This past weekend we took a trip up the west coast to celebrate my wife’s sister’s wedding.

I treated the weekend like a bit of a digital detox, taking things very slowly. I woke up without an alarm, meditated on the deck with the morning sun and the sea breeze on my face, went for a run along the beach, had a nap, and enjoyed the little bit of downtime without technology.

During my beach run, I was listening to a podcast interview with Dan Heath, author of The Power of Moments.

In the interview, Dan was speaking about the 4 elements of a defining moment; those stand-out moments that we never forget. To summarize briefly, these are elevation, insight, pride, and connection.

At one point, Dan was talking about seriousness and how detrimental it can be to a business’s (or individual’s) success.

It came at the perfect time for me as I’m currently participating in Jason Goldberg’s Playful Prosperity program, which basically teaches entrepreneurs how to run a successful business without feeling like they need to be serious or put on a “professional” image when they’re at work.

This is something I’ve struggled with a lot personally and Jason is the master when it comes to showing up playfully and authentically.

Anyway, during the podcast, Dan told the story of South West Airlines and how they’d become known for their funny in-flight emergency briefings.

For example: “In case of an emergency, fit your own oxygen mask before assisting your child. And if you have two children, fit your own and then choose the child with the highest earning potential.”

What they found through conducting in-depth customer surveys was that 1.5% of customers specifically mentioned the in-flight briefing as a reason they thoroughly enjoyed their flight and would book again.

The team then wondered what would happen if they could double this to 3%. They did, and through analysis of booking information and survey responses, they found that doing so increased their annual revenue by $1.4m! All by having some fun with the required security briefing.

This got me thinking: Why is it that we feel like we need to be serious in order to be successful?

The answer, as demonstrated by South West Airlines and some of our other favorite brands, is that we don’t.

And that’s my invitation to you today: Where in your life or business are you being a little too serious because you think you’re supposed to be? And how can you bring your authentic personality to whatever you’re doing, whether that’s work or social settings?

Let’s get rid of the notion that success needs to be serious and instead focus on showing up authentically.


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