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Crushing the 

Beware the soulcrushers

They are microscopic, squishy little energy-vampires. They look something like a fusion of virus, germ and extremely gross insect.

Of course, we can’t see them. No modern scientific instruments exist that allow us to view soulcrushers. Any reputable scientist, in fact, will tell you that there’s no evidence that such things even exist.

Oh, but we can feel them. We can tell there’s an infestation around us when we end the work day more drained, frustrated, and generally cranky at the world than we began. We know they're around when we find ourselves complaining more often than we find ourselves feeling proud of what we’re doing.

They slowly, but surely, crush our ability to be successful. They waste our time. They destroy our energy and confidence. They affect our productivity. They get in our brains and mess with our intelligence. They make us forget to act human when we interact with other humans. They prevent us from bringing our best selves to our work. They throttle ambition. They cost our company money. They cost us money. They hurt our careers. They destroy company cultures. They get in the way of our relationships with friends and family outside of work. And sometimes they make us want to crawl under our desks, assume a fetal position and have a good cry.

We can tell we’re surrounded by them because our work stops being fun.

Just like germs or bacteria or insects or mold or any number of other icky things, soulcrushers thrive under certain conditions. Bacteria thrives around warm, moist, protein-rich environments. Mosquitoes thrive around still water.


And soulcrushers thrive in nearly every workplace environment.

(Even virtual ones.)

These soulcrusher infestations are so widespread and rampant that many people go through life believing this is how work is supposed to feel: soul-crushing.

No. Nope.

Work can be fun. Work should be fun.

(And I mean doing our actual work — not just having fun at the place we also call “work.”)

Luckily, we can fight back against the soulcrushers. There are reliable, proven, not-even-that-hard things that we can do to eliminate and keep these icky little invisible buzzkills away from our work.

And when we do, the fun comes back. Our energy comes back. Our spirit returns. We get better results. Our careers thrive. And our formerly annoying coworkers magically get a lot more tolerable.

We can crush the soulcrushers.

A self-empowering approach

Assuming we’re over the age of three, other people don’t wash our hands for us.

Likewise, the mental hygiene required to crush soulcrushers doesn’t come from other people. It comes from ourselves.

It doesn’t require anyone else to buy-in. It doesn’t need monetary investment or a group re-org or reprioritized OKRs or an executive team’s green light.


This is ideal, since most of us have little control over those things anyway.

All we need to prevail is a desire to prevail — and the tools and tips found here.

But our teammates and bosses will notice the difference — in our energy, our passion and our ability to get dump-truck-loads of work done with a smile on our faces. They’ll want whatever we’re having.

Or they won’t.

And that’s fine, too.

We’ll be having more fun either way.

The formula for fun

Fun is deadly to soulcrushers. And soulcrushers are deadly to fun.

Such is the cosmic balance that has existed long before the invention of the cubicle.

The formula for enjoying and engaging with our work is actually pretty simple:

  1. Decrease things that make our work not fun.
    This is Soulcrusher Decontamination. It gets rid of the soulcrushers.

  2. Increase things that make our work more fun.
    This is Soulcrusher Repellent. It keeps them from coming back.

All of the soulcrusher-crushing skills we will add to our arsenal are designed to make one or the other of these things happen. Sometimes both at the same time.

Ready to start crushing
some soulcrushers?

Then you’ll want to sign up for my newsletter, where I share valuable tips and tools every week to help you emerge victorious in the battle for making your work fun.

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