our situation instantly doesn’t mean we have to be stuck in it for the rest of our lives.

3 tips to make work seem like play

  • Love what you do
    We hear this all the time. You should do what you’re passionate about. We agree – it’s great if you can get paid to do what you love. That’s the ideal way to integrate work and play.

But we also think that passion is overrated. Instead, you may love why you do what you do. Perhaps your job gives you the income and the time away to pursue what you’re truly passionate about. You can still love your work because it’s the means to do what you really love.

  • Love who you work with
    Kids don’t play with kids they don’t like. Why should we? You may be in the right job in the right industry, but you’re in the wrong place. So change departments. Or companies. Granted you may not be able to make this happen overnight. But you can love what you do while you look for the right group to do it with.

  • Love the process
    This may be the main lesson we can learn from child’s play. They’re not worried about the result. They enjoy the process. In that process, they learn. They express their creativity. They socialize. They have fun. We put so much focus on the result that we forget the journey is the part that’s fun!

If you don’t love what you do, who you do it with, and the process of doing it, then how can you ever be happy? How will you grow? Where will you find meaning in your life?

If you do love what you do, who you do it with, and the process of doing it, then your work is your play. What could be better than playing all day? Better get back to it … another kid’s eyeing your toys!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success!
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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We really appreciate you spending some time with us today. Join us next time when we’ll discuss mania in the markets and rising above the crowd. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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Want to Succeed Bigg? Stop Working!

(Image by DoortenJ)

A Sure-Fire Way to Stop Innovation

island We read the transcript of a great speech, entitled How to Get Rich, given by Jared Diamond at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. It offers some great lessons in history, economics, and innovation.

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He asks the question, “What is the best way to organize human groups and human organizations and businesses so as to maximize productivity, creativity, innovation, and wealth?”

Now wouldn’t we all like to know the answer to that question?

He says that in the thirteen thousand years of human history, we have thousands upon thousands of “natural” experiments. To answer his question, he looked at extreme examples of societies in isolation.

The isolation begins

About ten thousand years ago, the places we know as Australia, Tasmania, and Flinders Island were connected – people could freely travel back and forth between them. Then the glaciers melted.

Even though they were only about 200 miles apart, the water-going craft of that era couldn’t traverse the rough seas between these three islands. So the 4,000 people of Tasmania and 200 people on Flinders Island became completely isolated from the rest of the world.

The isolation ends
In the seventeenth century, these two islands were “discovered” by the Europeans. The first to be rediscovered was Tasmania. It was noted that, at the time, the society was the least technologically advanced and most primitive group of people in the world.

They had no fire. They didn’t have any tools. They didn’t even know how to fish. In fact, archeologists have shown that they had less technology than they had ten thousand years before.

So, you ask, what about the 200 people on Flinders Island? When it was discovered around the same time, there were no people there. They became extinct.

Our islands

So we learn that small isolated groups don’t innovate. They may even regress. This historical example got us thinking about islands that we create, often without even realizing that we’re placing ourselves in isolation.

Field

Discoveries aren’t isolated to a single field. If you only talk to people within your field, if you only consume content in your space, you’re missing out on a whole world of ideas that may be fruitful for your field.

Media
Many people only consume media with which they agree. Seek out the opposing point-of-view. When you do that, you’ll either reinforce your beliefs or you’ll start to discover other alternatives.

People
Universities often don’t hire graduates of their own programs as professors. They fear it will lead to nepotistic thinking. Let’s learn a lesson from their policy. Get outside your circles of friends and business associates. If you work in the for-profit world, get to know some people in the non-profit world. If you work in government, make sure some of your influencers are in the private sector.

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georgeI’m a pretty social person. But looking back on my former businesses, I’ve come to realize that I wasn’t feeling fulfilled because I didn’t spend enough time seeking out ideas and alternatives outside my sphere.

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It’s so easy to get so busy running your business, working your career, or managing your life that you fail to invest important time in connecting yourself to people, places and things that expand your mind.

Islands are a great place to visit. Just make sure you don’t get stuck there.

What islands have you seen people create?

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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