How do You Know if You’ve Contacted Adultitis?

kimandjasonEvery now and again, I like to bring you short interviews to give you a new perspective on work happiness. During my study of work happiness I have found that there are many paths to the same goal. Some people believe that loving what you do is a must, while other people believe that relationships are vital to enjoying the work that we do. Interviews are a great way to get out of your own perspective and see what other people are doing to be happy at work.

There are so many amazing people in the blogging world, but one of my more recent finds is Jason of Escape Adulthood. He and Kim (his wife) have created a business out of bringing the fun back into life.

The first impression of Jason was a video that I watched of a water balloon fight between Jason and Kim. They were sitting in chairs and throwing water balloons over their garage to see who had the better aim. It was right then that I was hooked. Having fun in life is a big part of being happy, so I’m glad to bring you an interview with Jason.

Karl: On a scale of 1- 10 (10 being very important) how important is work happiness to you? Why did you pick that number?

Jason: I would have to say 10. As a teenager, I worked at a car dealership and hated nearly every minute of it. But I knew it was only a part time job. Even more troubling were some of the mechanics who worked there that also seemed to hate every single minute of it. I decided right then and there that I’d do whatever it took to find a job that made me happy. Now that doesn’t mean it’s always easy or fun, but the challenges are what help make it interesting. Life is too short to spend most of it doing something you hate. Life is also too short to spend most of it doing something you only kinda like.

What is one task that annoys you? How do you make it more enjoyable or at least tolerable?

I’m not a big fan of the accounting side of things. As an entrepreneur, having a good handle on the finances is important, but paying bills and tracking expenses is my least favorite thing to do. So I do a couple of things to cope. I use a payroll service to take care of the check writing and let me know how much tax to pay Uncle Sam. I have an accountant who takes care of the annual corporate tax return. I hire someone to enter orders from our online store into our accounting software. And I schedule the rest of the stuff that I have to do early in the week so I have fun stuff to look forward to when I’m finished.

What is your favorite part of your job? Why?

There are two, and sometimes they overlap: 1) being creative and 2) making people think. That’s when I feel most alive and am most fully using the talents God’s given me. I’ve finally gotten to the point where those areas are where I spend the majority of my time, whether it’s through a speech, a blog post, or a drawing.

How do you maintain harmony between your working and non-working life?

For me, they blend together quite well. A few weeks ago, I spoke at a conference held in a resort that features three indoor water parks. I brought my wife and daughter with me to the program, and we spent some time the day before my talk splashing around. I was thinking that although it’s not unusual for a person to combine work and play with their family, it is a little unusual that for me, I’m kind of expected to. That’s freakin’ cool. Of course, this didn’t just happen; it required a lot of planning and effort and sacrifice along the way. Life balance is a real priority for me and Kim, and we are very mindful and intentional about how we spend our time. Contrary to the old adage, I like to think that I try to “preach what I practice,” which helps keep things pretty harmonious.

What is your favorite stress reliever?

Going for a walk by the lake on a sunny day. Easy. Simple. Cheap.

If you are feeling down, what do you do to lift your spirits?

Eat something comforting, like a big bowl of macaroni and cheese. If I’m ready for something a bit more productive, I’ll go for a walk, bring my iPod, and listen to songs that remind me about God’s love for me. My down moments usually are the result of me drifting too far away from him.

What is your biggest detriment to enjoying your work?

Just like anyone, it’s super easy to get bogged down in the details of the day-to-day. The stuff that piles up, needs to get done, and takes on an overblown sense of urgency. It’s always a challenge to keep from confusing the urgent with the important; a lot of the stuff we get stressed out about doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in the big picture. It’s important to regularly stop and reflect to maintain a sense of perspective. If you get too caught up in the busyness of life, stress piles up and you miss out on some of the best stuff.

What do you do to stay motivated and productive?

At first, the avoidance of going out to get a real job provided ample motivation. Then the pressure of paying rent (and now a mortgage) did the trick. But more and more, the gravity of this issue and how it affects families and relationships is what’s driving me. The speed of life continues to increase and create new challenges for people. Life balance is a real struggle. And there are too many people looking back on their life saying, “I wish I woulda…” The mission that motivates me is to help people have as few “I wish I wouldas” as possible.

If you could give work happiness advice to someone just starting their career in 140 characters or less (Twitter style) what would it be?

Don’t wait for permission. Follow your dreams. Work really hard. Don’t give up. And most importantly, don’t forget to have fun along the way.

If you want to learn how live with less stress and more fun then check out Jason’s blog Escape Adulthood.

* Join over 600 people who have already subscribed to the FREE Happy at Work 10 Week eCourse. It will arrive in your inbox every Monday morning, when you need it the most. (Sign up is in the top left corner)

* Terry Starbucker wrote Don’t Be A Victim of Success (Keep Climbing). I loved the concept of striving to bring more value every single day.

