Tag: discovery

11. Have Fun/Play/Explore

T.S.-Elliott_StarWhat is play but a series of experiments done for no other reason than the pleasure of it all. To the mature, dare I say cynical, mind all that mucking about may seem pointless. Yet play is critical to the development of skill.

Play means giving up the notion that there is one “right” way of doing something. Instead, it means experimenting with many many possibilities, trying each one on for size then casting off each in favor of another or another until voila, a success of some sort is achieved.

Trying is always accompanied by tension and strain. You feel the pressure in your temples, the tightness in your neck. Aches and pains and worries add up. All are signs of trying too hard. Play, on the other hand, is an inherent lightness and ease that brings harmony to your every action. The solution to stress – PLAY!

Let your actions be small, easy, joyful. Toss out the notion of perfection. Mistakes are detours to discovery. The more you make, the more you learn. Taking little risks increases the likelihood that you will discover a way of doing and being that is even better than you imagined. Put into perspective – some of the greatest inventions in the world were discovered by accident. Imagine!

Young brains learn through play. So do older ones.

What’s stopping you from doing the same?

Can you give yourself permission to try something in a way that is slightly different from what you have always done? Can you find a way to make what you are doing light and “playful”?

Hint: Instead of following the “rules”, see what happens if you make a slight change in action. Risk just a little. Assume an attitude of “look and see.” Banish competition in favor of noticing what happens when you allow.

Pleasure and joy are byproducts of play. They are not for children only.

Let your heart sing. Let your spirit burst with joy. PLAY!

Spoiler Alert

Have you seen the video of Baby Liv learning to roll?  If not, you may want to have a peek.

Notice the delight on Liv’s face as she flips over for the very first time.  You can almost imagine the cartoon bubble – “That was AWESOME!” – over her head.

Liv had a distinct advantage over all us adults.  She didn’t have a preconceived idea of what was going to happen nor any judgement, good or bad, about how she got there.  We, on the other hand, have lots of goals and lots and lots of perceptions on the “right” way to achieve them.  We know what we want and our desire often spoils the journey.  Like finding out in advance whodunit ruins the unfolding discovery in a good mystery.  The “wonder” becomes less wonder-full as we restrict our reading to looking for only those things that support the foregone conclusion.  We lose the options for arriving at our destination.

It’s the difference between hopping on a plane and driving the back roads across country. Both means get you to your destination but only one supplies a deep connection to the process.  Unless something catastrophic happens, the flight becomes nothing more than an event in a long series of events.  It has little meaning to us other than a means to an end.  We’re left without an understanding of what lies between where we started and our destination.

Traveling the back roads connects us to the journey.  Instead of simply arriving we arrive rich in experiences that give us insight into ourselves.  We develop an inner encyclopedia of options that we can draw on next time we want to make that same journey.  In other words, we learn.

What if achieving your goal could be full of rich learning instead instead of a one-time magical arrival at your destination?   What journey would you take?