Since day one, we’ve had a philosophy at Project Spaces: our lives are better when we balance hard work with having fun, and don’t take ourselves too seriously.
But that can sometimes be a lot easier said than done. Life gets busy, work can be challenging, and sometimes it all just catches up with you.
So, as celebrate our 11th anniversary this month, we wanted to share our thoughts on why you should try not to take things too seriously, both in work and in life, as well as a few tips to help you do it.
Reason 1: You’ve gotta be able to roll with the punches
Life and work are a rollercoaster, especially as an entrepreneur or remote pro.
As much as we’d like to believe it’ll all be smooth sailing, the reality is that sometimes you’re going to be up and sometimes you’re going to be down. And the only way to come out on top is to be lighthearted and adaptable.
In our experience, it’s a lot easier to roll with the punches when you don’t take yourself—or life—too seriously.
Staying humble and lighthearted allows you to enjoy the highs, embrace the lows, and stay level through it all.
In the words of George Jung’s dad in the classic flick Blow:
“Sometimes you're flush and sometimes you're bust, and when you're up, it's never as good as it seems, and when you're down, you never think you'll be up again, but life goes on.”
Reason 2: It’s vital to find enjoyment in your days
As Jack Nicholson so famously said in The Shining…
“All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.”
We’re all for working hard but you’ve also gotta be able to cut loose and find some enjoyment in your days.
This includes seeking fulfillment from your work as much as it does finding a work-life balance that lets you indulge in the fruits of your labour and make the most of your free time.
It’s great to get serious and buckle down when you have to, but it’s equally vital to loosen up, have some laughs, and do the things that bring you joy.
Reason 3: Humility and humbleness help you connect with people
In our opinion, people who take themselves too seriously are… well, hard work to be around.
The key to truly connecting with people, both personally and professionally, is to be humble and practice humility.
It makes you approachable, engaging, and invigorating to be around.
Alright—we know what you’re thinking. Taking yourself less seriously is easy in theory but harder in execution. But that’s not entirely true.
Taking yourself less seriously can be as simple as becoming a bit more self-aware, being more intentional in your thoughts and actions, and getting proactive in checking yourself when you need it.
Here are a few tips to help you do it.
Tip #1: Look on the bright side
It’s natural to get into a negative headspace from time to time. It happens to the best of us.
But it’s helpful to train your brain to opt for optimism, especially when you find yourself feeling beat down.
This can be something as simple as:
- Taking five minutes to think about who and what you’re grateful for
- Writing down your accomplishments so far this year (this might feel weird, but trust us, it will help)
- Looking back at how far you’ve come and all the things you’re still excited for
When you shift the way you think, you’ll find the minutiae of every day a little less daunting—and a little less serious.
Tip #2: Put things into perspective
Nothing humbles you quicker than taking a second to put your problems into perspective.
How can you do that?
Here are a few things you can think about to give yourself some context…
- Zoom out… you think you’re in Canada right now? You’re on a space rock floating in infinite nothingness, and that nothingness is getting bigger (for a good laugh on this topic, check out this standup comedy bit from Pete Holmes)
- Ask yourself if the thing you’re worried about today will be relevant in a year, let alone five years from now
- Consider the fact that, in theory, the probability of you even existing is 1 in 400 trillion, so even a bad day is literally a miracle
- You live significantly better than the majority of the people in the world so, in the big scheme of things, a lot of your problems are simply champagne problems
When you look at things with some context, it gets a lot easier to take them a lot less seriously.
Tip #3: Surround yourself with people who can keep you grounded
It’s said that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So, make sure you’re surrounded by supportive people who have your best interest at heart and can help you stay grounded, optimistic, and lighthearted.
This can be anything from encouraging you to go on an adventure to just pushing you to take a much-needed day off.
You might not notice you’re starting to take things too seriously since you deal with it every day, but people on the outside can definitely pick up the signals.
And that’s what we love about the community here at Project Spaces. It’s a tight-knit community of work friends who see each other daily and can help keep each other accountable.
Tip #4: Forego the pursuit of perfection
Do you consider yourself a perfectionist?
If so, we’ve got news for you: the pursuit of perfection is a fruitless endeavour.
Because perfection is subjective. It doesn’t really exist. And as soon as you think you’ve achieved it, the goalpost moves and you’re looking for something even better.
This applies to your life as much as your work.
Don’t believe us?
Think back ten years. What did you envision your life would look like today?
The odds are that your reality either looks nothing like what you envisioned because you made adjustments and pivots that better suited your changing desires along the way or it far exceeds what you ever imagined.
Either way, perfection is fleeting and, even when you feel like everything’s perfect, it never stays that way. And that’s OK.
When you acknowledge that nothing will ever be perfect, it makes it a lot easier to take things less seriously and just enjoy the ride.
Life is too short to take everything too seriously. In our humble opinion, the ideal way to live is to work hard, achieve great things, spend time with awesome people, and have a ton of fun along the way.
If that sounds like the life you want to live, then come visit us. We’d love to have you here.
Founder-friendly coworking in downtown Toronto for entrepreneurs and digital nomads. EST 2011. We create original workspaces, fill them with relentless entrepreneurs, and watch the magic happen. Learn more