"Play" seems to be a dirty word for some
people. After all, we should be serious in life,
shouldn't we? We shouldn't be playing when we're
working, and we need to work in order to "make a
living." But in all seriousness, what does it
mean to make a "living" if that living doesn't
include any play, any fun? What does life become
when we leave play behind, thus leaving behind most of our
creativity and spontaneity, also?
Play is NOT a dirty word--play is one of the most
important elements of a well-balanced life. When we
play, we renew ourselves, rejuvenate ourselves, tap into
creativity, allow ourselves to see the world around us
differently. When we play, we think in different
ways, use different parts of our minds, and use our bodies
differently than we normally do on any given day.
I don't believe that Arthur is talking about playing
instead of working--it sounds to me that he's saying that
we can make our work more like play if we simply shift our
focus a bit, if we just change our perspective enough to
allow ourselves to have fun on the job, with the work that
we already do. In my life I've had some really
boring jobs, and they've always been easier to go to and
to be at when I've created little games that help me to
get the job done more quickly and more easily. Most
of the games have been in my mind, but they've definitely
served their purpose.
How can we incorporate play into our jobs? The first
step is to recognize that we can do so--and that our work
may improve if we do. Work should not be
drudgery--work should be challenging and enjoyable.
And the fact that others in the workplace aren't having
fun doesn't mean that we can't. Sometimes we may
have to keep the fun to ourselves, depending on the job,
but that's okay, as long as we make sure that the fun
helps our job performance, and doesn't diminish it.