An Overlooked Discipline

During a coaching session not too long ago, I received an unusual answer to the question “what do you want to work on today?”┬áMy client had worked on several leadership and discipline challenges and chose this day to respond “Scott, I don’t have any recreation in my life. I don’t do anything for fun.” He didn’t have any play time. So that is what we worked on. When we talk about the concept of play, it tends to get relegated as something children do. But the need for play does not end with childhood. In his book Play, Stuart Brown discusses how our bodies are designed to need periods of play. Playing is a way to sustain relationships, boost creativity, and increase innovation. There is something that happens in our minds and spirits when we intentionally take time to release our grip on the urgent and productive. During his TED talk, Peter Gray reveals the correlation between the development of children (and adults) who play and levels of empathy, ability to problem solve, and increased creativity. Without playing, there is an increase in anxiety, depression, and narcissism. Setting aside time for recreation or play is related to identity. When your worth is based on outcomes or performance, it can be nearly impossible to temporarily step away from roles and responsibilities. That can be a good indicator that there is an issue – if you feel like you are too important to take some time for refreshment and to recharge. Of course there can be problems with play that need to be avoided. Play can be used as an escape...

Gain Perspective. Live Well.

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