009 Sideweight Radio – How to Work Less and Succeed More

Work harder. Work faster. Work smarter.

Usually, competitive markets lead us to believe these are the keys to succeed. How could we possibly work less and succeed more?

Work Less

“The harder you try, the less you succeed.
Don’t try at all, and get everything you need.”
– Slightly Stoopid

In this podcast, we discuss how to work less and succeed more. A new perspective on work gives us the opportunity to play our way towards success.

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Personal Story

My parents wanted to talk to me.

“We are worried that you are spending too much time alone in the basement,” they told me.

Naturally, my brain started firing defensive thoughts. I’m working down there. They don’t get it.

Remember, going sane feels like going crazy.

I started to list all the creative activities I do…
Open mics. Casting calls. Toastmasters. Podcasting. Blogging.

How could they think I’m not socializing? They don’t understand.

However, a lingering loneliness now became painfully obvious. Many times, I go to these activities yet still feel a disconnect.

My parents also made mention that I didn’t seem energized by what I am doing. Why do my parents feel that I lack passion doing what I love to do?

Because I love these activities, I started to pursue them as a way to earn a living doing what I love. However, the very thought of earning a living turned my loves into the very thing I dread, a job.

Few things make people want to quit chasing their dreams more than the moment when tasks that were once invigorating become tiresome.

How can we prevent this from happening? How can we reinvigorate our work if it already has happened?

How Play Helps Us Work Less

“Play can be defined as an activity that has no purpose or objective outside of pure enjoyment or amusement.”
– Indiana University School of Health

When we work, we constantly pursue some end (i.e. money or recognition). However, play detaches itself from the end.

As play declines, less people feel they have control over their lives. Work drives us crazy. Caught up in the rat race, people feel they have no control because they always pursue ends that elude them.

Five to eight times as many children today suffer from major depression or clinically significant anxiety disorder compared to the children of 1950. Suicide rates from 15-24 have doubled in the same time period. These increases directly correlate with the decline of play.

“Play, by definition, is self controlled and self directed.”
– Peter Gray

We play because we want to play.

In other words, the means become the end when we play. People don’t play to get noticed or rich. We play for the sake of playing.

The personal engagement gives us a sense of autonomy.

“Creative work is play. It is free speculation using the materials of one’s chosen form.”
– Stephen Nachmanovitch

We chose to use our dominant talent as our form of play. However, once we have gotten going, we may be turning the play into work. Always looking for more impact, we find ourselves chasing what delivers results above what stimulates our own curiosity.

“Those mammals that have the largest brains and that have the most to learn are the ones that we find play the most.”
– Peter Gray

Play comes with many benefits. Your life will see physical, mental, emotional, and social improvements. However, we do not play for these benefits.

The benefits of play are like the opposite sex. When you go out looking for them, they become more difficult to find. However, when you just have fun playing, they will find you.

“They are in a state of play, and it’s that state that allows these two creatures to explore the possible.”
– Stuart Brown

To Sum It Up

Play away all those stresses that we associate with work. Turn the work into play. Do the activity because you love to do the activity. Make sure your creativity feels self controlled and self directed. Transform your means into your end. Rather than working to satisfy the ego, play bypasses the ego and allows us to explore the possible.

Closing Comments

1. I am excited to announce my first book is coming soon!

2. I, like you, am exploring my own true self throughout the Great Adventure. The Mystery of Life maintains my sense of wonder.

3. If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to hear or a question you want answered in an upcoming episode,

or e-mail me


How I Cured My Anxiety by Charlie Hoehn

Effortless Mastery by Kenny Warner

The Decline of Play by Peter Gray

Play Is More Than Just Fun by Stuart Brown

Question: When have you dreaded something that used to make you feel passionate? How did you respond? You can share your story in a comment below.