Teenagers are fun. In fact, they’re awesome. But supervising a large group of them alone can be a daunting, or unpleasant, task. Even one that teachers and administrators can come to dread.
So, if you work in a school (like I do) and you often supervise large groups of teenagers in the cafeteria, dances, etc. (as I do), and you are committed to enjoying yourself and your job (as I am), what can you do?
You Get to Choose Your Story; You Get to Define the Meaning of Your Task
You can tell a different story about your task. You can give your task new meaning by choosing to tell a new, better-feeling story about it. You can do what I do, if you like, and tell a story that makes a game out of it.
I don’t abdicate the responsibilities of my job, by the way, when I make a game out of such a task. (Click that link to Tweet it) I’m still doing what I’m supposed to do – only I’m doing it much more effectively. Because I’m having fun; I’m not frustrated or resentful (which has the potential, of course, of being taken out upon the teenagers I’m supervising).
Being An Apex Predator Is a Lot of Fun – You Should Try It Sometime
When I supervise large groups of teenagers, I often privately play the following game. Please bear in mind that I tel myself the following story in a lighthearted manner, not with a mean spirit. In other words, when I play this game I truly have a smile in my heart.
I imagine I’m a Tiger shark. An apex predator. The area I’m supervising is a coral reef. And the students I’m supervising are tropical fish swimming around the reef.
On a tropical reef, the fish don’t panic and flee when the shark appears. Because they know the shark can’t eat all of them. But they become cautious and on high alert because they also know that the shark can eat one or two of them.
So I “swim” around the area I’m supervising and watch the “fish” become alert to my proximity…hoping I don’t “eat” her/him. It’s pretty funny to imagine all this and it adds a welcome addition of fun to an otherwise onerous task (of being the “heavy” in a social situation).
My Goofy Games Work (But They’re Kept Private Because of How Goofy They Are)
This game is a private one. And it works. Does that mean that my game changes the practical nature of my task? Nope. I still have to supervise large groups of teenagers.
But my goofy little game does change the meaning of the task; it changes what the task feels like for me. And, thus, it effectively changes the task itself. My game turns my task into something which gives me a grin instead of a headache. (Click that link to Tweet it)
My decision to tell a different story and play a goofy game allows me to choose the meaning of my circumstances. It lifts my spirits. It allows me to have fun. Even to enjoy myself.
And aren’t those outcomes preferable to a perspective like “I don’t want to be here; I don’t want to be doing this”?
I invite you to join me today in making a formerly unwanted task more fun by choosing your own story about it.
And stay tuned to this blog for more techniques to use new paradigms from quantum physics to align your life with your dreams…