E096: Play Your Way to Success with Jeff Harry

In this episode, “play expert” Jeff Harry joins up with “fun expert” Dr. Kathryn Guylay for some actionable, transformational steps to a better year in 2021 and beyond.

Listen for this amazing quote that Jeff shares from Steven Johnson:

“You will find the future where people are having the most fun.”

We have seven mantras from the show, but first, a Warning: You can get exactly what you want, and not be happy.

Here are the seven mantras:

Mantra #1:  To avoid the “I’ll be happy when” syndrome, remember the quote: “expectations is the thief of joy”.

Mantra #2:   Let go of expectations when they don’t serve you (Jeff explains the paper airplane exercise he does with some clients).

Mantra #3:  In every decision, we can claim Who We Are….Or try to (endlessly and needlessly) chase our worth.

Mantra #4:  Increase your fun, joy, and play “index” through a review of your day, week, month, and year. (If your index needs a boost, use gratitude, appreciation, and curiosity to find more fun, joy, and play moving forward).

Mantra #5:  Follow two steps to increase play right away: 1) self-soothe first (shower, music, walk, etc.), and then 2) get bored, then curious; get ready to meet your inner child!

Mantra #6: Leverage your own community of friends to find more play.  Reach out to them and ask two questions: 1) what value do I bring to you and your life? and 2) when have you seen me most alive?

Mantra #7: Remember that every conversation is an option: do you choose a transaction or a transformation?

Jeff Harry Teaches How to Avoid the “I’ll be Happy When” Syndrome:

Jeff Harry Proposes a Better Approach to Goal Setting:

Jeff Harry Teaches us to Identify our Play Values:

More about Jeff Harry

Jeff Harry shows individuals and companies how to tap into their true selves, to feel their happiest and most fulfilled — all by playing. Jeff has worked with Google, Microsoft, Southwest Airlines, Adobe, the NFL, Amazon, and Facebook, helping their staff to infuse more play into the day-to-day.

Jeff is an international speaker who has presented at conferences such as INBOUND, SXSW, and Australia’s Pausefest, showing audiences how major issues in the workplace can be solved using play.  Jeff was selected by BambooHR & Engagedly as one of the Top 100 HR Influencers of 2020 for his organizational development work around dealing with toxic people in the workplace. His play work has most recently been featured in the NY Times article: How Do We Add More Play To Our Grown-Up Life – Even Now. He has also been featured on AJ+, SoulPancake, the SF Chronicle, and CNN. 

While we spend most of our time pretending to be important, serious grownups, it’s when we let go of that facade and just play, that the real magic happens. Fully embracing your own nerdy genius — whatever that is — gives you the power to make a difference and change lives.  Jeff believes that we already have many of the answers we seek, and by simply unleashing our inner child, we can find our purpose and, in turn, help to create a better world.


Kathryn’s interview with Dr. Anna Cabeca (for more information about Oxytocin)

Kathryn’s interview Dr. Gay Hendricks interview (for more about The Big Leap and Conscious Luck)

Rediscover Your Play

Jeff Harry on YouTube

Jeff Harry on Instagram

Jeff Harry on LinkedIn

More content from Jeff Harry on Medium

Jeff Harry on Twitter

Jeff Harry on TikTok

How to Add More Play to Your Grown-Up Life, Even Now (New York Times)

Book: The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level

Book: Conscious Luck: Eight Secrets to Intentionally Change Your Fortune

Book: The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance

Book: Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World 

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