Thinking vs Playing

Rebecca Ryan at Worthwhile has a good post: Thought is not the most productive form of work

Our minds are dangerous places. As one of my gal-pals says, “My mind is like a dark alley; I try not to go in there alone.”

We can get caught in thought. If you’ve ever had an idea or problem lodged in your brain – just circling through the same outcomes limits and scenarios, you know EXACTLY what I’m saying. We run mental laps around the same track, making no progress at all.

So I’m here to tell you: Thought is NOT the most productive form of work. PLAY is. PLAY engages all of our senses. It moves muscles other than our cerebrums. PLAY rejuvenates, makes room for risk, and reminds us what it is to feel truly alive.

This month I painted rocks with a five and a seven year old. I threw my partner over my shoulder and into the pool. I participate in a twenty minute pillow fight, and played tag until I was laughing too hard to stand up.

And an amazing thing happened: I returned to work this morning with more energy than I’ve had in months.

I really agree with her. I see so many people in organisations trapped in thought and stranded in the dry sands of the purely rational. Play opens up a whole lot more bandwidth between people – and few things are as energising as genuine enagement with our fellow human beings.

2 thoughts on “Thinking vs Playing

  1. Robert Paterson

    Hi J

    You mention the Power of Now – so helpful and Tolle’s central message is to put aside all that Thinking!

    The late Julian Jaynes wrote a great book about the development of the left brain thought process that he attributes to our acceptance of writing as the main info process. He has a wonderful piece on how few important decisions we make using the rational mind.

    Here is the Amazon link

  2. fouroboros

    Excellent point, although my mind is more like a potholed cul-de-sac than an alley–no thru traffic, but lots of tumbleweeds.

    Nice tip on Jaynes, Robert. Thanks


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