What Play Can Do For Your Bottom Line
Sometimes when we want to charge forward in our lives and work, we easily forget the ONE thing that has always worked for you….but you’ve likely left behind.
No it’s not another to do list, fancy journal or even brilliant app that tells you what you need to do when.
Instead of taking you forward today, want to take you back.
Back to when you were young, imaginative and free.
Now look, I get not everyone had an idyllic childhood, but everyone has a state of life from their younger self that gave them the feeling of power, aliveness, courage and creativity- without effort, but just because you were fully YOU.
So many of us as adults have put that stage up on the mantle in a glass case, pinning to a memory a time where you just knew what to do and think and how to find answers without searching for them.
So instead of looking for more things outside of you, wouldn’t you like to go back to that space to accomplish what you want for your future on your terms?
Me too! Let’s go then.
First question I have is- what did you love to do when you were younger?
Hobbies, play time, imaginative play- nothing is too silly or frivolous.
List that out without judgments.
Now I want you to go back in your head and heart to who you were when you were doing those things.
What did it feel like? What kind of thoughts would’ve been running through your head?
What sort of stories used to excite you?
Now I want you be uber honest with yourself.
When you read back that list, of all of the things that you used to like to do, do you do any of them anymore?
Do you do any of the things that you liked to do as a kid, either as a hobby, as a practice, as a stress reliever.
Most of us don’t, and that’s the thing you say you want more fun and frolics in your life, but then you don’t go back to your roots and go back to the things that they always loved to do.
So we are now a society of bored, stuck, non-creative inner children wandering around pretending to feel excitement and joy. What is the point of THAT?
Sure some of the more adventurous people will go and say, “Okay, I’m going to jump out of a plane.” That’s awesome.
There’s an adrenaline rush for five minutes, and then you come back down and you’re back down at your regular status and you’re not creating an environment in your life where fun and frolics and adventure and curiosity can continue to come into play.
Instead of us always looking for another new answer, we even do it not only in business and in life, but we do it in our own creativity as, I have to go learn a new skill.
There needs to be a new hobby.
I need to go find a new exercise class.
I have to go read a book because that’s what everyone told me to do.
Can you see why people struggle to stick to things? None of them belong to YOU at your core!
Instead of constantly looking outside of yourself to find the answers for the things that you think you want, what if you built a habit in your curiosity of going back to what you used to like to do and WHY.
Because what we do when we do that, is we listen to our intuition whether you’re into the woo or not, you know automatically when you like something.
But as an adult, moving from when we were children, we forget what we actually like.
We forget to bring it with us and we think it’s not okay or it’s childish or it’s naive or it’s a waste of time because we have so many more important things to focus on, but then you’re leaving your essence back there. Frozen in time and leave essentially tools and clues to what makes you motivated, alive and on purpose. Kind of important things to know about you, I’d say!
Then when you try to do new things, when you want to learn new skills, when you want to push forward in your business, when you want to be brave in your relationships, you don’t have your inner essence, which is what drove you when you were little, in order to accomplish those things.
That’s why we get this adrenaline rush to try something and then we drop out of either overwhelm or frustration or we get bored very easily. It’s because we’re trying to do something outside of our regular way.
I want to encourage you to take a look at the list that you wrote of things you liked to do when you were little. Go back to what about what you liked when you were little. Why did you like it? Why did it mean so much to you and how can you bring it in now? I always loved art, I still do love art, but there are certain things that I don’t like. I don’t like fine art. I found that out trying fine art and I didn’t like it. I don’t like being in a class. I don’t like when it’s supposed to look a certain way.
I took what I use to like and now at 44, I do it my way.
If I’m in the mood, I’ll go down to my studio- without expectation, without an outcome in mind and PLAY.
It’s not for anyone else.
I don’t have to sell it like I used to.
No one else has to see it, but to capture the essence of the fun and frolics that you used to have, find the feeling and recreate it in your life now.
What can that look like? Because it’s not about what it was.
It’s not about, Well, I’m not good at basketball so I’m not going too play anymore.
You were taught in our societies as children, unless you can master something, move on.
If you’re not the best chess player, you’re never going to make the chess team, so don’t bother. You’re not the best dancer, don’t try out for the dance team.
It doesn’t matter if you can master it. It’s for you.
It’s something that drives a spark in you to have more fuel to do things, to do things more your way, to stop asking permission from everybody else.
Use the feeling to go find what it is, create that spark in yourself and then use the spark to focus on your life, on your business, on your relationships, because it’s not about the activity, it’s about the feeling that lights up inside of you.
From that changed state, you can do anything, you can plow through the to do list, which you find boring.
You can make phone calls that you’re scared of.
You can face conversations that you may not feel ready for.
For me, this changed EVERYTHING. I finally remembered how I like to feel when I’m playful, which I had completely forgotten about, so I was just being a regular grown up muggle, not well either, I might add, and then I wasn’t really being me, and I certainly wasn’t being like everyone else, so I was kind of like being nothing and that’s when my body started aching, things were falling apart in my life, because I wasn’t listening to any of it.
It’s about re-routing and turning the mirror inwards and saying, forget what everyone else thinks if it’s okay or not, if you can weave in what ifs and curiosity and adventure and playfulness back into everyday life, even for a few minutes a day, it changes all the tasks you think you’re suppose to do to get where you say you want to go.
If I’m not good at something straight away, I usually give up. I have to be the best, I can’t help it. We’re all like that in certain areas because it’s how we were taught.
Why would you bother wasting energy on something if you’re not going to be good at?
We’re taught that from a young age. We do it to our kids. If your child isn’t good at trying out for the hockey team, to save him from pain, when he was little, we say, “You know what sweetie? Why don’t we try tennis instead.”
You know what kids do when left to their own devices? They master what they want to and they leave what they don’t (until of course, coaches, teachers and parents get in the way!)
The adultness we put on kids because we are so afraid they will feel rejection.
Sometimes that rejection or those fears of not being good enough drives us to go do something better.
To better ourselves, to practice more, to test our boundaries, to find out what’s behind it, to see what’s stopping us, but yet we don’t bring it into our adult life and that’s why I think fun and frolics runs everything else, because you’re being the most you that you want to be, without even thinking about it.
You don’t have to plan it.
This isn’t something that you can read 15 books and master, you just go back inside and remember who you are and then you turn it and use it in every area of your life.
Now, that doesn’t mean it’s going to affect your ROI day one, but it will certainly make you show up differently every day in your work, which will definitely magnetized people to your work.
It’s not about worrying if it’s going to change the last bit of the story, but it’s about creating the most you that you can so you can bring yourself as fully to whatever it is you do.