(I’m about to use a song by Coldplay to make a serious point but, stick with me and we’ll both pretend like it didn’t happen. ‘k? Good, here goes…)
So, I was thinking while I was cooking this evening. Spaghetti Bolognese, it was yummy, thanks for asking. I listen to music & “process” when I cook. You’d have to scream pretty loudly to get my attention, not because the music is loud but because I’m in the zone, a little lost in the process, making some culinary magic happen. I don’t have to think too closely about what I’m doing because, let’s face it, Bolognese isn’t rock science once you’ve learnt the basic step by step. (Sorry Italy!)
My magical somewhat psychic iPhone shuffle played me some Coldplay, Viva La Vida. Here comes the video, go watch it I’ll be here when you’re done. Coldplay Video: Viva La Vida on Youtube.
Yeah I know. Whatever your opinion on the musical content or lyrics there’s a couple of things we can agree on:
1) Goodness me, his eyes. #swoon Yes it might be digitally adjusted but, well…
2) All the way through you can see the calculations being made. He’s up in his head, waiting for the next line. It’s all a bit awkward. Look at the dancing.
Yes, he’s a pop star and it’s his job but it all looks a bit forced.
Compare & contrast: same song, different context & a lesson to reflect on.
Sorry, it’s more Coldplay but I promise I’m getting to a point. Go, go, I’ll still be here.
PS22 Chorus singing Viva La Vida on youtube
You might have seen a PS22 video before, you might have seen that video before but, let’s take a moment together. Here’s a confession from me: first time I watched them sing I felt horribly awkward. I clicked away & stopped to wonder at my own recoil. It wasn’t Coldplay. I started to analyse what I was feeling & eventually realise my awkwardness came from their obvious joy at singing. All through you see kids losing themselves in something they love. They’re doing those gestures & closing their eyes not because they’ve been told to but because that’s what feels right in that particular moment.
Watching those kids sing helped me pinpoint the times & places where I can lose myself in the same way. Sometimes I need to get out of my head, like the blue eyed singer we observed earlier, and I appreciate the people who are able to help me be creative & give me space for the stuff I do.
There was a phrase I used for a while “Most of the really interesting things happen outside of the 9-5”. It was me being a wise-ass & showing off a little. That phrase let me absent myself slightly, which in business is a no-no. Being present in the 9-5 is good.
Let’s pause a moment & reflect. You might not be able to lose yourself in your work. There are some among us that are super lucky & their work is something they can lose themselves in. (jealous much?)
For me it was crucial to identify things I can lose myself in: music, Bolognese, improv, prayer, meditation, pilates, reading. Stuff where time just flows, everything comes together & it’s really really beautiful. Everyone needs that, even if it’s just once a week. Go on, celebrate life & get lost.