We’re In the Game

People are more creative and vastly more productive when they enjoy what they are doing.

Imagine someone takes you to a large empty room—let’s call it Room B—hands you a ball, and asks you to bounce it to the end of the room, throw it against the wall, catch it, then bounce it to the other end of the room, over, and over, and over. After an hour, you would be trying to figure out how to extract yourself from this miserable drudgery.

In the next room—call it Room A—there are two teams playing basketball. They will go through the same motion—bouncing the ball across the floor, throwing it up, bouncing it back across, throwing it up—but they will love it. For two hours, they will go through essentially the same motion, but they’ll do it with intensity and excitement.

Room A is about “being in the game.” In one you hate what you are doing, in the other, you love it. And if you win, the game it will be a source of pride and camaraderie. The difference is so extreme that we must conclude that whenever possible we should live our lives in Room A, not Room B. Meaning comes from having a clear goal.

We recite our goals every morning. Not only is it a good idea to start the day with a clear understanding of where you are trying to go, it also puts a score board up on the wall. If the company doesn’t make its quarterly sales goal, we’ve lost the game.

Never just bounce balls. Get in the game—with a team, goals, and a scoreboard. It is worth the effort—every bit of it. We spend a few minutes each morning figuring out how to spend our work day in Room A, not Room B. It can transform you and those around you.

Are you in the game?