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Comments

  1. Karl,
    Awesome interview!

    Jason,
    Hey, it’s great to see you here! When your two favorite parts of your job overlap…it’s creative think! (pretty creative, huh!?!?) And about your motivation…that feels very much to me like it’s something coming from deep within you. And that’s a great place to get that drive and motivation from… {waving to your daughter and Kim, too!)

  2. Things that challenge us seem to make our lifes/jobs interesting, which flows into joy. Movement of mind and body is a great expression of life and empowerment. I believe we feel happy in those satisfied peaceful moments, and they follow creativity and accomplishment. Nice interview. Thanks, Simon.

  3. “Life is also too short to spend most of it doing something you only kinda like.” My thoughts exactly. Kinda like – kinda live.

  4. Karl,
    Thanks for bringing this interview to us. I’ve discovered their site a while back and forgot about it. I love what they do and it’s exactly what the world needs now. Fun, laughter and play and the beat goes on!

    • Hi Tess, I know that I forget to have fun and just laugh at my circumstances. When this happens my anger takes over and I get further away from my happiness. It’s funny how that works. These feelings are showing me that I need to get back to having fun.

  5. I feel that people should follow this advice not just for there own well being, and the well being of their families, but for those around them. People who are miserable while working their current job have a tendency to spread their angst and infect their coworkers with their negative feelings.

    It is not always easy to make all the adjustments and lifestyle changes which are required when making a career move. Even with that in mind I would encourage people to do a good accounting of all the possible benefits as well.

    • Hi DC, Happy and unhappy feelings affect the workplace like a virus. If someone is in a toxic environment they should get out as fast as they can. We deserve to be treated with respect. I like how you encourage people to take account of their situation. This is a much needed skill that needs to be applied more often.

  6. I liked the point on coping … know what you’re great at, know what you’re not so great at or hate doing, and find ways to cope (and don’t ignore them or pretend they don’t matter … since they keep the business afloat.)

    • Hi J.D., Yes! Once again you are on the money. Why suffer through something we hate when we can have someone who enjoys doing the work do it for us. If we can afford to have a 2nd party do the work then it allows us to focus on the good stuff.

    • Thanks, J.D. Yep, it’s really easy to avoid the stuff we don’t really like and then wonder why our business isn’t farther along than it is. Another point is that nobody can do it all. I look at it as God’s way to make sure we had to cooperate and depend on each other.

  7. Hello Karl and Jason

    Great Interview!

    I was really moved and inspired by Kim and Jason when Lance had them on his site, and I loved the whole idea of just living with fun!!!

    This is all great advice and I love the most the sense of “blending” or I guess it can also be called balancing the word/family time.

  8. This is a great post! I’ve been thinking a lot about the topic of adulthood lately and this was a great read for me. Thank you!

  9. I remember Lance’s interview with Kim and Jason, and I, too, was hooked on this cool couple. Great interview, Karl!

    Jason, I think what I liked most in your interview (which was all a ton of fun to read) was this line, “My down moments usually are the result of me drifting too far away from [God].”

    Amen — I love how you worded that, and it’s something that really resonated with me.

    Love, joy and prosperity to you and Kim!
    Have a happy week, Karl!

    • Hi Megan, Our core beliefs should be a part of our work too. When we feel connected to our work we feel closer to God. Just my opinion. I’m glad you enjoyed that part.

    • It took me a while to make that connection, Megan. But it’s true. I don’t know why that realization hasn’t prevented any further “down” moments, but when things are going good, it’s easy to think you don’t need anyone else, and so the drifting commences… I guess a good faith = lots of practice :)

  10. Hi Karl,

    Hmm, it really says something about our society that we now need reminders and help in bringing fun back into our lives. Yikes! I’m delighted to see that there are people like you, and Jason and Kim who want to support or empower others to bring the fun back into their lives and find ways to be happier at work. I know for myself, I find work–whether paid or on a volunteer basis– a whole lot more meaningful and fun when I’m combining my talents and passions and using them to make a positive difference in the world.

    • Hi Sue. Good point. As my career advances, I’m beginning to see that I’m kind of like a professional “reminderer.” But with life a such a hectic pace these days, we ALL need reminders from time to time.

  11. Hehe my favorite part of the interview was this line -

    “If you are feeling down, what do you do to lift your spirits?

    Eat something comforting, like a big bowl of macaroni and cheese.”

    ;) . Who doesn’t like a big bowl of mac and cheese!

  12. I was first introduced to them on Lance’s blog, too and enjoyed that interview. I, too, am amazed that we need reminders to have fun! What happened to us?? Good to know there are people out there trying to bring it all back!

  13. What happened to us? Aliens. I think we should blame it on aliens.

    Or maybe it’s our incessant need to cram our days with as much activity as possible or keep up with the expectations of other people.

    But it’s probably aliens.

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