Play more

Play more. I feel like people are so serious, and it doesn’t take much for people to drop back into the wisdom of a childlike playfulness. If I had to prescribe two things to improve health and happiness in the world, it’d be movement and play. Because you can’t really play without moving, so they’re intertwined.

~ Jason Nemer

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How you play

If life is a game, how do you play it? The answer will have a huge impact on your choices, your satisfaction, and how you achieve success.

~ Shane Parrish from, https://fs.blog/2020/02/finite-and-infinite-games/

There are of course some games simply not worth playing. (For example, Global Thermonucler War, which is, “[a] strange game. The only winning move is not to play.“) For most of my life I’ve thought of games as something I first decided to do—”let’s play a game!”—and then sorted out what sort of game—board games, tag, charades, etc.. Even sports games worked this way; “I feel like playing baseball…” and then round up my friends, or “I feel like getting good at baseball and playing a lot…” and then join a league. In all the cases, the game itself was the point.

Then, back around 40 when I was busy rediscovering movement, I realized that one could start by having a goal, or an idea one wanted to explore, and then one could deploy games as the vehicle for accomplishing that. On the one hand, it’s still fun to simply play for play’s sake, but it’s empowering to have fun playing while intentionally accomplishing something of your own choosing.

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Playfulness

To be playful is not to be trivial or frivolous, or to act as if nothing of consequence will happen. On the contrary, when we are playful with one another, we relate as free persons, and the relationship is open to surprise; everything that happens is of consequence, for seriousness is a dread of the unpredictable outcomes of open possibility. To be serious is to press for a specified conclusion. To be playful is to allow for unlimited possibility.

~ James Carse

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Risk

Risk gives you choice, and it gives you opportunity to explore and challenge yourself. Risk is a choice, and you have to learn how to negotiate acceptable and unacceptable risks in our lives. Play is a very safe space to learn how to do that.

~ Caitlin Pontrella

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I keep trying to rearrange my efforts so I can spend more time re-experiencing the hundreds of terrific conversations I’ve experienced. Every single time I manage to find time to go back in, I find something wonderful. That quote is from episode 4 of the Movers Mindset podcast—it wasn’t even called that back then. It was a wonderful, chaotic, ramble of a conversation long before I realized the magic of conversation.

I keep thinking: Have great conversations and get them recorded. Get those conversations recorded so they can be heard by others is the most important part. I have a million other ideas about how to extract meaning, share the best parts, find threads and themes that run across large scales of people and times and …

My hope is that if I simply keep having great conversations, everything else will take care of itself.

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Risk and choice

Risk gives you choice, and it gives you opportunity to explore and challenge yourself. Risk is a choice, and you have to learn how to negotiate acceptable and unacceptable risks in our lives. Play is a very safe space to learn how to do that.

~ Caitlin Pontrella

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Gateway to possibility

Why is play so powerful? Johnson explains that “humans — and other organisms — evolved neural mechanisms that promote learning when they have experiences that confound their expectations. When the world surprises us with something, our brains are wired to pay attention.”

And the whole point of play is to be surprised. The unknown factor is part of what entertains us. Play is a gateway to possibility.

~ Shane Parrish from, https://fs.blog/2017/08/value-play-driver-innovation/

Have you seen the movie, Inception? There are a pile of mind-bending perspective shifts in there… something like a dolly-zoom, a long music descent, a rotating set that obliterates our sense of reality as the actors fall to the ceiling, that look on their face, M C Escher learns to use modern CGI for a city street scene . . . you get the idea.

surprise
unknown factor
gateway to possibility…

My understanding of what play is, and why we’re drawn to it, has fundamentally shifted.

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