We Don’t Stop Playing Because We Grow Old…

Which is good news!

Because growing old, we can’t avoid – but play? There’s nothing that says we must lose it.

The truth is: We don’t stop playing because we grow old – we grow old because we stop playing.

Which is a hard one to swallow for most entrepreneurs, because we tend to always want to check off one more task, create one more client, pay off one more debt first.

And THEN, we tell ourselves, then we get to play and relax.

This is the entrepreneurial equivalent of the stockbroker who tells himself ‘just one more million’, and then he’ll retire. Which usually doesn’t happen, millions or not. Whilst rather often those people end up with serious health issues. For example, dying of a heart attack under the age of 40. Pretty bad for your health, I’ve been told.

Oh but you’re different of course. You have common sense, you’re not greedy, and you do take time for self-care.

Ok, but do you also play enough?

Because neuroscientific research shows increasingly that play plays (heh) an important role, and appears to contribute directly to your success.

So, do you play?

Purposelessly, joyfully, just for the sake of it?

Do you? Frequently? Daily?

If you don’t you’re sabotaging yourself. Because you promised your inner child that if it’ll just sit still for long enough, while you build your business, it will get all the fun and play it wants.

But the inner child (i.e. that part of your subconscious) has limited patience and if you withhold delivering your promise long enough, it will make sure it gets its reward.

And suddenly you find yourself procrastinating, on a day that you started out all fired up to get some serious work done.

Play is necessary – not just for your wellbeing, but also for your creative abilities, and most importantly, perhaps: play is required for you to keep performing at your highest levels, at those times when you’re working.

So take time for play. Take it seriously, but: don’t get serious about it.

Like someone told me the other day, they needed to think some more about how to bring play into their days.

But you can’t get there from here.

It’s like going on a crash course for zen-meditation: it doesn’t work like that.

If you want to play, then start at 7.

What, at 7 years old, made you lose all sense of time?

Find a way to bring back that activity, or something similar, and allow yourself a few minutes a day for play.

Your inner child will love it, your inner entrepreneur won’t mind (if it seems otherwise, remember that it’s just your minding mind give you critising self-talk – which you can safely ignore for a few minutes), and you’ll come back to your work refreshed, smiling, and ready to get cracking.

Let’s play. We all need it, and we can all afford, a few minutes a day.

Cheers,

Martin


Also published on Medium.

Menu Title