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Are you working or playing?

Updated: Nov 30, 2019

“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.” - James A. Michener

I love this quote! This frames up perfectly an ideal I have dedicated my life for over two decades now–with varying degrees of success. Like I said, it’s an ideal that I aspire to each day. Sometimes work feels more like drudgery than play. When this happens to me, I tend to procrastinate more… I lose interest quickly and put things off. The urgent now takes over the important. And when that happens to me, nothing feels like play.

I’m still experimenting and practicing blurring the lines between work and play in my life. (This blog is one little expression of that practice).

Blurring the lines between work and play is a difficult thing for entrepreneurs and solo professionals to do. They’re always so busy working to keep all their plates in the air. Some are stressing. Many simply get tired and burn out.  True enough “the master in the art of living” will hardly know the difference between work and play.

Nothing creative and useful will come from a mind trapped by stress and friction.

This is why this principal is so critically important to master. When work and play converge as one activity without separation, your powers for making things happen in your life are increased exponentially. More importantly you begin to notice that you are creating with ease. Your purpose and mission will have greater pull enhancing your momentum toward your achievement.

Creating your big idea in an easy and relaxed way is joyful work/play beyond words.

Making your labor and your leisure come together seamlessly.

Here are some ideas you may want to consider if you are integrating your work as play and visa versa. You can start by simply becoming more mindful of what you engage yourself in. If you are spending the better part of each day running after yourself and others, you’re not being too mindful of what brings you energy and joy.

An undisciplined mind wastes two most important, precious and limited  resources–creative energy and time.

Become aware of what you’re doing and say no often and mean it!

Put yourself first. Make time to put your feet up once and awhile and let your mind play around in your creative imagination.  Make this a priority for yourself over all the other stuff that fights for your attention each day.  Creative ideas are seeds you plant in the rich dirt of your life.  As my daughter says “Chillax”! You must be first in line if you are to serve others well.

Take time (lots of time) away from your office, shop, store, computer and smart phone. For me I like long walks on the beach or anywhere I have solitude in nature. Spend time with your kids, play basketball, play piano, ride your bike, sit in a coffee shop– anything but hanging around in your office! You will soon see how many awesome ideas will show up for you when you are not chained to your cage. All my good ideas come to me far away from my desktop.

Focus on your genius. Only engage in the activities that bring you endless energy, joy and satisfaction–delegate everything else and I mean everything!  Your genius is a powerful capability, talent and gift you were born with.  You probably take it for granted. Chances are you don’t even think about your genius. It’s so natural to you. You don’t think about breathing do you? Your genius is like that. When you are engaged in activities that are in the zone of your genius–work is play and play is work and you don’t care which is which.

Follow your magnificent obsession. When you build a life of purpose, significance and meaning, chances are you’re trusting and following your truest nature. The more clarity you have about your natural inclinations, the more gravity they will have to attract all manner of unseen opportunities that come out of nowhere. Having a sense of calling is a powerful tool to pull you through the “stuff” and keep you looking up and out on the horizon.

And finally there is love. Indeed you must truly love with all your heart and soul what you do in life. I know we’ve all heard this a thousand times, but it’s the truth. For me, love is the magic ingredient in the art of living life to the fullest expression.

Without love, there is only fear.


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