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Serious Goals, Lighthearted Approach

In a world that moves at a lightning pace, with each day bringing new challenges and responsibilities, balancing a serious attitude toward our goals with a lighter perspective on ourselves is crucial. It’s a delicate art, that if mastered, can lead to both personal fulfillment and professional success. It allows us to approach our responsibilities wholeheartedly while leaving room for humor, humility, and flexibility.  It is necessary for our survival!


Taking things seriously means dedicating time, effort, and focus to our goals. It’s about recognizing the importance of our actions and how they impact our lives and those around us. Whether we’re working on a crucial project, nurturing relationships, or pursuing personal growth, approaching these aspects with a sense of purpose and responsibility is essential. This seriousness drives us to be thorough, thoughtful, and intentional in our pursuits, ensuring that we put forth our best efforts and achieve meaningful results.


But if we are too serious, we may miss out on enjoying life and ultimately even burnout. This is why it’s important to not take ourselves too seriously.  A lighter perspective on life allows us to navigate challenges with humor and resilience. It’s the difference between being driven and being overly driven. Injecting a bit of levity into our daily routines keeps us motivated without becoming overwhelmed.


Years ago, I was helping a client implement a new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system. Early on, I was asked to deliver a presentation on the benefits of an ERP system to my client’s Executive Team, Senior Management, and a handful of managers- clearly an important presentation.  My computer crashed when I tried to start the presentation. To fill in the dead space while I rebooted (it still did not work), I joked that maybe they should hire someone who could at least operate a basic laptop to implement such a complicated system. Having said that, I rolled up the screen, grabbed a marker, and started explaining ERP on a whiteboard. While I was writing, someone in the audience loudly pointed out that I was using a permanent marker. Once again, I made a joke, questioning if I was the right person for the job. Luckily, I knew how to remove permanent marker from a whiteboard. As I did that, I joked that there was no charge for the additional cleaning service and continued the presentation. Despite the setbacks in a very important meeting, I chose to diffuse the situation with humor.  I was respectful and still showed the client I valued their time, but I also knew that I had messed up. The meeting went well, because instead of being flustered, I handled it with flexibility and good humor.


Humor is a powerful tool. It serves as a reminder that mistakes are part of the journey, and that imperfection is human. Laughing at ourselves and our missteps fosters an environment where creativity and innovation can flourish. It breaks down barriers, making it easier to connect with others and approach problems with an open mind. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and laugh at our own expense, we create a space where others feel comfortable doing the same, fostering a collaborative and supportive community.


Humility is another cornerstone of this philosophy. Recognizing that we don’t have all the answers, that we’re always learning, and that others’ perspectives are invaluable helps keep our egos in check. It encourages a growth mindset, where the focus is on continuous improvement rather than on being right. This mindset opens the door to new ideas and opportunities, allowing us to adapt and grow in ways we might not have anticipated.


Ultimately, balancing taking things seriously and not taking ourselves too seriously enriches both our personal and professional lives. It allows us to pursue our goals with dedication while enjoying the journey and the lessons it brings. By committing to our aspirations with a serious attitude and embracing humor, humility, and flexibility, we create a fulfilling and dynamic life. This philosophy not only enhances our productivity and success but also fosters a sense of joy, connection, and authenticity in everything we do.


“Life is too important to be taken seriously.” – Oscar Wilde


Take a step back and see how you balance being serious and having fun in your daily life. Find one spot where you can lighten up a bit. Try it out today and see how it changes things for you. Share your stories and tips with us—we’d love to hear how you’re making life more enjoyable!


Have a great weekend.