Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure. Joe Maddon, Manager, Chicago Cubs


What motivates you to get things done?

  1. Put it on your TO DO list.
  2. Give yourself a deadline.
  3. Promise yourself a reward when it’s done.
  4. None of the above.
  5. All of the above.

It’s no secret that I am a die-hard Cubs fan. This year, 2016, was our year to win the World Series after a 108 year drought. As I watched the team and listened to the Joe Maddon, the unorthodox Mr. Motivator Manager, I was struck by the commitment to having fun, to enjoying the game. Throughout the year he came up with zany sayings that all reminded them to put pleasure first. Relaxation and fun yields better results than pressure and forced concentration. Guess he was right.

Professional baseball players endure a long season. Game after game. And somehow Joe Maddon modeled the approach he was preaching. You’ve got 27 outs each game. Go for the Win. Have fun. This is just one game.. Even when Cubs were down 1-3 in the World Series and were on the brink of elimination, he stayed relaxed. He told them to go trick or treating before flying to Cleveland for the last two games. Then needed to show up and play another game and above all have fun.

What can we take from this and apply to our lives? We show up every day in our lives with a laundry list of things to do. Some days are more full than others. Whatever our lives look like we get to decide if we’re going accomplish those tasks with pleasure or pressure. One of my favorite songs from Mary Poppins is Spoonful of Sugar. In it she sings: “In every job that must be done there is an element of fun. You find the fun and SNAP! the job’s a game. “ I think Mary Poppins and Joe Maddon must be related!

The prevailing thought in society today is that there are most if not all chores and tasks are just not fun. In fact, the prevailing thought indicates that life is hard and full of struggle. If you can just make it till the weekend, or vacation, or just get a day off when you finally get to do what you want to do.

How would life be different if you and I chose a radical Joe Maddon new way? What if every thing on our task list, everything in our lives were an opportunity to see how we might add a little fun, a little pleasure to the task.. It could be as simple as remembering how good it will feel to have it done. Crossing it off the task list. What if that could grow so that every day we woke up and expected to have fun throughout the day no matter whether I’s the middle of the week or not?

I invite you to play with this. Where is the balancing point for you; that point where you give yourself just enough pressure to be in action and gift yourself with the crazy idea that it just might be fun as you do it. Try it on for size. You only have extra pressure to lose!