In today’s episode, Anna looks at the fifth L, LAUGH: fun and spontaneity, and helps you review where you are today and where you want to get to
And, finally, an area that’s hard to pin down but incredibly important. It’s all that other stuff that doesn’t involve setting goals and planning and pushing yourself but is simply about enjoying life, having fun and doing what you feel like. It’s not selfish to spend time doing what you want now and then and, in fact, it’s critical to living a happy and balanced life.
Join us on this week’s podcast episode as we dive into the fifth ‘L’ of the Reimagining Success model, LAUGH: fun and spontaneity.
*Resources mentioned during the episode*
The One Step Outside Facebook group– Join us over in the Facebook group to meet like-minded people who are working on reimagining success in their life and business and to get access to direct support and free training sessions from Anna. www.facebook.com/groups/onestepoutside
Hello, there. Welcome back as we round off our look at the five Ls model of re-imagining success.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at considering success in a less conventional sense, looking beyond the narrow domain of work and the traditional career path, and the linear road to monetary financial success, prestigious job titles, and all of those fancy things, and really looking at what success looks like for you. We’ve used my five Ls model to do so, and of course you can say it with me now, it is live wellness and wellbeing, love relationships and romance, learn development and growth, lead career and impact, and finally laugh, fun, and spontaneity, and yes we have arrived at fun and spontaneity and so that’s what we’re looking at this week.
As I started hinting at last week, this is a bit of a strange one. Fun and spontaneity?
Doesn’t that sort of contradict itself by planning out fun and spontaneity? Does this really have a place in the area of success? Lots of important questions, and obviously it’s up to you because the point is this is your personal definition of success, and again to remind you that when you search the standard first step to take when you’re writing an essay at school is to, well not that we had Google when I was at school, but at least in theory is to go to the dictionary definition of what the word is, and the dictionary definition of success is the accomplishment of an aim or a purpose.
Of course it seems a bit odd to say that fun and spontaneity is part of that definition, however if we take a step back and look at the meaning of life, the purpose, and what really matters to us then yes success is really key, and it’s all about meaningful progress, and learning, and growing, and making an impact, and developing our relationships, nurturing those with our partners, with our children, with our family, with our friends, our community. It is about taking care of ourselves, and so on and so on. Those are incredibly important.
However, isn’t it also just about a bit of fun? Isn’t it just about enjoying the way things just unfold naturally?
Inevitably things will go wrong. We want to have a bit of sense of humour, laugh at ourselves, laugh kind, good naturedly, with other people rather than at them, and just sometimes yes, watch a bit of Netflix, and sometimes do something silly, and do something just because we want to, and no it doesn’t fit into our five year plan, and it’s not about getting out of our comfort zone. It is just to have fun. It is playing. It is laughing, and yes I do believe this has an important space, an important role, an important part in our holistic view of what matters in life.
So I hope you agree with me. Now this one is a bit of a strange beast because you know, it is hard to set goals in this area, but nonetheless I hope you agree that it does have a space, it does have a role as I said here in the five Ls model. As I’ve said from the beginning, this is a suggestion, this a tool, a framework to help you to reflect on what matters for you.
So of course, if there are other areas that matter for you then add them to the model. Maybe there’s a sixth L that we haven’t talked about, and by all means get in touch. As ever, you can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org because I’d love to hear from you if there’s something you feel is missing in the model and how you’ve been getting on over the past few weeks.
In the meantime, let’s look at laugh, fun, and spontaneity, and then we will spend a few minutes at the end just wrapping up because this is the final episode of 2019, and I want to just sort of reflect a little bit on how far we’ve come this year and see what’s happening next year.
Now, this is an area, as I keep saying, that is hard to pin down, but I really do believe it’s incredibly important. It is all that other stuff, or not really stuff but experiences, and again fun, and doing, and not doing, and so on. It’s all those things that don’t involve setting goals, planning, and pushing yourself. It’s simply about enjoying life, having fun, and doing what you feel like.
It really isn’t selfish, and this is important, to spend time doing what you want now and then. In fact, again, I really believe it’s critical to live a happy and balanced life. So whether you’re a parent who usually puts your children first, you’re incredibly responsible, you’re a business owner, you’re whatever other roles you play in life. This is your chance to just have a bit of fun and do whatever you damn well like. So hopefully there is space for that.
