I am a creative guy. My heart feels most satisfied when I am creatively expressing something. I absolutely love coming up with ways to make people smile when I’m at work. The latest is, when answering the drive-thru window at Starbucks, I’ve started saying something like “Thanks for choosing the finest Starbucks on the east coast (self appointed), my name is Ben. What can I get started for you?” And lots of people smile and play along. Some don’t (haters gonna hate), but lots do.
My smile-quest doesn’t end with customers, though. I want my coworkers to enjoy their day, too.
I’m finding that there is almost nothing to which a creative process can’t be applied. Take washing dishes, for example. I’m not going to lie and say that washing the dishes is a real self-actualizing thing for me, but at the same time, I can honestly say that I’m finding ways to approach that least favorite of my work activities with a sense of adventure and creativity. I ask myself how I can do the dishes in such a way as to bring the greatest benefit to my employer and the most satisfaction to my coworkers. For this particular task, I think I need to do them efficiently (both done well and done quickly) and with a positive attitude.
I’m not just cleaning coffee stains and creamer-rings off of dishes, see. I’m intentionally making work a more fun environment. My volunteering to do the dishes, and then doing them with a smile (with excellence and efficiency) really does make the workplace better. By smiling, I can (as the lowest paid employee in the building) totally affect the culture of the store. Nobody enjoys being around people that hate being at work. Conversely, the only people that mind being around people who are happy are the type of cancerous personalities that would drag others down to their own level of misery.
So, you can either let things happen to you, or you can happen to them. Me? I’m going to go into even my least favorite things with an eye to making them enjoyable. It’s a creative outlet for this creativity junkie.