Okay, how great is this quote?
“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to uncover those jewels—that’s creative living.”Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
You might have an aversion to the word play. Hell, I do myself sometimes. We want to be productive! And by definition, play is an activity that isn’t productive.
And yet, it is.
Play is productive, even though it’s not
“Play is something done for its own sake,” says Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play. “It’s voluntary, it’s pleasurable, it offers a sense of engagement, it takes you out of time. And the act itself is more important than the outcome.”
So, play is both not productive (not designed to accomplish any particular outcome) and decidedly productive (results include feelings of joy, renewed creative energy, laughter….) And play can lead us to those jewels Gilbert mentions.
The story that helps me prioritize fun
In Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, author Elizabeth Gilbert tells the story about how, one summer, she wanted a garden. She had never been into gardening before, and it was just a whisper of curiosity. So she planted some things. Then, she got curious about where each plant originated, so she researched. She created little signs in her tiny backyard with each plant’s history. She had a new hobby and, before long, a new book idea. The Signature of All Things is her novel about nineteenth-century botanical explorers. By the time she wrote the book, she was consumed with passion, but three years earlier she hadn’t even heard of the subject!
This is one of those stories that comes to mind when I have a thought to try something new, silly, unproductive. When my ego gets loud. You’re being ridiculous. Lazy. Irresponsible. That isn’t aligned with your goals!
Ah, but it is, Lizardo. If I don’t follow my inner child’s yearnings, how will I find the jewels?
PS I love helping my clients achieve great things while having fun, instead of staying stuck in an either/or world of unfulfilling achievement.
If you’re a badass woman who knows how to get $hit done, and would like to have more fun while doing so, check out my coaching program.