When feeling dependent on deadlines, feeling that we can only things we are interested in, Forcing ourselves to work by some means can seem to be the only choice.
However, it might be only have been a default choice. It may have never occurred to you that alternative non-force based methods exist and can in fact be practiced.
But, I’m guessing you’ve been there.
When Things Go Well
When the conditions are right, you’re sailing, getting more done in a shorter time than most. Creative insights seem simple and obvious. Ideas just click.
And I bet, at some point in your life, you’ve even gotten there without a deadline.
And even with things that you weren’t originally interested in, that somehow you stumbled in.
When you stumble into some form of work, cleaning, clearing, or creating, you often find yourself in those powerful surges of engagement.
Instead of being fueled by fear, you are brought to life with creativity and intuition.
When done, we often have a feeling of accomplishment, feeling rested, fulfilled, or perhaps looking for more.
It’s from that place of relaxed and heightened attention, where we lose ourselves in the work and play, where we find a creative well, where we often make our most powerful and even beautiful creations.
Play in Work
What might be surprising, is that at the root of this meaningful productivity is often play and care.
Alright, so how does play have anything to do with being productive? What do I mean by play?
I actually do mean the very same play that we find as toddlers. It just looks different as we grow into our teenage years and adulthood.
Play is not wasting time. In fact, it can be highly productive.
If you consider a toddler’s play, where play is distilled into its essence, we see a powerhouse of exploration, discovery, and interaction.
It is a natural state of mind that’s focused on the present, inquisitive, exploring, creative. It’s where the inner critic is quieter and when we learn, build, and grow. And that is why play is so important, to our work and elsewhere.
When you excel at a video game, when you discover a new recipe, even sometimes when you find yourself doing things you didn’t want to do to begin with—all of these are evidence that the playful and caring self is ready to sail strong.
And because play wells from within, what we learn and create in that state engages us deeply. We feel it as Real and meaningful
We discover the things that we trust to be true.
It’s why play helps us test limits. We want to know what the limits are, and when we know them, we shine
With Wandering Minds in particular, play is a powerful spirit, one that creates wonderfully, discovers, explores, is humorous, and makes wonderful things.
Play Can’t be Told How to Play
What’s confounding is oftentimes you don’t know how you got there, and in particular how you get there for things you “don’t wanna” do.
How do we start connecting that part of us that is inspired, and powerful, with the things of life, the we need to remember to do, the things that are humdrum.
The playful spirit does not like to be told what to do. By definition, play is not told how to play.
For those with particularly strong playful spirits, this can create problems
Tricking ourselves, being dishonest, forcing ourselves through shame and fear we damaging trust in ourselves to move forward, but as we do we also damage the very trust that’s needed for play to take root. Manipulation, force, and dishonesty are hardly the heralds of self-respect.
Without a sense of trust and respect in ourselves, we have no confidence. We have no sense of what we can truly rely on. And therefore, we struggle to engage that powerful playful self.
Whether it is a child or the child within ourselves, play does not appear when scared or forced.
Can you get there? A place where you can engage with that powerful spirit while also managing your responsibilities and the like, avoiding deadlines as your only way of working?
I believe it is possible. But it is a process.
Getting there may not be simple. But the start might be. And I suggest that a visit-based system can be that approach.