But again, as we have done in the other areas, do take a moment to reflect on what does this mean for you. Is there something that you value? Are you quite a serious type, or is there something that you know? Or, “Anna, this is ridiculous. I have so much fun. Don’t even talk to me about this. It’s absolutely outrageous that you even would suggest that I would need any help with having fun. So see where you land on the spectrum, see how much fun you’ve been having this year. Looking back, are you smiling? Are you laughing? Are you feeling good, and warm, and fuzzy? Or perhaps, do you feel quite sort of dragged down by perhaps quite a difficult year this year or challenging, full of lots of achievements, but maybe you’ve forgotten a little bit to have that space to have fun and take a bit of sort of time off and do some crazy things in the meantime.
Reflect on what this means to you, how important it is, and how you feel about it now.
Again, this is almost impossible to do in terms of ranking where you are, but once again let’s look at on a scale of 1-10 how are you feeling in this area, fun and spontaneity. 10/10? Ridiculously spontaneous. I have fun every day. I’m laughing, I’m playing … almost too much. I’m not doing anything serious. Maybe that’s you or you know, much lower down, a three, four out of 10, perhaps you’ve been forgetting to have this fun, to laugh, to play, and so on.
Let’s go through a few questions as ever. So the first one is, “Do you ever really do things that you do really just for your own sake?” So again, not for your children, or for your partner, or for any other people or reason really. Do you just do something? You know, having me time, having something that maybe other people don’t get but just you really love doing. Again, really importantly, do you do fun things without any goal or purpose?
So perhaps it’s do you read books or novels that are unrelated to your business, and that’s something that I don’t do very much, I must admit. My boyfriend’s always trying to get me to read novels, and I love it, and I do on holiday, but I am so sort of eager to learn new things, and I do love reading so I have lots of business related books, goal setting, and behavioural science, and all sorts on my phone, on my Kindle app, and physical books as well, and reading blogs, and listen to podcasts, and so on.
It is important, I think, to read things, maybe not magazines necessarily. I used to read magazines. I find, certainly, the sort of beauty health ones obviously are quite negative and not necessarily the image that you want to subject yourself to, but maybe you found an interesting magazine that you enjoy whether it’s travel, or I don’t know what else. Could be some hobby that you have but unrelated to your business.
Do you say yes when people suggest doing something fun and different?
You know, being open to opportunities. I, early on in my adventure career I guess, or early on in my sort of independence and re-imagining success when I left my job in 2013, I quite soon after that fell into a group led by Dave Cornthwaite. Well in fact, there wasn’t a group at the time, and he had started years ago, in fact similarly to me or many of us in terms of realising he wasn’t where he wanted to be work wise.
His story is that he was a bad graphic designer, which I don’t believe for a second, but there you go. He made a lot of changes suddenly in his life, and the first adventure he went on was to skateboard across Australia, and now that was the first non-motorised transport challenge he did for 1,000 miles, I believe it is, and I think he’s doing 25, and he’s more than halfway through now. That was something he decided to do, and I’m saying this because his group, now that he’s developed over the years since I’ve known him, is called SayYesMore. He has the YesTribe on Facebook, so if you are keen to, just say yes more, and in particular to go on adventures. It’s wild camping, it’s cycling from London to wherever. It is paddle boarding down the Thames and all these things that I have participated in as well, then that’s a great idea. But this idea of saying yes was what I wanted to emphasise in terms of just saying yes when people ask you to do something that usually you wouldn’t say yes to.
Do you feel that you have enough fun in your life?
I don’t know what enough is, and that’s up to you to decide. Do you allow yourself time to play? Again, whatever that means to you. Do you laugh every day? I have to admit, I don’t think I laugh very much. Some shows I watch, I don’t know, Michael McIntyre. Here in London, Michael McIntyre has a big show. I’m trying to think what else. Live at the Apollo, so some comedy shows do get me laughing out loud. Sometimes things my little daughter does do make me laugh, but I must admit laughing, that’s something … I have to think about that.
Do you leave space for spontaneity in your life? So someone told me years ago that they block their calendar on Sunday afternoons just to have space because we always time about time blocking, and time management, and being efficient and productive, and so on. But if we go overboard, then we fill every minute of the day with something that’s more goal oriented. So in the morning as soon as my daughter’s asleep, I run to my computer, and I contact people, and I record this, and I go live there, and so on. Especially if you’re building this alongside either. In my case a little baby, or in your case perhaps a full-time job, or either obligations. You can very easily fill every little space there is, and there’s not any space for spontaneity.
