Here’s an idea to make your work more livable and vibrant: start every morning with a game of Sticks. I played Sticks every day with my colleagues on Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo, right after we sang a song together. Sticks made me happy, made me a better person and a much better colleague. It was the way the cast tuned up together and found the rhythm of the day. Sticks begins with a group of any size standing in a circle and about half as many sticks as you have people (four-foot pieces of dowel work well).

To start, everyone breathes together, getting centered. After that, the rules are simple:

  1. Throw your stick to anyone at any time,
  2. Catch any stick heading your way.

There is no talking. When a stick falls, the action stops and everyone breathes. It hurts to get hit with a stick coming out of your blind spot so you try not to have any blind spots.

When it’s going well, Sticks feels like a dream sequence in your favorite musical or the Golden State Warriors on an 18 – 0 run; it feels like every working team wants to feel. Sticks needs to be voluntary and inclusive so some groups will simply sing a song or do a line dance or breathe together. However you do it, try to tap into the age old power of moving together in rhythm, every morning.

The cast of Cirque du Soleil Corteo