The Value of Play

“Stop the glorification of busy.”

I read this quote on a friend’s Facebook status, and it could not apply more at this point in time. playfrisbee

I think it’s ingrained in my head that being busy is necessary. In the world we live in, at least in the US, if you’re not busy, something is wrong.

Things aren’t getting done! You aren’t achieving! You aren’t growing! OH NO!!!!!!

It’s all pretty silly. If you live your life where every moment in time must be productive, then you will die. Literally, we can’t live without sleep. Or food. I guess eating could be considered “being productive”, because it’s giving you energy. But you can sleep when you’re dead!

Play is an essential part of a healthy life. You have to play! I’m guilty of not having nearly enough play time in my life. I used to play beach volleyball every weekend. And then I got a shoulder injury. Since then, not much in terms of play. I like exercises, i.e. going to the gym, but this isn’t play. I’m talking frisbee, kickball, surfing, scavenger hunts, board games, dancing, playing catch…the list of how you can play is endless.

But in the past, I have not been good at this. If I took a couple hours in the middle of the day to do something fun, I would constantly be thinking about how unproductive I was being.

I should be doing work! I’m wasting time! I’m going backwards! I’m getting poor by the minute!

The problem with this kind of thinking is, your whole world becomes stressful. Not playing doesn’t allow your brain to fully take a break. You’re working all the time and stressing and you’re stressing when you’re playing.

Not a good formula for a happy, successful life.

Play in this regard isn’t a diversion from our lives but a complex and unique engagement with it – with the people and things that populate our environments, the circumstances and challenges that exist in our lives. “-Mark Sisson, Mark’s Daily Apple

In school we had recess. Which was ridiculous when you think about it. Being forced to sit at a desk and listen to a teacher drone on for hours and then get 15 minutes of freedom and then it’s back to prison! At least, that’s how it felt. At least we did get some play time.

But when people become adults, at some point many of us think play is silly and pointless.

They also give up on their dreams. Good idea to not go with the crowd on this one.

I contend that play can help us come up with more creative business ideas. The idea of play is to experiment, be curious about, and discover. This opens up creative pathways and will make your business boom! Ok I made that up. But really, it goes along quite well with James Altucher’s idea of writing down 10 ideas everyday to work your “idea muscle”. These seem like small things but they are so key to person development, and stress-free existence.

Come out and play anyone?