Here is a question for you:
When was the last time you played? Seriously (there’s a bit of a paradox already!), when was the last time you really (I mean REALLY) had fun doing something?
If you are like many of the earth’s population, the answer is probably “quite a while ago, to be honest….” Maybe you belong to the lucky few who would say: “well, yesterday!”, or “just this morning!”, and have some decent fun at least once every couple of days. Or you may be somewhere in between, stating that you have a ball every now and then, but not as much as you used to or would like to.
Why is it that so few people can still play? Why is it that we have all have become serious (hey, that’s me included!)?
There are several reasons for this seriousness in my perspective, and one of them is because we have been made to believe that life is a serious thing, so we cannot go around and play all day; otherwise nothing will get done, and you won’t make a living. (I can hear my parents talking to me……do you hear yours?).
Beliefs are devious things, in a way. A belief that serves you (“I am a great person and deserve all the best in the world!”) is a great one to have and will bring you all the matching “goodies”, guaranteed!
On the other hand, a belief that doesn’t serve you (“I am good for nothing and do not deserve all the best in the world”) is not such a great one to have, but will nevertheless bring you all the matching “baddies”, guaranteed!
This has got to do with the all-embracing Law of Attraction, which basically states that you get what you focus on, whether you want to have it or not. Your focus determines your experience.
Beliefs are “crammed” into us from the day we are born, mainly by our parents, but also by our teachers, our peers, our social environment, and by the things we experience. We can say that a huge set of beliefs that has made us serious today has been derived from the most influential people (and events) in our lives. As they were (and are) living a serious life when they taught us, it is not surprising that we got to learn how to live seriously too!
What we generally forget to realise, is that we do not have to live that way. We can switch the auto-pilot off, and decide to consciously choose our experience, instead of just going with the old way of thinking. That will bring about a revolution in your thinking, which will ultimately create a revolution in your mind! You just have to make your mind up; be outrageous: create your life the way you want it!
Coaching can help you to get the clarity you need to become (more) playful again. Just stick, together with your coach, to the new plan you have made for yourself, and you will change! The better it gets, the better it gets!
Set a landmarc:
Firstly, find out where you are hanging on to seriousness. Where is your life governed by doubt, worry, anxiety, fear of the future, etc. Where have you suppressed playfulness in favour of gloom? Be honest with yourself!
Secondly, define for yourself what “playing” means to you. I may have a completely different definition of the word than you, and therefore my “playing” will be different to yours! What would you do if you decided to play? Go to a musical, play chasings with your partner, go to a footy game, play hide-and-seek with your kids, buy a super-soaker and squirt cars in the street, etc.?
Thirdly, find examples in your surroundings of people that “play” the way you would like to. What are they doing? How often do they do that? What sort of people are they? What can you learn from them?
Lastly, take action!! Find at least two occasions in a week in which you can play out full. Go past your own boundaries, act a little crazy, do things you would never do before, make a fool of yourself, and laugh out loud! If that is too much, do something that is less “out there”, but still is a stretch in your model of the world, and then do a little more the next week.
Seriously (…) we need more fun and play in our lives. You will not only feel great, you will have an enormous influence on the people around you also. Just try it: walk past somebody and give them an honest smile. You will make their day.
Go out and play!
Marc de Bruin