The Art of Reframing Episode #136

Aaron McHugh


Last year, our city was unfortunately ranked among the highest for teen suicide. We were directly impacted. We knew our pending move-in day was going to be impacted by the grief and loss. We decided to shift the story-disrupt the inertia by infusing our day with joy and fun.

We gave away free ice cream to one hundred of our friends, strangers, new neighbors, kids from school and construction workers. We set up two VW buses, one with adult beverages and one Scoop Bus. Instead of taxing our closest friends with the crummy obligation of helping us move our stuff, we decided to reframe the story instead.

Instead of “Hey can you help us move?” we reframed the offer to “You should stop by for some FREE ICE CREAM”.

Scoop bus handing out free ice cream

Free ice cream from the Scoop Bus

I’ve helped a lot of friends move and I’ve hired moving companies. It is never really fun to move. As part of our Reboot, we decided to start our new move in a story like a carnival. “What if we rented the Scoop Bus and gave away free ice cream to everyone who even stops by?”

My wife was down with it.

Podcast Highlights

  • The inertia risk: do something different to disrupt the existing state.
  • Reframing can redirect the path your story, your job, your relationships are on.
  • Causation vs. prevention: purposing to cause something to occur vs. expending the same or similar energy attempting to prevent.
  • Authorship & empowerment are more powerful than powerlessness and loss of control.
  • Architect a life you want to be part of.
Making happy customers. He brought his truck and trailer to help 🙂

Josh and the Scoop Bus rolled up and we chalked the sign to read “FREE ICE CREAM”. Boom. You should have seen the crowds of kids that turned up. I had friends text to see if their wife could stop by with their pre-schoolers just to get a taste. We had bikes and trucks and mini-vans stacked with our remnant belongings.

Adult beverage Joy Bus and some coolers of cokes

I learned that day that any story can be reframed and transformed. No longer was it a moving day, it was a full-blown circus with all you can eat ice cream.

What story are you living that could use to be reframed?

This episode is powered by the new Joy Bus T-Shirt in the Work Life Play store.

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