She was born on April Fool’s Day, and I always thought that made her sense of humor just a little bit better than everyone else’s. I am quite sure she is the one who most shaped my sense of humor, too. She is the one who introduced me to Monty Python, Dave Barry, and The Far Side. I watch my first Benny Hill and Mr. Bean sketches at her house, and she bought me a Dwight Schrute bobbled head for my first office. If you don’t recognize any of those names, please Google them right now, and let Grandma Lyn be the reason they are in your life, too!
One 2019 study found that agreeing with the statement “I have a philosophy of life that helps me understand who I am” was associated with fewer symptoms of depression and higher levels of happiness. Other positive psychology studies have shown that happiness drives success, not the other way around. If you want to feel fulfillment, you must first find your joy and flow state in play.
How successful do you think you and your organization would be if more people in your organization chose their activities based on the above definition of play? If you think it would be better, start today. If you think it would be worse, it might be time to think about new work or new co-workers. When you play for a living, you create the conditions for you to succeed more easily, and you get to have a lot more fun along the way!
When was the last time you voluntarily made a mess, just for the fun of it? When was the last time you got dirty, wet, had a food fight, spilled glitter on the floor, stepped on a Lego, or knocked something over? Despite our parents’ and teachers’ best intentions, we have learned to see these as bad outcomes. They are simply side effects of play, and play is necessary for happiness.
Philosophers from Alan Watts to Plato have discovered the power of play and playing infinite games!