I think most of us take life and ourselves far too seriously. We take on the mantle of roles and responsibilities at work and home, and believe that we are indispensable, that the world would collapse if we played hooky from work, or didn’t organize the linen cabinet, or dust the shelves before the guests came over.
“What would people think” seems to be the constant refrain running through our heads as we rush through life, doing, doing, doing. Which often leads to burn out, a growing sense of irritation, and a disconnect from our very essence.
One antidote to this is to adopt a sense of playfulness in our lives.
But, what does adopting a playful approach to life mean?
Let me illustrate this with a little vignette.
I met up with my besties last weekend, three girls and a half man (my friend’s 4-year old son). As we sat around the lunch table chatting, he was busy in a corner playing with his cars, using our purses as mountains and one half of the bench as his rally track. Reflected on his face was intense concentration and seriousness, as he moved his car around an imagined track.
Occasionally we’d reach over to grab something from our purse, and he would give us a grumpy frown. We’d reciprocate with funny faces and tickles, and he’d erupt into peals of laughter. And then we’d return to our conversation, and he would return to his rally track.
That’s what I mean by playfulness.Having a playful approach to life is not an abdication of seriousness, it’s about going through life lightly. Click To Tweet
The half man could have kicked up a tantrum every time we messed with his mountains, but he enjoyed the little interruptions and then reworked his rally “strategy” by moving the mountains (our purses) around just so, and proudly crowing – “Look at my new mountain, mumma!”
How would things change for us if we approached life from a more playful lens?
Personally, I’ve found that when I adopt an attitude of playful seriousness towards life, I don’t beat myself up or give up when I come face to face with challenges and delays. Instead, I adopt a more curious approach to rethinking my strategy – and my priorities – and from there, I make small or big tweaks to achieve the things that really matter to me. Often, this means pruning away everything and then bringing back the things that really enrich my life. This ensures that I can listen to what I want, not what the experts and gurus try to convince me that I want!
Over to you: How do you adopt a playful approach to life? I’d love it if you tell me in the comments!