I was just reading a blog that suggested disruption in industries could come from things that look like toys to us. All of us “buttoned-up” business people could poo-poo something fun, because it’s not serious enough. I have a tendency to be one of those more serious folks. “Let’s get down to business, let’s not waste time, and what’s the expected ROI for this activity?” are all things I have been known to say or think. Luckily, I am surrounded by folks who won’t let me take myself too seriously and cajole me into someone less uptight. When having fun is the goal, I’m happy to do my part.
When we are playful, we let our guard down; we are not so concerned with what others think and lean into the joy of the play. It creates opportunity and opens our brains to new ideas. When we are playful, it can be contagious. When we are playful, we are not worried about outcomes, but about process and the journey.
I have learned that it is not pleasant to always be on guard. It takes a lot of brain power. It takes energy that could be used toward something else. We are creatures of habit; the more we do something the more we will be inclined to do it, the easier it is to repeat it. I’m not suggesting that we don’t be diligent in our work. We do need to consider what can go wrong, how to mitigate negative situations and that takes planning and thought. AND, we also can open our brains to a LOT of new possibilities if we start to do it playfully.
What that looks like for you could be different than it does for me. But kids play and are inventive and do lots of silly stuff, until we tell them to act their age and squash some of their silliness. What if we didn’t? What if you skipped into work today (even if it is just down the hall to your home office)? What if we stopped for a break and made a play doh figure after two hours at work? What if you colored a picture, or drew a picture and put it on your refrigerator? What if you went outside and bounced a ball or tossed a ball with a colleague or family member?
Take two minutes today and do something silly. Let someone else see you doing it, I bet they will want to join in.
My Wish for you is peace, and it can come by allowing the child-like playfulness to seep into your days.