New Year’s Resolution—Play More

I know, I know, it’s kind of easy—and expected—at the first of the year to write a blog about resolutions, particularly since most of them probably will be abandoned by the end of January. (Despite my good intentions, I will still be eating chocolate, for example.)

But one resolution we can all create and stick to doesn’t involve denying ourselves anything. Just the opposite, in fact.

Let’s try to play more in 2011. And I don’t mean just sit on the floor with our Hot Wheels or Barbies or board games or whatever. I mean, let’s really take the spirit of play into our lives.

For me, play is not just something one does with toys, but it’s a whole approach to life, one that fearlessly allows us to ask “What if?” And then follow through on that. (Of course, when my brother Larry and I asked: “What if we soak a tennis ball in gasoline and light it,” my mother would have been shocked, as she was years later when we told her about it.)

All kidding aside, play is an ability to look at the world and wonder what we can create. It’s an ability to see things in our mind’s eye (the imagination) that we then bring into the world. Learning this as a child, whether with LEGO blocks or a box of crayons, allows us to tap into and develop our natural creativity.

Human beings are naturally creative. We shape our worlds around us with what we do, what we say and how we approach the world. We quite literally make up our lives. Think about it: Your mental attitude can affect your entire day and every interaction you have. If it’s not working or you’re not happy with how things are going, you may not be able to change the reality, but you can change how you approach it, and that’s play. If you ever watch a kid making something up, when he or she finds something that doesn’t work, they drop it and move on to the next thing.

So, when I say “play more,” I mean be willing to see things in a new way, to make up a different ending, or even go home. Play is all about imagining new possibilities, and those have to take shape in your imagination before you can make them real. Take a little more time to live in your imagination in 2011, and who knows what you’ll come up with?

Wishing you and your family all the best in 2011!

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