As children we are always ready to play, always ready to bring playfulness to any situation.
This is very natural for us.
During these years we learn so much.
Studies have shown that we learn far more efficiently when we play.
Dr Karyn Purvis, the founder and director of the TCU Institute of Child Development, said…
“…scientists have discovered that it takes approximately 400 repetitions to create a new synapse in the brain, unless it is done in play, in which case it only takes 10 to 20 repetitions. Whether it be board games, crafts, puzzles, or imaginative games, a child is always learning.”
So studies show that we learn 20-40 times faster when we play!
It feels to me as though Mother Nature gave us the gift of play as a way to fast track learning through the important, formative years of our development.
However for most of us as we get older this proclivity to bring play to everything we do dissipates, often to the point that we do not play at all.
Being playful in ‘serious’ situations is often seen as a sign we’re not taking the situation seriously, when in truth, not being playful in such situations significantly reduces our ability to learn from them and thus bring greater value to the table.
I’m reminded of the Alan Watts quote, “Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.”
This resistance to a playful nature can make everything seem like a battle, too much like hard work.
This life can be a joyous one if we only allow it to be, but often we do not allow that.
It feels to me as though we have all got a bit too serious.
Of course it is wise to take things seriously at times, but does that have to be at the expense of having a playful attitude toward them?
If we’re able to see this life as a game, one which requires playful seriousness in moments, we will start to enjoy it far more, and as the studies show we will accelerate our ability to learn from each experience we have.
Every moment presents us with an opportunity to practice this and dance in the playground of this magnificent reality.