“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
– George Bernard Shaw
Though we’re trained to “get serious” in life. . .
both empirical as well as academic research has proven that play nets greater results.
It goes contrary to our training, for sure, but the fact that creativity and initiative both increase when one is in a “game” environment versus a pressure/work/succeed vs. failure environment has the concept of “playing” for results growing in awareness. . .in both personal and business settings.
An early cultural study on play was a 1938 book, Homo Ludens, by Johan Huizinga. It states that two of the essential characteristics of play are an occurrence outside of ordinary life and a lack of seriousness.
Yet, so many of us in our own personal lives — much less in our business initiatives — have a hard time divorcing our actions from the when-it-absolutely-has-to-be-there-overnight results we want to achieve.
Huizinga introduced the idea, later expanded by Katie Salen Tekinbaş and Eric Zimmerman, authors of Rules of Play, of a “Magic Circle” that separates play from serious activities and that is entered when one is beginning to play.
In both my own experience as well as those I’ve supported with PlayGame Coaching™, there is a lessening of the old industrial mindset of win/lose, succeed/fail and avoiding mistakes at all costs that frees one up to actually get creative and enjoy the process of developing new skills and mastery to expand oneself into new areas of growth.
Generally, society would have you believe that “if you ain’t no good at it yet, and you ain’t done it yet, you’ll never be and you won’t”. . .and that’s especially true for folks embarking on their second half (best half) of life, career, relationships, and purpose fulfillment.
So, the question is this: what areas of your life can you remove from the seriousness and pressure to get it “right” and turn it into a game?
I’ll discuss this more today at noon PST in the regular Wednesday Facebook Live video in our Back Forty Midlife Fliers group (join us here).
If you happen to be an executive that has been taking no action around your career growth because of fear, pressure or uncertainty, my HR executive wife and I have put together a gamified program to support contrary action for you this fall, to set you up for a winter or spring breakout transition.
This program is specifically designed for senior professionals and promises a whole new outlook on who you are, what you bring to the table, and where you go from here in your career.
If you want your future to be something playfully outside of your old box, check out a free 25min educational video here.
Think differently, play better.
CareerGuy and Back Forty Freedom Flier
Got a gamified life?
– Ciro Immobile