So, you might be asking “What the heck are the ‘FUNdamentals of Play?”
Well glad you asked! They are the 10 foundational ‘rules’ that I base any and all of my PLAYshops and PLAYevents on. Let me be clear – these are not the ‘eat your vegetable’ rules your parents gave you (I’ve always hated green beans!)
In fact lets stop right there and stop calling them ‘rules’ and call them ‘enablers’ instead. As they are meant to enable you to develop the right mindset to maximize your FUN and supercharge your GROWTH. These ‘enablers’ are what we practice in all PLAYshops and PLAYevents and can easily apply to your everyday life.
So be forewarned…as these will become your passage of entry into all things PLAY.
Still with me? Good. That means you’re a good candidate 🙂
OK. Here They Are. Drumroll Please….
1. I shall keep an OPEN MIND – This is first for a reason: in order to open yourself up to the opportunity of joy, learning and growth – you have to be willing to come in with a completely open mind. Say yes! Be open to all experiences and willing to learn from anybody and anything. This doesn’t mean you have to do and like everything – but that you are open to exploring the endless possibilities around you and extracting relevant meaning for yourself.
Not everything is everyones ‘cup of tea’, but it’s important to know that the most growth comes from pushing your own boundaries and going outside your comfort zone. That doesn’t have to be such a scary thing – it can be fun and adventurous….it’s all in the way you look at it!
2. I shall be CURIOUS- Once you have an open mind you have so much more capacity to start discovering more about yourself and the world. The absolute best way to start filling up all that capacity is through curiosity. Remember when you were a kid and every little thing had your attention? Remember when you were that annoying lil kid constantly asking ‘Why?’
Challenge the status quo – it’s the only way to continually grow. Learn to recognize and seize the pleasure of novel experiences (hello double rainbow!) but also to find intrigue and meaning even in familiar experiences (sing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ while cooking). There’s always more to uncover once you get off autopilot.
3. I shall NOT APOLOGIZE for BEING MYSELF – Be your unapologetic kickass self! Strip off the many masks and roles you play for others and bare only who you truly are. Embrace your quirks and everything you stand for and everything will become much clearer. This might mean that you won’t have universal adoration – but you’ll find yourself in the company of the people that matter. In the famous words of Dr Seuss: ‘Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
4. I shall BE REAL – this is the flip side of the coin. Be honest and genuine with yourself (#3) to allow yourself to be authentic and vulnerable with others in order to learn together and build strong bonds. Think of it this way, by being 100% yourself to others, you are gifting the world the uniqueness that is you. Your one-of-a-kind talents, ideas and points of view benefit everyone around you. Being authentic and real is actually one of the most selfless things you can do…by finding your place in the puzzle – you allow 10,000 others to find theirs!
5. I shall BE POSITIVE – positive energy is contagious. Bringing a positive mindset to whatever you do benefits not just you but everyone around you. Positivity also supercharges learning, creativity, health and success (and a myriad of other benefits!) Seeing the positive side of things takes practice but you can start by simply bringing a great big smile with you wherever you go!
6. I shall PARTICIPATE AND ENGAGE – You get what you put in. Simple as that. This applies to anything in life. Your presence somewhere will only get you so far. Someone once wisely told me to never do anything that I cant do with a smile on my face and that I’m 100% committed to. If you’re here and doing this, go ALL IN! That is where the magic happens… Embrace and soak in everything you can from each and every experience and relationship. Remember: You may never get this same chance again!
7. I shall be FEARLESS – Have courage… to be yourself. To be vulnerable. To be authentic. To not give a sh*t what others think. To go after what you WANT. Have the courage to consciously throw away things that hold you back and bring in more of what give you your mojo. You know how cartoons can pretty much do anything and you don’t even question it? Let’s be cartoons.
8. I shall be SUPPORTIVE: Flipside again. In order to ALLOW others to be fearless you yourself have to be supportive. Support others to break down barriers, push their boundaries and explore different sides of themselves. Essentially give others permission to do what you yourself want to do! You’ll soon realize that this creates this AMAZINGLY fun environment where we are all growing and learning together.
9. I shall RELAX and HAVE FUN: This is where you gut check yourself…am I still having fun? That is and always should be the end goal. I had a great boss who always kept things in perspective for me. If I messed up the timing of a huge order? “Oh well, nobody died”. Keep things in perspective; don’t sweat the small stuff. So whenever you begin to start feeling even a tiny bit overwhelemed: Take a breath. Smile. Relax. And Have fun.
10. I shall be SILLY and join CRAZY TOWN: Once you get here you have one thing left to do: Act like a goddamn five year old! Unleash your inner child and embrace all that wonder and excitement! In the words of George Bernard Shaw: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing”. Congrats – you are now free and liberated to just PLAY!
There you have it, these are enablers to PLAY and GROW, and it’s also what FUNdamentals of Play is all about! At FUNdamentals of Play, we practice these consistently so that they become second nature within your life.
Play is not just about actions or activities – it’s about a mindset. A play mindset. For most of us this would entail a HUGE mindset shift since we are part of a GO GO GO! /work-first society. It’s not an easy shift and it won’t change overnight but I can tell you that once you make it you will be happier, more authentic and more successful then you could have ever thought imaginable!
As your CFO (Chief Fun Officer) I’ll be here every step of the way 🙂
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PPS: Looking to bring play into your team or workplace? Let’s schedule a conversation to discover how we can support you!”