An important part of personal development is the concept of play. It provides a practice ground to learn social concepts and experiment with different ways of doing things.

As kids we learn through playing in safe environments, with a classic case of this being the playground. Although there is room to hurt yourself, there are no real consequences. If you lose or win, you’re still able to return to the classroom when you’re done.

Playing as grown ups

As we grow up, there are less and less safe environments to play in. University is a temporary safe environment, in that there is some room to fail some tests. But definitely not as much as when you were a child.

And as we leave the tertiary education environment, our actions have an even more significant impact on us and the world around us.

With this in mind, we have less room to play and experiment as adults.

To get around this, we have a choice spectrum, somewhere between “stop playing” and “find ways of building a safe environment for yourself“.

Either extreme is not ideal. We don’t want to stop playing entirely but we also can’t have a perfectly safe environment (unless we move home and go back to preschool… which would be weird).

So the solution is finding the right mix for what you’re trying to do. Find room to play, to experiment. Create the safe environment, whatever that looks like for you. And as you continue to play, you’ll continue to learn and grow.

Image is of a Murano glass penguin that I got in Venice in 2008. 

Song of the day: Beyoncé - Halo
Blog 157/365. Read more about my #365of25 journey here