We tend to divide our world into two parts: One of them is serious and one of them is play. We may bring some playful elements to the serious part, but overall it’s just that: Serious. Dead serious. I claim this doesn’t have to be. Rather, there’s so much play available in absolutely everything we do.
Let’s dive a bit deeper:
We often have things we regard as super-serious, and to be honest they indeed aren’t just playthings – such as securing finances that pay our food and a roof over your head. BUT it’s almost never “just” about food and a roof. It’s about a particular kind of food and roof. It’s about a particular amount of money we feel we need to be safe.
Very often it’s about particular things we never fully questioned whether we really need them – and why. I mean I’m sure you’ve got a great why. But how deeply have you questioned?
So, we have those many things we need to be serious about. Because, what if you showed up totally playful in our job for example, starting tomorrow, then lost your job, which would destroy your career, which would lead you to never again make the kind of money you make now and force you to give up the food/roof/… and you just couldn’t feel safe anymore (ever)?
WOULD it though? The honest answer very often is no. And we end up limiting ourselves, artificially confining ourselves to the box of what we think is expected, acceptable. For nothing except an invented concept of safety. In the end we lose doubly: We can’t have a lot of fun AND a ton of energy goes into staying within the box.
Let’s have a look at the other side.
I’m going to be honest and drastic for a second: We are going to die anyway. And what does really matter in the face of death? I’m not saying “live every day as if it was the last” as in let’s stop shopping for groceries and quit making any plans for the future. Rather I’m curious: What would you do if life truly was all about play and nothing really mattered, because it’s going to end under the earth, anyway?
Let’s face it, life is never safe. We may be led to believe that from insurance to extensive health care, or any other of the multiple ways capitalism offers to “secure” what we have. But actually, life can take any completely unexpected turn at any time.
So why not, actually, why not bring all the fun, all the play into absolutely everything we do? Not just “a bit of play”, but bring our most creative, playful, present selves to the table to make the most of every single day? In all areas?
Do it for yourself to have a full, effortless range available. Do it for your kids, to give them the gift of a happy and present parent. Do it for the world, to serve and contribute with your unique gifts.
Yes, you might lose your job. You might have a financial backlash. I don’t say that’s not going to happen. You might need time because you find out you want to transition into something different. You may discover it’s difficult and you need to heal.
But overall it’s going to be a life more fully lived, a life with (much) more you and (a lot) less pretending. With so much more energy, free to spend on stuff you love. Likely to excel more than you ever would have while holding yourself back for the sake of safety. A life where nothing is all that damn serious and you can indeed find play, everywhere. What are you waiting for?