“Through playing we learn” is what a friend recently sms-ed. Isn’t it that our thoughts just drift and we forget any reason or motive behind our doing when playing? We are carried to somewhere innocent and unforeseen – find ourselves concentrating on something we feel totally at ease with. Let’s become more aware of this carefree creative place.

We’ve known it for a lifetime, this playful, very productive state of mind. It is generally overlooked or taken for granted. Why not try to make use of it more? There is a lot of talk about how important it is to unwind, have downtime – but rather than do nothing, there is this other state of doing something just for the sake of giving you a sense of achievement and satisfaction. When are you most productive? What do you spend hours over, forgetting time while you put endless effort into something to reach perfection? – These are the times you allow yourself to be playful, moments when you intuitively trust in your abilities. Try it out and start analysing what it is you are doing when you are in a flow with what you’re doing. This is when you are at your best.

Now where is the connection between personally enriching and vigorous moments and starting this blog? Or with starting anything new?

Very often a start of something new puts a strain on us. Even if our inner voice assures us, we’re able to do it, most often the brain wins over the stomach and soon any potential dangers we may or not be faced with in the new territory are escalated. If we’re unlucky, our mind lets the challenge grow bigger and bigger and with this comes the fear of failing. Sure, it’s ancient survival techniques this behaviour comes down to. Luckily, these days most of us no longer find ourselves in life endangering situations (when entering new territory)… High time to consciously move on!

Writing, like painting or playing an instrument, is among the skills often dreamed of, but it’s rarely taken on in later stages of life. Why is that? To write means expressing an opinion, speaking out loud, possibly addressing a large audience. A painting will be looked at, scrutinised and even judged, no matter how much fun it was to produce. My beginner’s musical exercises won’t please anyone but myself.

What prospects! Let’s fend off any hindrances like the fear of writing down thoughts and opinions and making them accessible to everyone. So many others are enjoying and at ease with putting themselves out there. They are ‘giving’ their sincere selves – an ability a lot of us have lost. Their unconscious initial strategy would have been to start by feeling this power of a playful spirit, able to outdo any fears by believing in their abilities and skills. No doubt their audience will have encouraged them to stick with what they were doing so well: by playing, they practiced relentlessly to gradually improve and excel.

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