Pricey was in strict quarantine for two weeks at the start of the Corona lockdown. He could not go anywhere every night the TV news and other shows were full of tension and worry.
In the midst of this someone sends Pricey a film clip of this hunky South American guy – shirtless – ripped abs and pecs doing this kind of Samba – and after twenty seconds the camera flicks to a Pricey look alike – fat, badly overweight and baldy doing the same dance – Pricey’s identical twin. The caption on the film said, ‘the effect of quarantine!” It got Pricey laughing. A before and after Pricey in quarantine – it portrayed exactly what was happening to him! Perhaps not the ripped before bit.
Life can get pretty serious and we find that from time to time – you find that life can get really busy – Grego has got a young family and just beginning to really grow his business – and sometimes you can go days without just plain old fun – enjoying something, a belly laugh or more. Grego had his 40th birthday recently and he was sitting down reflecting on where he was going with his life and he decided that he was going to make a conscious effort to enjoy his life and enjoy his work a lot more and actually have some fun instead of being so serious about it. And what has been interesting is that Grego began to feel a lot lighter and he found that overall he was enjoying life a lot more.
When Grego’s sons were two years old the family went on a holiday to New Zealand with Greg’s good friend Adam Bows and his family. Bowey has four kids – and they were all together in New Zealand – all six kids – running around, screaming like crazy and chaos! One day Bowey looked at Greg in the midst of the chaos and said,
“Kids have this incredible ability. All kids ever want to do is they just want to have fun. All the time. At every activity. Getting dressed. Getting in the car. Eating dinner. It can drive you bonkers but don’t forget all they’re trying to do is have fun.”
Then Grego realised – yeh, it is so true – and we lose a lot of that.
One of the great troubles with fun is that we overcomplicate it – fun is really simple. And we think he has to be big – and complicated like going to a comedy club or festival – and often you don’t need to do things like that – fun is just how you look at the most simple of things and choose to see the lighter side of it. What is the fun side of it because most things have the potential for the fun side of it all.
There is a story – a crazy story of the parents of twin boys. One was an eternal optimist and it did not matter what happened to him he would smile and see the light side of things. He was always smiling, always laughing – always positive. His twin was the absolute pessimist; nothing was ever any good; the food was bad, the game was no good, the holiday was boring etc. So one Christmas the parents decided to attempt to ‘cure’ the two sons of this extreme. So on Christmas morning they crept along the corridor to the room of the pessimist and inside they could hear crashing and complaining. They opened the door to find the pessimist twin kicking his brand new bike complaining that it was the wrong colour, it was too small, it wasn’t going to be fast enough, it was the wrong model and more. They closed the door and continued on down the corridor to the bedroom of the optimist twin and heard singing coming from inside.
They opened the bedroom door and saw the mountain of manure they had put in during the night and discovered the other twin on the top of the mountain with a spade – shovelling away and singing has he did. They said, “What are you so happy about?” He immediately replied, “With all this shit there has to be a pony in here somewhere!”
Crazy story – but it is all about HOW we see things – how we choose to see things. Can we get a mindset of positiveness – a mindset of laughter. A mindset of holding things in a light type of a way. A mindset of not thinking, “We’ll all be doomed!”
But it is not about being like a little kid. Not everything you do and touch is going to be fun every day – that would not be real. But it is about the choice- especially when you have a difficult task coming up, something you would consider a bit of a chore – and you think, “I’m going to make this a bit of fun!” It could be as simple as putting on your favourite music as you go about the chore or go to a favourite place – or calling in a mate to come and join you in the task – so it is more enjoyable. Or putting a reward into the fridge for afterwards – a nice icy cold beer or something! Really enjoy it.
Recently Grego who likes to stay fit and healthy – and he loves a cold beer at the end of the day or a red wine – and he was feeling guilty that he was not staying as healthy as he wanted to be. So because he wasn’t as disciplined as he wanted to be – he began to see that he wasn’t enjoying it as much. So Grego said, “This feeling guilty about it is just stupid!” So he made the decision to really train hard – BUT then to reward it with the cold beer – and just enjoy it – no guilt.
There are times with fun when you actually have to plan for it. Sure it is often spontaneous – but there are other times when you need to plan for it. You PLAN the camping trip away – you PLAN to take your lovely partner out on a date, you PLAN for a family outing somewhere. The danger is that our lives can be so really busy and we get busy busy busy – and we then put the ‘fun time’ to the side – but when you plan for that time away, that date, that outing etc – it is like a reward and it puts balance back into things.
For example post all of this Coronavirus stuff – Pricey is planning now to get together with a couple of his mates and go on a four or five day hike – probably in November. But they are already planning for it. We’re going to get a date into our diaries, choose a good hike – begin the long term planning now. Even the planning can be fun. And when you are up in the mountains or down by the sea and it is at the end of long day on a hike – you look around you and you celebrate the day – it is a great feeling. You may not have laughed all day – but as you lay in your sleeping bag in the cabin that night or play cards by candle light – you look at one another and your smiles say, “Wasn’t that fun!”
So for some of it – plan for it – other times it is just spontaneous and there is that second – and you just laugh or you are just silly. You tell a silly story or just act silly and it is a spontaneous thing. And if you keep on doing those spontaneous things and you trust that it begins to happen more and more.
Also if you have a major goal or a challenge or something you are trying to achieve or you are in a stressful job or something without fun you are going to get crushed – it is just going to wear you down. Back in the old days when Grego was a kid – they would gather around the old TV at 6 pm and on Channel 0 there would be MASH. Grego’s favourite actors were Hawkeye Pearce and B J Honeycut – and the antics they got up to in that old mobile army hospital were just hilaiour – but when you think about it it was just them having that release valve.
Release from the stress and the anxiety of the particular environment that they worked in. It is such an important lesson for the rest of us – in life when things get busy or stressful you need an outlet of fun and enjoyment.
The thing is if you are taking on a major goal – perhaps you first marathon or a major fitness goal or launching a new business or taking on something really really hard you have to have something within it that is based on a reward – you are doing a really hard workout – you work hard – but you put on some great music and more. One of the things Grego has learned working with high performance people is that while they really work hard – they also know how to have fun and relax and release and renew. They make the hard task fun!
Pricey had this wonderful mother Zena and she had this wonderful ability where she could laugh at herself but she could also laugh at Pricey. Pricey does some really stupid things. There was a time when Pricey’s older brother was having his 40th birthday party and Damien went back to Proserpine to celebrate with him. A huge party. And the following morning there was a great mess bottles and chairs and rubbish everywhere. So Pricey is down in the garden cleaning up – and he has this large old BBQ with the gas jet ports – and the labels have rubbed off on them – so Pricey goes to clean the BBQ thinking that the jets on off – and turns on the gas and lights up – and woff – a huge lot of flame from the gas – and Pricey goes falling back with his eyebrows singed!
Pricey did not know but Zena has mother was upstairs watching all of this and when he happened she just laughed and laughed and laughed. Pricey looked up and then he burst into laughter too. That’s what you have to do in life (not the gas bottle bit). Can you laugh at yourself?!
So our Universal Man challenge is to just have a bit more fun and to take that into every aspect of your life – approach things with a lighter note, see the fun side, laugh a little – have some fun.
And if you do it will make a huge difference to yourself but also to the people around you. And be a little creative – go into left field. Do something silly – do something you have never actually done! But don’t see it as a chore but rather fun – and one of these days when you are actually allowed to – take someone along on the adventure with you.
Pricey & Grego