I won’t even lie! When I saw that Ari­an­na Huff­in­g­ton was going to be a keynote speak­er at Inbound 2013 I decid­ed I had to go to Boston. It isn’t very often that you get a chance to be in the pres­ence of such an amaz­ing, fierce and fun­ny lady. Her words were full of wis­dom with just a dash of sass, but it was this line that has been stuck in my head: “Your career is not a lad­der, it is a jun­gle gym.” 

there is no ladder to the topI am sure that Ari­an­na was using this anal­o­gy to high­light the impor­tance of adapt­abil­i­ty and mak­ing lat­er­al moves to cre­ate a well round­ed employ­ee, but I got even more than that. I have always been a thrill seek­er. I mean, I am still griev­ing the loss of those giant spin­ning met­al death traps that could be found on the play­ground when I was a wee one. And now look­ing at my “career” I can see I am still a thrill seek­er. My career path IS a jun­gle gym. I often find myself swing­ing too high, falling off the mon­key bars, and run­ning so fast I can’t catch my breath. There is no obvi­ous rhyme or rea­son to my var­i­ous jobs or pro­fes­sion­al inter­ests, but this has made me an ener­getic, cre­ative and slight­ly ball­sy employee. 

I guess what I am try­ing to say is, we only get to live one life, so why not make it more play­ful? We spend so much of our lives being too seri­ous, too dri­ven, too demand­ing. Why not bring more fun, more sil­ly, more play, more thrills and more cre­ativ­i­ty into our work­ing worlds? Would­n’t we be more inno­v­a­tive, pas­sion­ate, and effec­tive people/organizations if we spent 9 to 5 on a metaphor­i­cal jun­gle gym? I know I am. With that I have just one last ques­tion.… Wan­na play?!

You can watch her com­plete keynote by click­ing here.