Strategic Creative: The Bridge Between Creativity and Strategy
Strategic Creative: The Bridge Between Creativity…
Paul Marchildon

In his TEDx talk, filmmaker and minimalist Marty Stano speaks about his travels through Patagonia. N… Read More

The Purpose-Driven Company: How Passion Fuels Performance
The Purpose-Driven Company: How Passion Fuels Perf…
Paul Marchildon

When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." Paulo Coelho, The… Read More

Showing Your Clients Some Love on Valentine’s Day
Showing Your Clients Some Love on Valentine’s Day
Paul Marchildon

“This is the workplace, and Cupid doesn’t belong on the org chart.” Lynn Taylor, author of Tame Your… Read More

Using Your Leisure Culture to Recruit Employees
Using Your Leisure Culture to Recruit Employees
Paul Marchildon

What’s it like to work at Google? Fun. Innovative. Fast-paced. Fulfilling, and just plain filling (a… Read More

2015: The Year of Leisure (and Profits)
2015: The Year of Leisure (and Profits)
Paul Marchildon

Genentech’s long-term workers can take advantage of paid six-week sabbaticals. Epic Systems one-ups… Read More


A Lesson in Dreaming Big and Living Life From Mr. Walter Mitty

Written by Paul Marchildon, on March 19, 2014.

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”

Well, the purpose of LIFE magazine anyway. In The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Ben Stiller’s eponymous character walks past his workplace motto every day, surrounded by photos of exotic locales and thrilling adventures– but in his own life, he hasn’t done anything or been “anywhere noteworthy or mentionable.” That’s about to change. Stiller, known for lighthearted, and sometimes crude humour, is at his best in this film. Walter Mitty hits home with a powerful message about dreaming big and living life to the fullest. That’s something we Leisureologists take very seriously.

Workplace Friendships: For Better or Worse?

Written by Paul Marchildon, on March 4, 2014.


Why go to work if you don’t enjoy the people you have to deal with every single day? Can you imagine how awful it is to go somewhere for 8 hours, 10 hours a day, and not like the people with whom you are forced to share a space? It’d be like having to go to a family reunion with weird Uncle Al and crazy Cousin June every single day of your life.

How Shared Learning Opportunities Create Flow Experiences

Written by Paul Marchildon, on February 4, 2014.


There is something very intimate about flow experiences. They occur when we are at the threshold of our ability – when activities or tasks are just challenging enough, when they push us just enough. Time stands still, and we create. To add a team component seems like an invasion, at first, doesn’t it? Like inviting someone into our private thoughts or playing two-person Solitaire. Shared flow experiences, though, can be even more gratifying and productive than those we achieve solo. So, how do you create conditions that make more of these moments possible for your entire team?

Ground Control to Commander Chris Hadfield

Written by Paul Marchildon, on January 16, 2014.

What happens when you cry in space? Why do astronauts use tortillas instead of bread for their sandwiches?  When you look at Australia from 220 miles above earth, why does it look like a Jackson Pollack painting, and how many different shades of vivid, aching blue can you see in the Bahamas?

Commander Chris Hadfield’s explorations brought him hundreds of miles from Earth’s surface, but as much as he discovered about space, he discovered – and shared – even more about “the only planet we have ever called home.” From the small details – how do you brush your teeth or wash your hands – to the grand – isn’t it surreal how peaceful Syria looks – Chris Hadfield documented his time on the International Space Station (ISS) through tweets, YouTube videos, webcasts, and, of course, an incredibly tight rendition of “Space Oddity.” He brought us into space with him and showed us Earth in an entirely new way.

You Don’t Know It Yet, But Your Job Could Be Killing You

Written by Paul Marchildon, on December 23, 2013.

Working overtime has become the norm for most people. Unfortunately, it can have extremely negative impacts on your health, happiness, and overall quality of life. It’s time to be honest with yourself and answer the questions: How many hours per week do you typically spend working? Do you find yourself stressed-out the majority of the time, logging late nights at the office, and wishing that there were just more hours in the day? If so, wake up! You’re being overworked. It might be time to start putting yourself first. If not, the results could be drastic.

There is a lot of truth to that last statement. Mita Diran, a young copywriter for Y&R Indonesia posted a complaint two weeks ago on Twitter: “30 hours of working and still going strooong.” Not an uncommon tweet for a young millennial, however the repercussions were quite uncommon. Mita soon collapsed after her tweet, passing away the following day.

A Christmas Story to Inspire Flow Experiences

Written by Paul Marchildon, on December 19, 2013.


A few years ago, when my children, Sophie and Sam, were 5 and 3, we spent a cold December evening decorating our tree. The Vince Guaraldi Trio was playing Charlie Brown Christmas music in the background, and the kids took turns picking which ornaments they wanted to put up. The bottom of the tree was a little over-decorated, but that’s ok! It was a wonderful experience, the kind of moment that, when you think of having children, you picture in your mind.

Office Parties: Why You Need to Be Yourself at Work and at Play

Written by Paul Marchildon, on December 19, 2013.


