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Playing is something you can't really plan or anticipate. It is something you just do and in so doing, you lose yourself for a few moments and unlock creativity.

by Pete Ferguson

I'm currently reading "Play" by Stuart Brown. It's a brilliant book about the importance of being completely irresponsible and having a bit of fun.

Play is one of those things which cannot easily be diagramed, graphed, or measured.

Because the brilliance of play is that if you are doing it right, you should have very little self- awareness.

You are just being. Human being.

And you are having fun that isn't measured by scientific devices, metrics, personal improvement plans, or any other really boring crap.

You are just having fun.

But the book is written by an MD who's passion it is to get people to play. So for the analytical types, he has added to other research to "define" play - or rather to identify its characteristics - and the benefits of play. On page 19, you will find the following:

  • Anticipation - curiosity, anxiety, uncertainty, risk - but not so much to overwhelm the fun
  • Surprise - discover, new sensation or idea
  • Pleasure - a result of the surprise
  • Understanding - finding a new perspective or knowledge or feeling about something previously mundane ... "I never knew I could have soo much fun doing ..."
  • Strength - Having overcome an adrenaline rush, you are ready to do it again, or proud that you got through it
  • Poise - "grace, contentment, composure, and a sense of balance in life"

I'm learning how important play really is. Many criminals and other bad folks were deprived of it early in age.

It allows us to open our minds, see new possibilities, and better understand life around us.

It is unexpected.

That's why it is fun.

You can't over think it.

You just have to do it.

When I get home from my business trip this evening, I think a spontaneous (for them, I have an evil plan) round of scaring the children is in order, followed by pillow fight and chasing Miles about the house.

Go get your Play on!


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