When I was a little boy my mother earned her PhD studying the precognitive development of blind children. Her graduate work included studying theories of child development. I learned from her that play can be understood as the activities children engage in to make sense of their world and orchestrate important aspects of their own development.
I believe that adults play in similar ways. The areas that adults attack with passion in their lives often form the basis of their development. I know, for example, that I love to work with high-performing teams and find intrinsic reward in learning from the people on these teams how they work together to create extraordinary results. I would say that through years of working with the executive teams of organizations like the World Bank, the Peace Corps, and dozens of associations, I am developing myself into someone who is adept at helping teams of professionals generate above average results. This is one of my areas of passion.
What about you? What are you dedicating your passion to and how is it helping you become a better person or a better professional?
Take some time this week to indulge in your own version of play – and I am not talking about taking a day off to go to the beach! I am suggesting that your professional interests, or your curiosity when it comes to some aspect of your personal life is actually laying the groundwork for your development. That’s where you’ll find out more about who you want to become. Sometimes the object of life is not an outcome, but a process…your own form of play.
“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play” – Alan Watts