Office parties: great opportunity to socialize with coworkers, or dangerous minefield full of obstacles that will do irreparable harm to your reputation, career, and your ability to get IT Dave to come fix your personal computer every time a virus takes over? The answer is, “Yes.” While work and leisure constantly comingle – and most of us spend social time with our coworkers anyway – office parties and company events can create an interesting, and difficult, dynamic for many of us. Not so much me, because I am a social savant. I’ll even share some of my tips so you can conquer your upcoming holiday events.

Why Are So Many People Addicted to Work?

Written by Paul Marchildon, on December 16, 2013.


Work is the one addiction that most sufferers are proud to claim. You’d never brag about a pack-a-day habit to your friends, and you’d never say your addiction to online shopping is a necessary investment you’re making in your future. But, “I’m a workaholic,” seems to convey that we’re better than those 8-hour-a-day slackers, that we’re more committed, that we’re driven, ambitious, and deaf to the clarion calls of sleep. The truth is that workaholism isn’t about work at all. Psychologist Bryan Robinson once said that work addiction is the “best-dressed mental health problem” that exists. So why do so many of us suffer from it?

Find a Career You Love! Career Planning Tips for Millennials

Written by Paul Marchildon, on December 3, 2013.


Work. The thing you do to pay off your college loans. But it can be so much more than that. Over 40 percent of you report being underemployed and/or not using your degree in your work. One in three of you say you wish you’d skipped college. You have grown up inundated with the message, “You can do anything you want, be whatever you want.” How’s that working out for you?  It’s not a false bill of sales, though; you can. You just have to be far more strategic about it than any generation has had to before.

Figure Out Your Passion and Enjoy the Ride

Written by Paul Marchildon, on November 13, 2013.

The two single best pieces of advice I’ve received in my life were “Duck!”, and “Do a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” The latter sounds idealistic, doesn’t it? Yeah. It is. And it means that you don’t have to wait until closing time or weekends to live your life.

Bob Dylan once said, “What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” What’s going to pay me a lot of money? Where am I going to be successful, according to someone else’s definition? Those questions are useless. Trying to answer them is even worse!

Flow and the Game of Golf

Written by Paul Marchildon, on August 2, 2013.

Your brain can be like a micromanaging boss. You know how to do a task, almost at a cellular level, but it constantly knit picks, looking over your shoulder. Why are you doing it like that? Why don’t you do this? Did you check that? Hey, hey, you’re doing that wrong. Ok, that’s better. Wait, nope.  In business, in life, in golf, overthinking is the enemy of creativity, of rhythm, of flow. The more you think about flow and the more you try to control it, the more it pulls away. Conversely, and here’s the good news, once you learn to let go, flow experiences just…flow.

Three Tips for Getting Your Flow On

Written by Paul Marchildon, on June 18, 2013.

You will need candles, scented oil, a yoga mat, and – while not mandatory – a shaman, acupuncturist, or dowser is highly recommended. Maybe that’s the problem; we think we can’t have flow experiences because we don’t have a shaman handy. The truth is that flow experiences aren’t mystical; they’re attainable states of mind. You do not, in fact, need candles but you can set the mood for more of these transformative experiences. 

How Character Strengths Complement Flow Experiences

Written by Paul Marchildon, on April 3, 2013.

Want to know the secret to the perfect margarita? It’s not tequila; it’s zest. Lemon and lime zest creates a fresh, citrusy flavor that’ll remind you of a white sandy beach in Mexico. Want to know the secret to a fulfilling career? It’s not tequila; it’s zest. Across industries and occupations, when employees deploy the character strength “zest,” they are far more likely to exhibit ambitious work behavior and achieve job satisfaction.  In fact, there are quite a few secret ingredients for happiness on the job:  hope, gratitude, curiosity, spirituality, grit…Using our core Character Strengths at work can help us approach our jobs in a more effective – and enjoyable – manner.

Are You Using Flow Experience to Get Remarkable Results in the Workplace?

Written by Paul Marchildon, on March 15, 2013.

Have you ever seen a child so intently focused on coloring a picture or building a model out of play-dough that it seems as if nothing else in the world exists? It kind of makes you jealous as you watch, doesn’t it? That child is so absorbed that nothing in the world could be any more important or more fulfilling than what he or she is doing in that moment. This is what we identify as a “flow experience.” Kids can get there more easily, it seems, because they’re willing to let themselves go. What if we are willing to do the same? What if we could go with the flow?

Why Leisure is a State of Mind

Written by Paul Marchildon, on February 10, 2013.

“WORK consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and PLAY consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.” The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain

Our work ethic, especially in North America, is too strong. We work too much.

We spend too much time on what we are “obliged” to do, and not enough on what we want to do. Mark Twain, who considered himself a “connoisseur of idleness,” said that work was a “necessary evil to be avoided.” Yet, he was an incredibly prolific writer, humorist, and sought-after speaker and lecturer. Perhaps he understood that we, with our relentless drive and stoical work ethic, forget that work and leisure are states of mind, not fixed periods of time.