In many recent conversations, I have had to reflect on that one momentous feedback and I believe it is the concept of “Simply Play“. One of my prior bosses (who is now a friend for life) told me in a conversation – “Simply Play“.
Play with Purpose
There are two purposes – personal and professional and very rarely people get to meld those two for a perfect recipe. Clearly defining your purpose both personally and professionally helps you draw the lines. These lines could be boundaries that define things like work-life balance, your circle that defines who is in/out of it, penalty boxes (aka Soccer), or the progress you make towards the purpose (aka American Football).
In many difficult situations, the focus on purpose has made things clearer, it has helped define the path (sometimes the path I wouldn’t have liked), and helped prioritize life in a context that best suits my (people who belong in that box) purpose. Even better it has helped rally stakeholders and difficult conversations. At the end of all it, it is the purpose that gives you the passion.
Play with Passion
Passion and Emotion are two different dimensions. Passion gets you to focus, Emotion (at times) distracts your pathway to focus. Either one when in imbalance upsets the applecart.
Based on the purpose, define what are you passionate about – it could be building apps, solving business challenges, chomping on financial spreadsheets, or taking your kid to the soccer game.
Additionally, to achieve a certain purpose, you do have to build new passion.If your purpose is to play soccer and you are passionate about tennis and it leads to conflict – you are the only one to blame. Steer your life in a way where purpose and passion are in unison; at least to the extent they can be within the practical realms.
Play with Playfulness
One life is too short not to enjoy. Enjoying is not about partying hard but about finding happiness in everything you do and being in the moment.
If you are with your kid but your mind is with the email, you are NOT enjoying the moment and it isn’t fair to your kid and not to you. If you are on the road and are constantly missing your family back home (nothing wrong with that), it is just that you have to make adjustments.
Additionally, it takes all kinds of people to make this world and they are governed by conflicting metrics. Some behaviors are genetic and some are driven by situations. The real playfulness is navigating these and not in fighting or frustrating oneself about these.
Play to Practice
Finally – practice. When you play to practice there is less pressure. It is a marathon and you run one lap at a time wherein you win some and lose some. At the end of every lap, simply reflect to see what you’ve learned and take a wiser step forward. The fun is in not waiting to restart your lap.
Practice also makes you less rusty and helps you stay sharp. So simply practice.
We all tend to get carried away in the moment and forget that Life is a game and the only way to stay in is to play.
So what are you waiting for – Simply Play.