How to embed fun and play into decision making
Here’s the big misconception.
Fun and play should be left behind when making serious business decisions.
Let’s begin by taking a short tour of the main gods of fun and play!
For mythology is littered with gods of fun and play. You only have to consider Zeus, the great king of the gods himself. Zeus is renowned for his sense of trickery. Although whether you would consider much of his trickery ‘fun’ for the others involved is debatable.
Many would say mischievous trickery is truly the home of the Norse god Loki. Loki seemed to be both fiercely loyal and fiercely disloyal to his other Asgardians. Especially, for anyone who has watched the more recent films, Odin and Thor.
One of the least well known gods of fun might well be Hera. Did you know Hera kept restoring her own virginity, just for the fun of it? But then being married to the ever sexual Zeus could have had something to do with that.
Dionysus (or Bacchus), god of wine and good times, is probably the most commonly known god of fun and play. He is often referred to as the god of epiphany, ‘the god that comes’, and is seen by some as the forerunner to Jesus Christ (who Christians know as the great bringer of joy – and how can you have joy without playfulness?)
But back to Dionysus, who is strongly connected to the arts and creativity. A freeing up of one’s thinking. Most people nowadays will be well aware of the tension between the Apollonian and the Dionysian aesthetic principles, where Dionysus represented the unrestrained, the chaotic and the irrational, while Apollo represented the restrained, the ordered and the rational. We could easily connect this now to the debates around the left brain/ right brain split (but doesn’t that sound dull?)
The notion of the left/right brain split is common place now, with the left brain (sometimes known as the everyday self) being logical and linear. The so called ‘objective’ side that works from knowledge and that enables us to use language and speech.
The right brain is the creative and abstract side. The right side works through stories, shape and pattern. This is the so called ‘subjective’ side that controls our emotions, feelings and energy.
This understanding has major significance for focus and attention. Indeed, we now know through neuroscience, leadership and other research that logical and rational decision-making is extremely limiting, if it exists at all. When there are decisions to be made, especially at times of pressure or in situations of ambiguity and complexity, the so called experts often use their ‘intuition’, indeed there is growing evidence that suggests complexity making it easier to think ‘intuitively’ about a situation and thereby make better decisions.
So, getting our left and right brain to work to support one another is a powerful tool that civilisation has been grappling with since the time of the early gods.
How then do we go about bringing our left/right brain together to embed fun and play into our decision making process?
We do this through the technique of ‘reframing’ our ‘state’, one example is called ‘bridging’ where we use language (left brain) to help us control our emotional state (right brain).
A well-known illustration of this is;
- I feel depressed: The use of this statement locks us into that emotional state of depression.
- I feel manageably depressed: This does not change the emotional state of being depressed, but it does give a sense of control over it.
- I feel manageable: This allows us to move from the feeling of depression and opens up the emotions to feeling something else (the potential to shift our feeling and thinking).
- I feel manageably happy: If you are open to feeling something else you are then able to accept being manageably happy.
- I feel happy: The use of this statement locks us into that emotional state of being happy.
We have now reframed the original state of being ‘depressed’ to the state of being ‘happy’. From here we can take the next steps to move from happy to joyful and playful.
This is an extreme illustration but shows well the shift that can happen, which as a consequence can have a hugely significant impact on the decisions we make.
Bringing it all together
This has real significance for the development of our emotional intelligence, i.e. knowing one’s emotions, which as we know is the foundations of self-awareness. Once we accept and understand this process from a left brain position we are then able to work more creatively and cooperatively with the right brain – creating synergy – and gaining the power to do what even the great gods of old couldn’t.
Invest in my ebook DISCover your Animal Magic: 6 Steps to Support Small Changes for Big Transformation – Kindle Edition at a mere £2.82 which will help you walk through the steps to developing greater awareness and curiosity – so desperately needed in life and business for an enquiring mind to make those expert ‘intuitive’ decisions.
Follow me on Twitter RobertAdamsDISC
Pre-order my book DISCover the Power of You: How to Cultivate Change for Positive and Productive Cultures due for publication through John Hunt Publishing Ltd in August 2017.