Ever noticed the gusto of a preschooler?
Young kids go after everything with a great sense of gleeful purpose. If my 4-year old sits down to write his name, he’s going to write it BIG and small and round-and-round and up-and-down and purple and green and anything else he can imagine. When my 3-year old wants to play with me, it means she wants to copy everything I’m doing (often, it’s housework or business phone calls).
Maria Montessori may have said it best: a child’s work is play. They work at play; their play is what we call “work.”
For them, the lines between work and play blur. I’ve wondered why, and I believe it all comes down to their mindset. Their pretty little brains haven’t yet been told that sweeping the floor is a chore — something to carry the labels “work,” “drudgery,” “chore.” For them, it can still be fun because those labels don’t exist.
In a short time, undoubtedly, the jadedness of the world will rub off on them and they’ll begin to divide their own worlds into “fun” and “not fun.”
What if we could stop some of that devolution? What if we could even reverse it in ourselves, so that “work” felt more like “play”? How great would that be? And who was that wise person who said, “change your mind, and you change your life”? What great changes could we see in the world if everyone shifted just a little more toward play even in the midst of work?
Think about your work (paid or unpaid), and your attitude toward it. Are you seeing and feeling the labels attached? Did you put them there? And where did you learn those labels?
Can you unlearn them? (Yeah, it will take some — um — work.)
And think about whatever you do for exercise. (You DO have some form of exercise, right? If not, please read this post and then let’s talk: http://www.clickaclass.com/blog/2011/02/18/how-much-does-obesity-cost/). Is your workout feeling like Work-with-a-capital-W?
So here’s my challenge — to you and to myself: TODAY, change a label. Pick just one thing, and switch one of your “work” tags on it to a “play” tag instead. That’s what I’m doing with this post, by the way. Something new for me — just writing, stream-of-consciousness with a commitment to click “publish” when I’m done. No edits, no reorganization, no trashing it and starting over because it didn’t sound right. I’m just playing here! Adopt the kind of happy verve that you see in kids, and notice what changes for you and around you.
So, talk back. What do you think?