“Play with abandon and watch what positive power evolves!” – Kusch
Do you sometimes, or perhaps more often than not, think you are too old to play? If so, think again. Many times when I have been confronted with difficult business decisions or issues, I look for answers by playing around with possible solutions. It is a different mindset. Think about the problems you face as though they were a part of a maze or a puzzle. Consider all the elements or pieces as you would if you are trying to put that puzzle together. You move parts around, look at the different shapes and colors and think about how they might lock together. You imagine how you can fit it all together. In effect you play with the puzzle.
Consider the concept of putting the puzzle together and apply to your work. Put a group of your co-workers or project team together and put them into a play mindset. Challenge them to open their minds and say “AH!” When you do, you release the energy and collective genius of a team.
Watch a little child who is confronted with a challenge. They play with the parts/elements of what is frustrating or confronting them. Take a kid for a walk in the woods and watch the wonder as they pick the bark off a dead log and are amazed at the ants and beetles they uncover. More important, listen to all the questions they raise about their discovery. Does your imagination and sense of curiosity come out to play? Or, do you hold it at bay. Think about the power of play from your childhood. The games, the adventures, the treasure hunts and the disagreements taught me lessons about how to be a team player. I learned to move toward consensus and how to organize a group of individuals and get them to work together toward a common goal. Think back for a moment. What have you learned from childhood play that you still apply today?
To play with abandon today can yield new results of extraordinary innovations, solutions and job satisfaction that you might not have thought possible. Take time to interview some 4, 5 or 6 year olds who could tutor or mentor you on finding the child within you. Maybe you will accept their invitation to come out and learn again how play can make a powerful difference in your life.
“Genius is childhood recalled at will.” – Charles Baudelaire