I’m Mr. Professional Development. Mr. Suit and Tie. Mr. Hard Leather Briefcase During My Junior Year of College. And that is all well and good. But, every now and then, we all need a bit of fun. We all need to be able to relax and let loose. Now, I’m not saying you have to go work at King of Diamonds or release Straight Outta Kannapolis with a parental advisory warning on it but I am saying that, in order to be a successful young professional, balance is key. You have to have that friend that you can talk to about whatever and be completely goofy with. That person who you think about calling just to tell a completely inappropriate story when you’ve had two shots too many. You have to have those friends who you know you can still play streetball with. These interactions and moments are reminders of why we do what we do every day (especially for those of us who don’t have a bigger why like kids).
Maroon 5 said it best: “It’s not always rainbows and butterflies. It’s compromise that moves us along.” Don’t compromise your morals, values, or your brand. But recognize that you’re multidimensional and accept all of those dimensions. So know that you’re not always going to feel like putting on a full suit but, if you’re paid to, you probably will. And there is nothing wrong with that. But there’s also nothing wrong with putting on a pair of jeans, some Timbs, and a fitted when the environment calls for it. Monday through Friday, 8 – 5, you all know I’m at my desk, working. Shoot, I’m probably there until 8 if I’m working on my business as well. But sometimes, you have to loosen your tie up or let your hair down and enjoy the moment you’re in. We’re only this age once. Tomorrow you will be older. And, the older you get, the more responsibilities pile on or the more unexpected surprises come along. So toss a bit of sophistiratchet into your evening. Turn the Beethoven off and put some old Dipset on. Skip the six-course meal at Ruth Chris and go grab a burger at Cookout. Take care of yourself but have a moderate amount of fun. Otherwise, you’ll look back at your life when you’re 82 and wonder “What was I thinking?”
Above all else, love and make memories. And don’t get arrested. That is not smart.
Make professional development (and enjoying life) priorities.