January 26
The supreme accomplishment
is to blur the line
between work and play.

Arthur Toynbee


Today's Meditation:

"Play" seems to be a dirty word for some people.  After all, we should be serious in life, shouldn't we?  We shouldn't be playing when we're working, and we need to work in order to "make a living."  But in all seriousness, what does it mean to make a "living" if that living doesn't include any play, any fun?  What does life become when we leave play behind, thus leaving behind most of our creativity and spontaneity, also?

Play is NOT a dirty word--play is one of the most important elements of a well-balanced life.  When we play, we renew ourselves, rejuvenate ourselves, tap into creativity, allow ourselves to see the world around us differently.  When we play, we think in different ways, use different parts of our minds, and use our bodies differently than we normally do on any given day.

I don't believe that Arthur is talking about playing instead of working--it sounds to me that he's saying that we can make our work more like play if we simply shift our focus a bit, if we just change our perspective enough to allow ourselves to have fun on the job, with the work that we already do.  In my life I've had some really boring jobs, and they've always been easier to go to and to be at when I've created little games that help me to get the job done more quickly and more easily.  Most of the games have been in my mind, but they've definitely served their purpose.

How can we incorporate play into our jobs?  The first step is to recognize that we can do so--and that our work may improve if we do.  Work should not be drudgery--work should be challenging and enjoyable.  And the fact that others in the workplace aren't having fun doesn't mean that we can't.  Sometimes we may have to keep the fun to ourselves, depending on the job, but that's okay, as long as we make sure that the fun helps our job performance, and doesn't diminish it.

Questions to consider:

Why are most jobs not very fun?  Who has made the decision along the line that most people shouldn't have fun at work?

List three ways that you might have a bit more fun at work, or when you're doing work at home.

Why is it that most adults redefine fun to mean things that really aren't that much fun at all and are potentially destructive, like "recreational" drinking?

For further thought:

Fun is fundamental.  There is no way around it.
You absolutely must have fun.  Without fun,
there is no enthusiasm.  Without enthusiasm,
there is no energy.  Without energy,
there are only shades of gray.

Doug Hall


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