In Praise of Lightness

Too often our life is tied to seriousness. Duties, obligations, precepts, whether they are of a social nature or self-produced, absorb our attention, our tension to live the time of our stay on our planet.

We all know that modern life is a source of stress, expectations, and anxieties, it would be enough to look around to be able to decide to put your feet on the ground, take your eyes off the screen of one of our electronic devices to try to live lighter and in a sustainable or, at least, try it out of business hours.

There is a lot of “seriousness” in the world, in hospitals, in religious places, in workplaces.

We must instead learn to reshape our lifestyle starting from contact and interaction with the 4 senses: water, earth, fire, and air to learn to face life more lightly, live happily, and fight stress.

In truth, lightness, in a figurative sense, brings with it a very bad reputation, it is described with values of inconstancy, volubility, and even little seriousness.

But are we sure that it is really so?

Lightness is not escapism. On the contrary, it is a question of returning to ourselves, of reminding ourselves of what matters and for which it is worth being there, of rediscovering the bonds that make life beautiful and make it appear worth living.

It is not so much a question of changing places as of changing “inside”, purifying our way of seeing things and living them.

Regenerating lightness is also meditation, an experience of solitude, silence.

Learning to live lightly and in harmony with your body and the environment and being happy is the best way to combat the stress that can cause a stressful and frantic life.

An ethical and style choice at the same time that does not necessarily have to be radical, it is preferable that it is aware and tailored to our person to live in a more harmonious and peaceful way with ourselves and with the context that surrounds us.

I am convinced that lightness is a character modality, an individual behavioral choice, to be expressed when we enter into a relationship with work when we meet people when we make decisions. And it is a behavior that must be trained, and to be privileged because, unlike heaviness, life does not give it to you regardless.

Express lightness is not superficiality but observing things from above and then coming to understand the depths of life. Life remains with difficult moments but it is the ability to live those events in a more detached way that allows us to overcome obstacles, not to get involved, arriving first of all at that awareness that makes us see past problems with more serenity.

We must understand that everything that happens around us can be simply observed, without losing passion and emotionality. Observation is the active participation of the senses, always being careful to remain light, unbound, and burdened by judgments or emotional aspects that alter the perception of what surrounds us.

Being able to be light makes things work, makes them simple and easy to do.

And in the world of work? Why is there so little lightness at work? Fear, anxiety, stress, emotional blocks, and a lack of perspectives make us unwilling to be light.

Technology and speed: two characteristics of the era in which we live, certainly positive but which can be a considerable source of stress. Pressure, agitation, anxiety to respond to expectations are some of the unpleasant sensations that can manifest themselves in the daily life of a worker.

Some (unfortunately many) strict and serious managers have learned (no one knows where) that if they approach things with severity, order, discipline, often blaming collaborators, they will get respect and therefore productivity.

Fun is often confused with inefficiency, while seriousness is mistakenly interpreted as “the right attitude”.

How many large, small or medium conflicts arise in the workplace precisely because of the relational dynamics that are often not marked by lightness: communications become heavy because of mental structures, interpretations, roles, conflictual dynamics that could be avoided.

Managers without irony have certainly forgotten that people bring out the best in themselves when they are having fun when they are cheerful. The stereotype of the successful manager or entrepreneur as an extremely determined and gritty person, little inclined to give confidence, lacking a sense of humor is wrong. When you get to know a successful leader or entrepreneur better, you realize that you have an open, jovial, and extremely pleasant person in front of you, who knows how to put people at ease. A sense of humor is a skill that can allow facilitating interactions with others, and also help to soften the atmosphere in difficult situations. It is not necessary to be funny to have a sense of humor, but one just needs to learn to see the positive side of things.

Sad leaders generate sad collaborators: sadness is a “tombstone” placed on creativity and innovation and a loss of energy; seriousness does not arise from sadness but is synonymous with credibility and competence. Therefore, the suggestion to leaders is to be authoritative, with a serene disposition and a propensity for healthy irony.

Studies and surveys have shown that in the most successful companies there is a widespread positive emotion, jokes are often made, victories are celebrated intensely and there is great euphoria among all employees. Not only are the managers of these companies enthusiastic, but they are also selected on the basis of their ability to bring their employees into a positive and, therefore, more productive state of mind.

So, it is advisable to live the working day more lightly, which does not mean “not giving a damn” about one’s commitments, but learning to stop when we feel the symptoms of Burnout arrive.

Living using the “competence of lightness” would greatly help companies and structures because it would be the engine and propulsion towards a result of excellence, cohesion, and development of new values.

One can be light without compromising seriousness. Lightness and skills, lightness and seriousness are an extraordinary combination of positive values.

Where there are interpersonal skills lived lightly, I have always seen the best results.

Dulling moments of tension with an appreciation can change the vibration of the relationship in the present moment and contribute to organizational well-being. A pinch of sense of irony, and self-irony, favor the understanding of what others expect, the ability to connect with those who show empathy and good emotional intelligence.

Lightness can make a difference and we will be surprised, in practicing it, by its rebalancing power and personal and organizational well-being In the workplace, those who achieve their equilibrium are those who take their work seriously, but not themselves too much.

Lightness is liberating, it is an art to cultivate in the nuances of life, as a choice to transform one’s way of seeing ourselves and the world.

Being “light” is a conscious choice, starting from the small everyday aspects because a certain way of approaching reality gives positive results

Lightness is an achievement and is the way to access personal and organizational well-being.

Lightness is generosity, tolerance, disenchantment.

Each individual should be light in their vanities, in their pride, in their claims.

It could be said that not taking yourself too seriously, living lightly allows you to face the obstacles of life without being negatively affected by them, remaining stable and with a good dose of detachment.


Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo is a lawyer and teacher of law & Economic Sciences, "lent" to the finance world. He has worked, in fact, 35 years long for a multinational company of financial service in the auto sector, where he held various roles, until that of CEO. In the corporate field, he has acquired skills and held positions as Credit Manager, Human Resource Manager, Team leader for projects of Acquisition & Merger, branch opening, company restructuring, outplacement, legal compliance, analysis and innovation of organizational processes, business partnerships, relations with Trade Unions and Financial Control Institutions. After leaving the company, he continued as an external member of the Board of Directors e, at the same time, he has gone back practicing law and was a management consultant for various companies. He has been also a columnist for newspapers specializing in labor law, automotive services and work organization. His interests include human behavior in the organizational environment, to the neuroscience, the impact of new technologies, the fate of the planet and people facing poverty or war scenarios. He loves traveling, reading, is passionate about many sports, follows the NBA and practices tennis.

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