Portrait written on March 23rd 2018

Elena ​describes her professional self as an agent of growth fueled by love and games. "I am, before anything else, a committed ambassador of games and its importance in the life of adults. Whether I am doing it as an entrepreneur, at Starfish Events, as a trainer in communication, leadership or motivation, or as a facilitator within the entrepreneurial education program Empretec, the key element is constant: let's all learn to take ourselves less seriously and play more!"

Although ​she talked to us a lot about gamification, she doesn't do stuff just in play-mode, but also with her mind anchored in real life. "I am a convinced hedonist embarked on a never ending quest to reconcile pragmatism from the business world with the belief that magic exists" as Elena puts it.

We wanted to discover what determined her to bring playfulness into companies, so she replied: "As a result of my experience working with corporate people, I understood that a lot of people suffer from withdrawal due to 9 to 5 work days and this causes them, over time, to become tedious. There were people who were losing their colorfulness. So, I decided to do something in order to enhance passions in people."

Being curious about how her intervention was received and ​how receptive have company people been, we found out that: "I had customers who were very skeptical in inviting their employees to come and play. Those clients said they had never seen their colleagues smiling. For me, it was a shock to hear such a thing. All people know how to play, regardless of their work environment. Everybody rejoices in taking life more lightly! And it is exactly because of this reason that we need to relax a little bit more!"

Elena's desire to make adults play is also based on research concerning links between productivity and happiness, together with other game design theories which she studied. "Employees who play don't just become more relaxed, but also more productive. I think there is definitely a connection between happiness and playfulness. Likewise, there is a connection between playfulness and health, which means that a playfull state connects to our physical health."

We asked her to​ share a message for anyone interested in life hacking: "If you're not willing to assume a conscientious decision about what you want your own life to be like, then you won't get there and you will not generate the change you had envisioned. Also, enjoy life passionately and don't take yourselves too seriously. If it's not fun, you're not doing it right!"

Join the conversation with Elena Marineci at the interactive conference LifeHax #1, on March 23rd 2018, at Cinema PRO.

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