When was the last time you acted like a child? I’m not talking about pouting or throwing a temper tantrum when you didn’t get your way – I’m talking about having fun and playing! Often as adults we get caught up in the seriousness of life. We have bills to pay, work to complete, a house that needs cleaning, homework to help with, dinner to make… just reading that list exhausts me, how about you? Given this, how can we possibly have any time to play or explore our curiosity? Only when we make play the priority in our life it deserves and needs to be.
Playing is perhaps the most important thing we can do for ourselves and for those we care about. Did you know that children learn the most through active play? It doesn’t matter how many classes we have them take or how many educational toys we provide, studies show that kids who engage in creative play on a regular basis are best equipped for success in life. We all remember a cardboard box that meant something special to us – whether we imagined it as a fort, a castle, a playhouse, an escape hatch or all of those things. Play allowed us to explore the world around us, discover new things and learn about ourselves as children, and not so surprisingly, it serves us in exactly the same way as adults.
Think about something you can do that is just plain fun. It accomplishes no other goal than having a good time. Maybe you can go to an arcade and play racing games with your significant other or have a water fight with your kids – surprise them by having the water balloons or squirt guns ready and strike when they aren’t expecting it. Challenge your friends to a game of capture the flag or mini golf. Play Marco Polo in the pool. Raid a toy store and grab some of those cool new toys they have for the kids these days for your own games. Leave the kids with a sitter and go to an amusement park with kids your own age. Whatever play means to you just get out there and do it!
Take the spirit of play to your team at work. Declare a day of play in which your team can have a costume contest, a pajama day or time in the park. Have a fun meeting in which everyone brings toys and games. Have them create little plays to put on or just provide art supplies and have everyone get artistic. Not only will this increase morale for the day, the dividends of
a single hour or day of play will bring fresh ideas to the company and a spirit of cooperation to the team members.
This activity strikes some of us as silly until we actually do it. Once we have taken the time, we remember how much fun life can be. It relaxes us and often gives us new ideas that we can implement in our personal and business lives. It improves our relationships by providing memories of fun times spent together, and our health benefits from all the laughing and joy we
experience by acting like kids again. Get out there and enjoy your life like you did when you had few responsibilities and you will find that the responsibilities you have now seem lighter after you have played.
One more reminder, share the joy of laughter with those you love and respect.
Share how you play now and what you will do to play more. How can you involve your family in play and how can you bring the spirit of play to work. Now get out there and do it!