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Success Secret Try Playing First Working Second

Countless times during my management consulting career I've recited the words of Sun Tsu, the author of the classical Chinese treatise, "The Art of War.".In a telling passage, he advises: "Victory with exhaustion means defeat in the battle to come.".It's a neat way of saying, sure you might win, but if the price you pay is utter exhaustion, you'll be a sitting duck (or is that a Beijing or Peking duck?) for the next foe that crosses your path.

These are wise words, and to be truthful, there are dozens of times that I've worked myself ragged, racking up a bunch of bucks and acquiring not a few laurels, but each time necessitated a great deal of recuperation.So, the work ethic is peachy, but you have to question the dictum many of us heard as kids: "Hard work never killed anyone!".Sun Tsu might differ, which brings me to my point.

As I was skiing the other day, and then strolling at the beach today, I wondered, "What would happen if we put play first, and work, second?".Would life, as we know it, perish?.Would we all end up depleting our IRA's and 401k's, without remorse, dooming us to eat cat food in our old age?.Something tells me that there's a big secret the rich know: You won't get very far from an early grave if you work relentlessly without getting adequate rest and recuperation.In other words, you need plenty of play.

Play energizes you, enables you to see the big picture, and get beyond the resentment that we can easily feel when we have to work long and late on a project.Play builds muscle, if it's the active sort, and this burns calories, so we get fitter, it shows, and our self-esteem and life expectancy increase.In fact, there's hardly an argument that you can summon that will convince me that play isn't essential to happiness.

Sure, you can call it names: juvenile, frivolous, wasteful, but then you'll just sound like a peevish schoolmarm who never had a belly laugh or a serious romance in her life.My tip is simple: Don't wait to play until you think you've earned it.We've all earned it, simply by being human and by facing the challenges this status implies.

.Dr. Gary S.

Goodman, President of, is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone® and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service, and the audio program, "The Law of Large Numbers: How To Make Success Inevitable," published by Nightingale-Conant. A Ph.D.

from USC's Annenberg School, a Loyola lawyer, and an MBA from the Peter F. Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University, Gary offers programs through UCLA Extension and numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations in the United States and abroad. Headquartered in Glendale, California, he can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at: more information about coaching, consulting, training, books, videos and audios, please go to: http://www.customersatisfaction.


By: Dr. Gary S. Goodman

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