As I glance up from my computer during a break from writing this blog, I notice that my office is filled with happy reminders…things that bring a smile to my face when I see them. I have purposely collected them over the years to help me lighten up my workspace.

On the wall to the left of my desk is an autographed photo of Woody Allen. He has a quizzical look on his face that is bedecked with a pair of thick black-framed nerd-like glasses. I can’t help but chuckle whenever I look at it.

Next to that is a bulletin board that has such fun things on it as a picture of dozens of red clown noses, a half-mask with big buck teeth, a fake million-dollar bill, a photo of my Mom dressed in a Statue of Liberty costume, and a large poster of Groucho Marx.

Moving further around the room, there is a fuzzy pill-shaped toy that laughs when I push the “Press Me” button, a clown painting and a closet door labeled with a large metal “Toys” sign on it as well as a wooden plaque on the door knob that reads, “Play Zone.”

To complete the happy reminders in my office, the shelves to the right of my desk are lined with such joyful things as Teletubbies toys, a blue elephant music box, and a couple of vintage Laurel and Hardy figures.

I surround myself with toys and other fun objects to help me keep a lighter tone in all I do. And on days when things aren’t going well, simply playing with or looking at some of these things changes the way I view the situation.

Many adults may think that the items I mentioned are just for kids. But our surroundings influence our mood. Ever notice how a walk in the park after a stressful day at work can change your energy? The truth is that such whimsical items, like the ones I have in my office, are wonderful resources to help you lighten up and have a happier, less-stressed environment.

For many years, Doug Hall, author of Jump Start Your Brain, worked in the straight–laced corporate world. He knew that he had to change his environment if he wanted to have a happier, more creative workspace. He says, “I dedicated a decade of my life to Procter & Gamble, one of the most blue-blooded, buttoned-down corporations in the world. But…my office was festooned with a six-foot Bugs Bunny, a humongous Kermit the Frog, two eight-foot cardboard palm trees, and several surfboards.”

Look at your home or office. Does any of what you see lift you up and put a smile on your face? Or does it bring you down? If the latter, then perhaps you need to change your environment and have more toys, fun things and happiness reminders around.
P.S.- Did I mention that the finial on my office desk lamp has a red clown nose atop of it?

You can learn more about Allen Klein and his work by visiting his website or by reading his book Secrets Kids Know… that Adults Oughta Learn.

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