How A Habit of Play Keeps Us On Our A-Game


happy kids water

Masters Are Playful

I recently listened to a talk Robert Green gave to Google on mastery. If you have an hour to listen to it I highly recommend it. I personally like to listen to talks like that during my kitchen cooking and cleaning time. Robert defines a master as someone who has the knowledge gained from penetrating a certain subject deeply and gaining all there is to know on a subject that fascinates them. He goes on to explain how they have a “Fluid mind” as opposed to a rigid one in which they they can easily stay in the grey of things and be patient with answers they’re looking for.

Masters don’t rush for answers when they are seeking them, they practice staying open, kind of teasing answers from their environment and exploring different possibilities.

They practice it in micro things and then are able to do it in bigger things. They are able to resist growing rigid in their thinking towards their topic of focus, which is what normally happens when someone becomes specialized, because of their “Fluid mind”. He cites Einstein, the breakthroughs he made in science and how his playful way of being played a critical role in that.


My Experience of Fluid Mind

I’m not a scientist, a trend setting fashion designer or internet mogul that is on the brink of a breakthrough that will change the world. I am a mother, wife, friend, volunteer, daughter and sister that’s had many personal breakthroughs because I took the time to play in my morning routines.


Getting Comfortable with the Grey

The grey area Robert  talks about is something I became very familiar with after college. I earned a management degree I didn’t want, then worked at marketing, banking and insurance jobs that I was utterly miserable in, to make my parents happy. While on unemployment I decided to resist the temptation to try another job I should be working in and instead explore what I wanted. Into my life comes Mr. Very Big Grey Area!


Allowing a Space for Red Hot Truth

Free writing became my space to just let myself be if even for only an hour and explore newer possibilities. It became the safest, most sacred space. It’s only there that I dared to say the things that surprised even me. It’s only there that

I discovered the deep refreshment of letting my truth air itself out in all its mesmerizing and horrifying facets.


Playing with Grey Lead to Clarity

That special morning time led me to community college where I explored my love of anatomy. I got an entry level position in a totally different field that I learned I was naturally good at and felt very organic to me, occupational therapy. In the midst of my getting ready to apply to graduate school with my newly attained prerequisites in hand my husband and I were blessed with our first child.

I couldn’t imagine being away from him for hours on end, days at a time, while in graduate school. Again I rendezvoused with Mr. Grey Area. I felt like such a wanderer for so long, just wading in this in-between space thinking “Where is my place?!” .


Answers Reveal Themselves

My son is 5 now and I’ve been enjoying being a SAHM while using my morning times as that pivotal place of alchemy where I explore the grey through writing. My morning writing wanderings have led me here with you right now. Blogging and online entrepreneurship makes perfect sense for me and where I am the further I explore it.


The Power of Play

We can all benefit from incorporating Play into our morning routines to help us have that fluid mind  Robert Green talks about.

One of my all time favorite authors is Dr. Stuart Brown, author of the book “Play” and founder of the National Institute for Play. His research has found storytelling to be one of the 7 patterns of play.  Narrative play he says “…give(s) us permission to expand our own inner stream of consciousness, enrich our personal narratives with pleasure and fun as our own life stories unfold”. That is truth to my very bones! Here he gives a great talk on TED about the power of play in general.


Game on!

How can you incorporate more play into your day? If it’s hard for you to wake up in the mornings and make time for yourself,  having a scheduled play time to look forward to may be a great motivator. To start it’s good take a minute to look back at what you liked as a kid and jot down what still seems appealing to you. What absolutely ignited you as a kid or had you lose your sense of time when engaged in it? How can you bring that into your morning? has a great article on the power of play for well being and some neat ideas on how to incorporate it in work.



Creating something with your hands is always a great way to get get out of your head.  A good idea is to have a Play Stash. A Play Stash is something I created years ago where you fill up a shoe box of little things you can create with that are just for you.  It’s fun to see what comes to you when no one is looking.  Fill it with paper, colored pencils, play dough, water colors, an adult coloring book, building blocks, stickers, glue, stencils, feathers and pom poms. The Dollar Store is a great resource.


Mini Salt Bin

A great sensory play activity you can take with you is to take a small plastic container, place a dark sheet of paper in the bottom of it, you may need to cut it to have it fit just right. Pour a small pile of salt into the container and trace an image onto the paper. It’s relaxing to feel the little granules on your finger tip as you move your finger within the salt pile and hear the shhh sound of the salt pile shift on the paper. Pop the lid when your done and have it ready for next time you want to just get out of your head and play.


More Play Ideas

Marbles is a great store with a variety of unique brain challenging toys for adults. Humor also gets me into a playful mood and listening to Steve Harvey always makes me laugh.  If you like apps Happify provides great games that are backed by research to increase you happy quotient.


I encourage you to look at how you can bring more play into your life. You never know what answers it may lead you to.


Thanks for stopping by my hub. I’d love to know what you came up with for practical ways to bring more play into your life. Take a  minute to share what playful activity lights you up.


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