A super post by Charlie Hoehn on how he overcame his anxiety: by incorporating play into his daily life.
The real problem had been my state of mind. I’d become increasingly adept at rejecting any form of “non-productivity.” I couldn’t allow any form of play if it didn’t contribute to earning money or doing something “meaningful.” Even when I was with friends or doing something that was supposed to be fun, I couldn’t stop thinking about all the time I was wasting. I wasn’t being productive; I was losing valuable time. I had to get back to work!
What would the world do without me and my important work?!
Without realizing it, I became very serious, even though I’d never been serious in my entire life. I couldn’t play because that meant I wasn’t working, and I couldn’t really work because I always felt tired and jaded (because I never let myself play!) This resulted in me convincing myself that life was a miserable grind for adults, and that I needed to be very serious if I wanted to get through it. I approached everything this way, and treated my work as a form of self-imposed slavery.
Little did I know how limiting that mindset was, and how much it was hurting the work I was doing.
Play is what has driven and shaped every beautiful part of our culture. Music, concerts, books, cooking, sports, movies, television, fashion, art, video games… We pay for these things so we can experience the fruits of another person’s PLAY.
My favorite bit was probably Charlie’s counter response of having a conversation in a coffee shop to that of going outside and playing catch. Great idea.
NOTE: After reading Charlie’s post, I’ve added Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul to my Amazon wish list.