What are the things you would do anyway, even if you know you would fail?
What are the things you would do anyway, even if you can’t make money out of it?
What are the things you would do anyway, even if you know you won’t be great at it?
I wrote in my journal that 2021 will be my year of PLAY. After such a heavy and tumultuous 2020, I realized how much I missed living life with a playful attitude: being spontaneous and silly, doing things just for the fun of doing it, being curious and full of wonder.
Psychiatrist Stuart Brown, the founder of the National Institute for Play in Carmel Valley, Calif, said, “Play is a basic human need as essential to our well-being as sleep, so when we’re low on play, our minds and bodies notice. Over time, play deprivation can reveal itself in certain patterns of behavior: We might get cranky, rigid, feel stuck in a rut, or feel victimized by life.”
Last year, I had been so focused on ‘understanding my purpose’ and ‘being purposeful’ it made everything felt heavy. At the end of 2020, I felt so overwhelmed I had a little breakdown.
I started questioning why I should continue doing the things I do if they don’t produce tangible results; if there’s no direct outcome.
But I forgot some things.
I forgot that life is more than just producing tangible results and direct outcomes.
I forgot that you can live a good life even if it seems like you don’t understand (or confused, or unsure, or unclear about) what your purpose is.
I forgot that ‘to have fun’ can also be a purpose.
I forgot that ‘to play’ can also be the answer to the question: “WHY?”
I realized that I had forgotten how to play.
So, this year, I want to learn to take myself (and my work, and my art, and everything else) less seriously.
Lately, I find myself asking these questions while working, designing stuff for my shop, having a call with a client, washing dishes, walking at the park:
- Can I make it a bit more fun?
- Can I inject more playfulness into it somehow?
- Can I find something to help me enjoy it more?
- Can I drop the importance of it and focus on having a pleasant time?
Most of the time, the answer is yes.
“What all play has in common is that it offers a sense of engagement and pleasure, takes the player out of a sense of time and place, and the experience of doing it is more important than the outcome,” Brown said. “To benefit most from the rejuvenating benefits of play, we need to incorporate it into our everyday lives, not just wait for that two-week vacation every year.”
So, if you know that you will fail at it, won’t make money out of it, and won’t be great at it, what are the things you would still want to do anyway?