Stop Recording…Start Living!

Often the wisest words come from the mouths of babes.

Or in my case, the mouth of a very bright 8 year old boy…my son Sacha.

On our recent holiday in France, I was so busy trying to record every moment to share (via Facebook, and email etc) with friends and family back home…that I wasn’t fully experiencing the moments as they were happening.

In this particular instance I was trying to capture an adorable picture of Sacha during his circus lessons.

Obsessed with gettting the perfect shot, I wasn’t really watching the trick he was trying to show me.

“Stop taking picutres, and look!” he cried.

Instantly I knew he was right. The real value of the moment was in the moment.

Not in the picture or pithy update quote to be posted or tweeted later.

So I put down the camera and I really watched. And it was pretty cool.

And then I took a few quick shots.

And maybe I didn’t capture exactly the perfect smile or get the ideal shot.

But when I close my eyes I can see it vividly and I can hear the excitement in his voice when he realized I was really present and paying attention.

Experiences are great to share, but first they should be…well…experienced.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?
Has recording gotten in the way of experiencing for you?

Back to School Blues

Today is the first day of school for my kids and I’ve got the blues.

It’s not because the summer is over (although it did whiz by).

It’ not even because the passage of time is so clearly marked as my kids march through the grades (it really does seem like yesterday my 7th grader was starting Kindergarten).

No, I’m blue for one simple fact- that they are the ones going back to school and not I.

I feel this way every fall.

In the real (working world) those of us who are lucky, and who make an effort to seek it out, do continue to learn.

But it’s just not the same as the larger “unknown” that students face this time of year.

I miss the anticipation of learning new things, delving into unfamiliar territory, discovering new teachers and even making new friends that comes with official “Back to School”.

So this year I’ve decided to do something about it. I’ve decided, in my own way, to go back to school.

I’m not talking about a graduate school kind of commitment.

I’m talking about taking stock this September of what I’d like to learn and setting out a plan (class schedule of sorts) to get there.

Right now I am still in the audit phase. High on my list are yoga, Hip Hop, Conversational Hebrew, and finally mastering the art of advanced Twitter.

OK it’s more of a varied Freshman liberal arts curriculum – but it works for me.

The important thing is I am committing to learning something new.

And the prospect of this is exciting…hey maybe I’ll even get a new backpack…or at the very least some new back to school clothes.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?
What are your back to school plans

Take Your Kids To Work Day… Every Day

Today is official “Take our Kids to Work Day” an annual event where boys and girls get to go into work and get a glimpse of what their parents do when they’re not home being plain old mom and dad.

It’s a great program, but it got me to thinking, maybe once a year isn’t enough.

What would happen if we took our kids to work every day?

Now I don’t mean literally. I’m thinking more metaphorically. What would happen if we let our “inner child” rule our approach to work.

My eight year old son is at a great age. Full of imagination and not yet at that self-conscious teenage stage. He loves coming up with ideas for Virgin businesses. His Virgin school bus complete with swivel seats, soft drinks coolers and Nintendo DS is actually one worth considering. Oh and it flies over traffic if you’re stuck behind some cars….

What if we allowed our eight year old selves to take over at work?

Even the most creative and collaborative environments could probably learn a thing or two from making every day “take your kids to work day”.

Chances are that overall work would be more fun.

We’d spend less time setting up meetings and worrying about getting through all our emails – and actually spend more time creating value through imaginative play. This could lead to more ideas. Maybe some crazy ones, but some gems as well.

Documents and presentations would be simpler. We’d use fewer big words and more colorful pictures to express ourselves. We couldn’t hide behind marketing and business jargon, because we wouldn’t know what it meant, and our colleagues (other kids) would quickly call us out on it.

We’d also be more comfortable being silly. Making fools out of ourselves, and even being gross (think of the eight year old obsessions with spurting milk out of the nose and burping). But this could be a positive thing. If we felt more relaxed and comfortable with our friends (colleagues) perhaps there would be less time worrying about maintaining our images and a freer exchange or information and ideas.

We would definitely be more collaborative. Few kids like to play alone. Everyone gets a turn up at bat. And losing is tough, but kids know there will always be another chance to play. They have perspective on the stakes and don’t take things more seriously than they deserve.

Innovation and learning would be more tactile and hands on. Instead of describing new packaging structures we’d get out the Play Doh, Legos and pipe cleaners and build models so others would get what we were talking about and easily build on our ideas.

Sound pretty cool, right? So why wait for a once year event? Try channeling your “inner child” more often and you might be pleasantly surprised by the “grown up” success.

That’s my Point of View. What’s your twist?

How do you bring your inner child to work?