Do you feel joy in your life? I’m sure we’ve all heard of Marie Kondo. Does it spark joy? That’s something to use, not just for your underwear drawer and for your kitchen utensils but really in life. Does whatever you’re doing, wherever you’re being, whatever you’re having spark joy in your life? I think that’s a beautiful question to ask and one that we haven’t really considered in the past.
And a big one to finish with, big meaning of life question, are you ready?
Are you happy? Woo, heavy one. Possibly a heavy one, big question, difficult one to answer. Are you happy? Let’s keep it simple, are you happy?
So those are some things to reflect on in terms of laugh, and again it’s supposed to be fun. So these are not scientific questionnaires we’re filling in here, it’s just some little prompts for you to think about, and again look back over the past year, maybe I’ve been too serious, maybe I’ve been pushing myself too much, maybe I do need to create a bit more space. Not just for resting and so on but actually doing fun, crazy, random things with my kids, with my friends, by myself, whatever it might be.
Then again, look at next year. Now, you don’t necessarily have to set goals next year, but again if you feel like you’re not that sort of thrilled, you’re not laughing so much, you’re not feeling that joy at the moment, maybe reflect on take some time out of your day to day, and goal setting, and pens and papers, and planning, and so on, and reflect on what would spark joy for you. When was the last time you were happy and felt joy? What were the things you were doing? Who were you with and so on?
And really then working out how you can do more of those things in the coming year, and it’s all about the little steps. It’s the one step always, so it’s not about necessarily quitting your job or changing your lifestyle completely, it’s about trying to find the little things you can do every day, most days, every week, whatever that looks like to, again, bring more joy, more laughter, and more fun into your life.
That, my friends, is it. We have gone through the five Ls. We have also been doing the Advent calendar over in the Facebook group, the One Step Outside Facebook group, and on my Instagram. So maybe you’ll be following along there too. We have gone through the model. One more time, everybody: live wellness and wellbeing, love relationships and romance, learn development and growth, lead career and impact, and now finally today laugh fun and spontaneity.
So I hope you’ve enjoyed this deep dive, a slow reflection over the past five weeks, six weeks even on these different areas, and I hope you’ve just had a few little sparks of intrigue, and curiosity, and ideas of maybe some things you might want to do differently in the coming year, and most importantly perhaps the next few months.
I always like to look sort of three months ahead is a great start, and then in another three months, and another, and then before you know it it’ll be the end of 2020, and we’ll be back looking again at how we’ve done in the year.
But again, I hope you’ve enjoyed this. I hope you found it useful. Now, we are going to be changing gears of course as we head into 2020 next year. 20/20 vision, it’s an exciting year. It is a new decade. Lots of new opportunities, new energy, ideas, and a whole new calendar of events, and programmes, and all sorts. Certainly on one step outside here, we have lots of things going on.
So in the meantime, I want to say a massive thank you. I celebrated 50 episodes a few weeks ago now. We’re heading into already 60. It’s fast accelerating it feels like, although of course it’s going as quickly as ever before, as slowly, however you look at it. I’m just so honoured that you guys have taken the time to listen to me. We have a growing community of people here listening, hopefully, and as ever of course if you have been enjoying listening, I would so value your recommendation. Maybe share your favourite episode with a friend of yours, or share the podcasts on one of your social channels, and of course if you’d like to leave a rating and review that would be so helpful, and I would be so appreciative.
But I am most of all appreciative, again, that you’ve taken the time to listen, that you’ve followed along with this new adventure, new experiment, this year, and we will be continuing in 2020. I’d of course love to hear from you in terms of what you’ve enjoyed, what you’d like to hear more of. You can get in touch with me at email@example.com, and now I’m throwing all sorts of ideas and channels at you, but of course you can find me over in the Facebook group. That’s a fantastic community where you’ll meet likeminded people working on re-imagining success outside of the conventional 9-5 as well, so that’s of course one step outside on Facebook. You can also go to onestepoutside.com/community. So a massive thank you to you all, and I hope to see you around elsewhere in the One Step Outside ecosystem.
Now, just a few little, I guess teases on what’s coming up. Of course there will be another round of the 9-5 escape plan. So those of you who missed it the last couple times we’ve been running this, or who want to do it again, or have been kind of dipping in, dipping out, and not quite managed to follow along completely. This is your chance. It’ll be coming back in January with another five day workshop with lots of bonus sessions. We’ll do the intensive again, as we did just this week in fact as I’m recording. So a few weeks out, and we’ll be back in January.
