Why do we take life so seriously? I understand there are times we need to be serious, but at what point did we lose the inner child and the ability to just be silly at any time? I believe life is to be loved, every single day. It does not mean we have to love everything that happens or everything we have to do, but it does mean we can love we are here and that we choose the meaningful life which is available. I want to encourage you this week, if you need it, to find your playful side, because play is not just for children, it is for everyone.

I was meeting a friend last week in her neck-of-the-woods, so I asked for her suggestion as to the best venue. She sent me a link with an address and map reference. I was expecting that we would meet at a café, instead the address was for a park. Well, I’m flexible if nothing else, so I just went with it. When I arrived at the park, there was a really cool playground, and whilst waiting for her to arrive, I started playing. What else would you do at a playground? There was a cool spinny thing, swings, a seesaw, and of course a slide.

When my friend arrived, I of course had to get her to spin with me on the spinny thing, jump on the seesaw (as it was not as much fun alone), and then have a swing together. It was a blast! As we were chatting, I posed a question to her. I asked, why is it that generally only children get to enjoy the playground? Often, when you see parents at the playground with their children, they are standing around talking, and the children are playing. Why don’t the adults play? She said, because the adults have to watch their children. To which I replied, often they don’t even watch the children, they are just talking to other adults. I am sure there are many adults who would love to jump on the play equipment, I can’t be the only one. So, why don’t they? I want to start a campaign today, and with this blog. My goal is to get adults back into play.

I do get it, when we become adults, and certainly parents (not that I know from experience), there are many responsibilities. There are lots of things to consider like; money, safety, work, different and complex relationships, and many other things we have to start thinking about. I just don’t think we should do it at the expense of play. You can be serious and playful. You can be responsible and still have fun. You can be sensible and silly. I think we often make the mistake, as I have, of thinking play is for when all the serious stuff has been done. Why not add playfulness into everything you do?

In the book, The Happiness Advantage, the author, Shawn Achor, based on research, flips the paradigm on the out-dated adage, once we are successful, then we will be happy. What he is actually suggesting is that, when we are happy, then success will follow. My question and challenge for you, should you choose to accept it, is how can you bring play and playfulness into every day and every part of your life to help you live with more joy, be healthier, and more successful? What can you do to bring more play into your home and family life? Could you play more games, get out to the playground more often, create games out of chores, and do fun projects together? How can you bring more play into your workplace? Could you smile more, make games or competition out of achieving work goals, focus on the positive impact your job has on other people’s lives, or find ways to make people smile?

How do you bring play into your financial situation? I can think of lots of ways, such as having fun rewards when you achieve financial goals, feeling the joy of saving money knowing that it is growing your financial strength, and finding fun ways of earning additional income. Bring play into your health and fitness pursuits by participating in sports you love, doing it with friends, feeling joy every time you put healthy food into your body, and going to the playground often. You see, play and joy is free and available to you today, tomorrow, and forever. When you focus on playing, your life will change for the better, trust me.

In my podcast this week with Michelle Powell called Your authentic self, we have a very powerful conversation. From a childhood of abuse to a narcissistic marriage, to losing her children, Michelle is now living a life of joy and helping many people, because she started to focus on her authentic and playful self. It is incredible what can happen when you start adding play into your life. There are times to be serious, and there are definitely more times to be playful, So, remember, play is not just for children, it’s for everyone.