On Broken Sticks And Balloons

REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE A KID?

No matter how much homework, time spent on chores, school or other non exciting activities, there was always time to play.  We played because we loved to play.  And without even knowing it, our play taught us important life lessons.

We learned how to share.  We learned teamwork and how to tell time because mom wanted us home before dark.  We learned that not all of our friends would be our firends forever.  We learned how to settle disputes and that usually the majority wins whether you’re part of it or not.

We learned to pick up all the marbles because you could twist an ankle if you left them laying around.  We developed the skill to deal with the hurt of not being picked first for our road hockey game.  We learned how to tease gently and how it felt to be teased not so gently.

AND WE LEARNED HOW TO IMAGINE

I remember in great detail running as fast as I could over to the local arena right after the minor hockey game ended and grabbing a broken stick out of the dumpster.  If I had a broken hockey stick it could become a guitar or a dozen other incarnations.

THEN WE GREW UP

And for some reason the adult world frowned on playing.  The older we got, the less we played.  I’m here to tell you I don’t think that’s healthy.  And I did a little research on this.

James Altucher is a blogger that focuses on the positives of life.  I like that.  He recently got me thinking with an article proposing that success can be inspired by playing like a child but with the experience of an adult.  And he cites some great examples of how creativity and success can spring from play no matter how old you are.  He writes:

“Einstein found his passion because he wondered what a man traveling the speed of light on a spaceship would see if he looked out the window and saw a man standing still.  He daydreamed and doodled and found his passion.

DaVinci found his passion drawing machines with wings that flapped like birds – the first illustrations of what 500 years later became planes. Just doodles. Thousands of them.

Mick Jagger had no musical talent at all but would collect blues records from America and he and his childhood friend Keith Richards would lie around listening to them. When his parents sent him off to study at the London School of Economics, he was still listening to those records and scribbling down lyrics rather than paying attention to supply versus demand.”

HEY, IF ITS GOOD ENOUGH FOR MICK ITS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME

So I proposed a little experiment to myself and myself agreed.  I identified those things I loved to do spontaneously when I was younger and for the past month I’ve tried to accomplish one every day.  I found a broken hockey stick and played air guitar in the front yard one afternoon.  Yep, I got some strange looks from people walking by but wow, it felt good.  I played some harmless pranks on one of my friends.  Somehow they weren’t surprised it was me.  I decided to have ice cream before going to bed one evening.  It was fantastic except for the fact that I had some challenges falling asleep brought on by the sugar high.  Small price to pay.

Here’s my point.  I’ve been struggling lately trying to keep my creativity fueled and articles written for my blog.  Actually, this is the first post since April.  Apparently today’s blog post is proof that playing like a child with adult experience does indeed create success.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I have some balloons that need to be filled with water……

And as always, something to think about:  “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” (Pablo Picasso)

 

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