This is going through the five pillars of a sustainable escape plan because as we’ve been talking about, quitting your job is not just about that moment of quitting.
It’s about creating, designing, building a long-term, sustainable platform, business that works around your personal life and priorities and really making it work in the long run. So that’s what we’ll be focusing on throughout the year, really, and most immediately in the escape plan in January.
Now, we have a few opportunities for you as well to work with me, of course, but continuing with the One Step Outside, the 9-5 group programme as well which is for you if you are perhaps still in your corporate job, and you’re reflecting on how, and when, and what exactly you’re going to be doing as you start to and continue to navigate that escape out of your corporate job.
We have the Outsiders Business Accelerator, very exciting, where we have a new group of founding members joining. This is really the next level for those of you in the community who have already escaped, made that initial escape, you have the website up, you know who you want to work with, you know that you want to be doing this, you are committed, and now you really want to step up and get those clients and the income coming in and begin to really build this to something that can replace your full-time salary and be something that you’ll be proud of that really makes an impact and all those amazing things.
And of course there’s always the opportunity to work with me one on one. If you’re at the beginning of the journey, you have no idea what it is you want to do next, in fact if you are either in your corporate job and you’re thinking about leaving but you’re not sure if you do want to leave, if working for yourself is right, and you’re just looking for what that next step is, then I have the re-imagining success package. We work together for 90 days to really reflect on the big picture of what’s important to you as well as the immediate next steps.
Or at the other end of the spectrum, if you already have your business up and running, it’s going well, but maybe you’re working really, really hard, and you’re not quite getting the balance right with your work and your other priorities, and you want to work with me one on one really to get that bespoke mentoring on your specific business and personal goals, then that’s of course an opportunity as well. That can be something that we create together to really work for you as an individual both personally and professionally.
So lots of opportunities to work together. Of course as ever, the best thing to do is get in touch. We’ll get on the phone. We’ll talk through where you are, what you want to achieve, and how I might be able to help you. You can get in touch at onestepoutside.com/freeconsultation, onestepoutside.com/freeconsultation, and that’s the best way to book a call with me. I’ll be in touch, and we can arrange a call in the new year. Because yes, it is 2020. I’ll say it one more time.
But really again, a massive thank you for staying with me this year.
If you have been part of my community a while and you’re thinking about how you’re going to really step things up next year, I would love to have that conversation with you how I can help you. This is the time. This is your opportunity to make all the difference in the new year. What got you here won’t get you there, and getting the mentorship, working with someone who’s a few steps ahead of you who has that experience, who’s perhaps done what you want to do in whatever dimension that might be is such a huge enabler. It is not a weakness to ask for help, and I know those of you who have been listening who’ve been getting great value already from the free content, you just cannot even imagine the huge leaps you’ll make when you really invest in yourself, in your business, and work with me to take this now to the next level.
So I’m looking forward to talking to you, and all that remains for me to say is I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas break. I wish you every success in the new year and decade, 2020 and beyond, whatever success looks like for you. Thank you so much, and I’ll see you in the new year. Bye for now.
Connect with Anna:
If you’re ready to start to reimagine what success could look like for you, here are some of the ways in which Anna can support you:
Get private mentoring for your business – Partnering with a business coach can help you see those blind spots and get both external accountability and expert guidance to take your business to where you want it to be. www.onestepoutside.com/freeconsultation
Get private career coaching – Individual coaching is fully tailored to your specific goals and desires so we can create the programme that works best for you, with the support that you need to move forwards. www.onestepoutside.com/claritycall
Grab a copy of Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5 – After interviewing 50 people who have left the corporate 9 to 5 to forge their own path, Anna has collected their stories in a book that will inspire you with the possibilities that are out there and reassure you that you’re not alone in looking for an alternative. www.leavingthecorporate9to5.com
Join the One Step Outside the 9 to 5 Business Incubator – This is your roadmap to transitioning from a corporate job into setting up a meaningful business that will bring you more freedom, flexibility and fulfilment outside of the corporate 9 to 5. www.onestepoutside.com/9to5
Level up with The Outsiders Business Accelerator – This is a mastermind for entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners who want to create a long-term sustainable brand and business. www.onestepoutside.com/accelerate