In the last blog, we were wondering how it would be if our work didn’t feel like work, but like play instead. But what is play? Why is it so important? If work is like play, then great, but if not, how can we add play or adapt that kind of lifestyle? We’ll be answering all these questions in this blog.
What is Play?
Play (here) is any activity that induces fun and a balanced state called Flow. If you didn’t know, Flow is a state at which one forgets everything except the activity at hand and gets deeply immersed in it.
When we say fun, we assume it is entertainment. Yes, play is entertaining, but not all kinds of entertainment can be considered Play.
Play can be called Active Entertainment where one is actively challenged physically and/or mentally slightly above their comfort zone and yet there is so much excitement/fun [Examples for Active Entertainment: Badminton, Abstract music played on any musical instrument] rather than Passive entertainment where one just consumes entertainment in various forms that usually consists of other people engaged in active entertainment – Play. Any form of sports is of course Play. And like Albert Einstein once said: “Creativity is intelligence having fun!”, so anything involving creativity is Art, and hence any art form is “Play”. [Will write a dedicated blog for Creativity, or being creative or Art as an essential part of life. etc soon] [ I thought I made up those words active and passive entertainment, but no they’ve already been discussed in other blogs]
Of course, we can be enthralled by passive entertainment too, thanks to our “mirror” neurons. But not as much as what “Play” brings to the table.
Why is it so important?
Before we see why it is so important, we must understand that Play has been simply necessary for the survival of the human race. Not just humans, naturally, every species has Play intertwined with its daily routine. Have you observed how cats play when they are filled? They’ll find something and just start playing. Apparently, for cats, even a dried leaf is enough to start playing. Yes, literally, anything from dried leaves to empty paper bags is more than enough for them to do so.
For our Super early ancestors, Play, not only contributed to physical activity and in turn physical health, but also, it provided mental equilibrium and a sense of reward after a successful hunt. Also, it was and is still an activity that makes humans social. Not just maintaining physical, mental, and social health, Play has also been responsible for our learning, and expression and hence the tremendous growth of humans in all aspects – everything from scientific inventions to music and blockbuster movies through which we express ourselves and all that we are today.
How can we adopt “play” into our lifestyle?
Artists and sportspersons are the fortunate ones here to have chosen Play as their work. However, it is possible for one who is not an artist or a sportsperson to still inculcate Play in one’s life. When cats can, why not humans? So, here are some pointers to help with that:
- Observe your tendencies and try to pick out a few activities that seem fun to you.
- Arts and/or Sports. Or we can also see it as Mental or physical, respectively. It’s best to have a blend of both of such activities.
- Passive entertainment can also help you induce Play. For example, listening to music can make you dance.
I’m an artist, I get more than enough “Play”. Still, sometimes, I choose to play with a sponge ball just nudging it with my feet and wandering around the living room. The only rule is that the ball must not touch the framed tiles. And then there is our cat Buddy (he’s 1.5 years old now), who I play with too.
Anyway, by this blog, all I intend to do is provoke & let you think and adopt “Play” in your lifestyle!
Sanath Kumar Naibhi