Be playful

Life is not a spectator sport. Be in the parade, not on the sidelines. Whatever your parade is, be in it. 

Lila (Hinduism) ... Within non-dualism, Lila is a way of describing all reality, including the cosmos, as the outcome of creative play by the divine absolute (Brahman)

We play tennis, we play the piano. These aren't easy tasks. But we've gamified them. People are very much in flow when they are doing these activities. So play more. Struggle less. I'm playing with this concept. I'm experimenting. I'm adding this vial to that one and seeing what happens. I'm open to new experiences and happy accidents. Gamify your life.

Rules of games:

• Clear rules

• Immediate reward

• Challenge grows as your ability grows

• There is an end in sight

• Time pressure

• Improve your skill as you go

With photography - pick a prompt and there are clear constraints. You see what you've produced, there's an immediate reward. You can challenge yourself - there are endless ways to challenge and learn. The game ends when you put the camera down. Time pressure - light changes quickly. A moment ends - Cartier Bresson's The Decisive Moment. You improve with practice. 

Here's what's interesting: 

According to Csikszentmihalyi: “Jobs are actually easier to enjoy than free time, because like flow

activities they have built-in goals, feedback, rules, and challenges…” 

People who retire are at risk of depression if they don't keep themselves engaged. 

Behavioral – Play:

• Humans learn and grow through play.

• Why it’s important for work:

• Enables variation in response patterns

• Mitigates stress

• Games that include rules and enable to engage in a “imagined world” encourage

risk-taking and loss of self

• Play can breakdown the limits of hierarchies

Don't take yourself so seriously. According to Brene Brown - perfectionism is a form of shame. Perfectionism: A form of shame. A self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: if I look perfect and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame. “I’ll be happy/worthy when ____.”

Perfectionism is addictive.

The LIfe Lens

1) Watch Adam Lerner's TEDx talk on creativity and play


2) Be playful.  Go ice skating, sing karaoke, jump on a trampoline. Anything that reminds you of being a carefree kid.  Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

3) Laugh often. Read David Sedaris, Watch Chris Rock, Louis CK, Sarah Silverman, Jim Gaffifigan or whomever makes you laugh so hard your insides hurt. 

4) Bring back photographic evidence to savor whatever you did that was playful and fun. Anything goes, only rule is to have fun while creating. 

Joy is an unlimited resource. There's not a finite amount of humor in the world.  There wasn't a recent clearance sale on laughter.  Life's beauty and strange charisma is wildly abundant.