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We’re wired to be transactional. It’s linked to our survival. And in the modern world… that means we’re driven to make money. To make money, we need to do valuable work using our most precious resource: time.
Hence the expression Time is money.
It can be hard to imagine spending—squandering—that valuable time on activities that don’t yield a financial reward. As adults, we feel guilty at best when we engage in hobbies “just for fun”. We cram them into the weekend, into the few vacation days we allow ourselves (or each other) each year.
But what if doing things “just for fun” is more important than we think?
Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play in Carmel Valley, California, says
“Play is easy to recognize in children and animals — like, say, an impromptu game of tag or chase — but what does it look like in adults? How we play is “as unique to an individual as a fingerprint” and could mean collecting stamps, tossing a football, reading a book or climbing Mount Everest.
“What all play has in common is that it offers a sense of engagement and pleasure, takes the player out of a sense of time and place, and the experience of doing it is more important than the outcome.”
Let’s talk about when and how it’s okay to just play around.
- For your ten minutes of play: remember to do things just, merely, because they make you feel good. Go stand outside in the sun. Take a cup of coffee or an ice-cold glass of water with a few drops of lime juice in it out there with you. Just stand or sit in the sun. Close your eyes. Watch the clouds.
- Podcast: 422: The Sleep Episode
- Videos: Sleep Diplomat: Professor Matt Walker PhD
- Website: National Institute for Play
- Book: Overlap
- Book: Sabbatical
- Book: Man’s Search for Meaning (Book, 1985) [WorldCat.org]