First, a true story:
Me: My blog is about Silliness this week and I don’t know what to write…
Cory: I’m surprised…
Cory: [matter of factly] Because you’re the silliest person I know.
Me: [laughing] What makes me so silly?
Cory: [dead serious] I don’t know. You’re a dang frickin’ goofball!
Silliness is a value at Tailored Output. Not because it jumped out during a values generation exercise. And not because it surfaced during a Coaching for Values session. Nope. Silliness is a value at Tailored Output because I catch myself frequently saying that sentence, as part warning part explanation. When I am skipping down the street after a happy hour with friends. When I am snatching coloring pages and crayons from the hostess stand on the way to dinner "meetings.” When I am looking for ways to liven up a workshop, to ensure the right atmosphere for creativity, to make the mood more jovial.
A little bit of Silliness can go a long way.
There is something so pure about it, so Optimistic (another Tailored Output value). Humor can be dark or cutting and sarcastic. Fun can be competitive. Silliness requires unbridled enthusiasm. Uninhibited expression. Childlike curiosity.
Silliness evokes the infectious giggle of a kindergartener plotting his first April Fool’s prank. Silliness takes the tether off thought. It opens up the mind to wild ideas. Bright possibility.
Couldn’t we all use more Silliness in our lives?
And that’s the point of declaring Silliness a value at Tailored Output. It’s an explanation. And a notice to all comers: Silliness is not only welcome here, it’s expected. Goofball is a valid career ambition.
Now, let me be clear: That does not mean we (you and me, friend) don’t explore the dark parts of our experience. That does not mean we don’t actively and forcefully push against what holds us back. That does not mean we don’t express our frustration, our anger, our rage even.
Because we do. Often.
And sometimes that hard work means we don’t have the capacity to be silly. Because the deep work we’re doing takes up too much of our emotional pie. We don’t reject that reality. Instead, we use it as information. If the situation is too much to be silly—is to heavy to be light-hearted—that is a blinding-bright signal that there is work to be done. To reshape our circumstances. To reframe our perspective. To build our capacity. To heal. To get back to the big, bright, open space where Silliness can play. Where Goofballs are welcome, again.
So ask yourself this: When was the last time you did something truly silly? What does that tell you? What do you want to do, next?
Special Note: This is the fifth in a series of blogs about our values: COURAGE. OPTIMISM. CONTRIBUTION. SILLINESS. CURIOSITY. GROWTH. I founded Tailored Output to help you accomplish something remarkable. To tackle The Impossible. And Silliness helps open up the creative parts of us that often go dormant after childhood. I promote and protect Silliness, here, like I promote and protect all of our values, even when it would be expedient or easy to abandon them for a little bit.
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