It's not easy to be playful. To shut down power mode and flip on 'playful/whimsical/fun' is a transition that I have found to be a challenge.
We check off success boxes while working, completing projects, launching campaigns, developing, cultivating pipelines and watching the closed deals come in. It's addicting, work, and gratifying and I love it.
Playing, or stepping away from the phone and laptop and letting go of yourself requires a micro shift in attention, mindset, and physicality. When we nail this transition and let go, really let go, allowing our free spirit take over, the time we spend playing makes us work harder, stronger, more focused, more passionately.
Interestingly, real play does not include outcomes, rather, simply provides an experience. Play has been shown to reduce stress, rekindle relationships, and may even renew our neural connections which enable our human ability to adapt. The benefits in children we understand, but the concept of play enabling us to be better at our jobs and better at life is an interesting one.
I have found that spontaneous playing, even if for a block of 10-15 minutes, can change the day - change my mood - change our life??
I was looking ahead to several afternoon meetings and projects on the Monday after Easter, the kickoff to the second quarter. I took a family walk along the beach in sweats and bare feet to relax and soak in the early morning waves - or, as my mother says, 'clear the cobwebs'. I watched as my son bounded across the sand, hair whipping in the wind, smile across his face. I could feel his relaxed sense of joy, and I wanted some too.
I let go, and I jumped in.
Chased him up a pile of sand and ran down the other side. He threw me a Nerf gun and we played 'FortNight'. We raced along the beach, nearly tying at the end, but my leg length was an advantage in the uphill climb to the finish line.
Out of breath, sandy, laughing, we walked the way back to the condo. Me with lifted spirits and a warm, filled heart. My meetings this week were grueling, and important, but that race in the sand was fulfilling.