Who has played sports in school; or encouraged our children to play; or can identify with a hero who plays a sport? That’s what I thought: Everyone. Let’s examine the benefits of playing to learn, as we learn to play.
Now, the more important question: Why are people and resources allocated to teach individuals to Play — and not the same effort devoted to teaching us how to be successful at Work?
The average term of engagement for a sports crusade is, generally, a few years through high school and, maybe, college. The rush of adrenaline and associated glory fades into memory. Then, what?
Our country has a drug (illegal and prescription) and alcohol problem. Is there a connection between the cause (learning to play) and the effect (disenfranchised at work)? Let’s think it through.
Facets of the Game
For any sporting activity, we have a clear and visible goal. In basketball, it’s a hoop. In soccer, it’s a net. In football, it’s an end-zone with goal posts.
There are rules of the game — and penalties for breaking them. There are directors, coaches, trainers, assistants, and a cadre of support personnel.
Score is kept for points made. Other statistics are gathered to measure performance. There’s a timer to limit possession and fans to motivate.
In other words, the whole elaborate spectacle runs on the SMART paradigm: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Based.
So, why aren’t the principles of the extra-curricular incorporated into the curriculum? Maybe, because the stewards of higher-education would have to catch a gear and up their game. Rote memorization and standardized tests would have to give way to experimentation and creativity. Oh, my!
The gatekeepers in power would no longer be necessary to proctor exams and award credentials — which simply recognize an individual’s ability to go where others have been before.
The new heroes would be those who can motivate and mentor the leaders of tomorrow. There would be formulas for success and processes to keep the young innovators safe in their discoveries and focused on beneficial results.
All we do begins with a thought. So, that’s the first step on this new way of life — start thinking about what YOU want. Not what others say you should want. Not what society propagandizes as cool. Not even what that goofy, nay-saying, little voice in your head has in the way of expectations for you.
Think as if anything is possible — because it is. Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
If I tell you, you’ll forget. If I show you, you might remember. If you do it, you’ll learn, grow, and accomplish what’s important to YOU — and those in your sphere of influence.
Let’s say you’re the Owner of a Hockey Team — and you’re looking to hire the best People to make a winning Season.
Do you want the MBA’s and PhD’s — who have written a thesis about the facets of the game? Or, do you want individuals who have grown up with skates on their feet and sticks in their hands — who can skate to where the puck is going to be?
That’s the difference between Education and Experience. A little Education goes a long way. Lots of Experience takes the scientific to an art form. Both are important — but only experience provides the opportunities for a Student to become a sophisticated Master of Life.
Make The Transition
Since society has twisted what is valuable into something worthless, what do we do? Individually, each of us must choose to devote the same effort to the fundamentals of success, as athletes do to learning a sport.
Get a worthwhile purpose to focus all attention. In other words, we need a main aim — a target to which we direct our efforts.
Open our persona to accepting and welcoming setbacks. Others will taunt and tease about our failures. We simply see them as lessons.
Acknowledge the importance of wisdom from mentors. Rather than reinvent the wheel, we can build the transports of the future.
Learn a little more every day and use it to benefit others in our sphere of influence. What we learn after we know it all matters most of all.
Success does not magically waltz into our lives. It is not a destination at which to arrive. Although a metric of progress, money is not the answer. Daily, we must create success — the unique version each of us has determined to be right — for the benefit of ourselves and those we serve.
For several generations, there has been bandied about this annoying concept of Work-Life Balance. As if we must sacrifice Pleasure on the altar of Productivity — or, make an allocation between Responsibility and Fun.
A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.L. P. Jacks
We learn by doing;
The fun is in the doing.
So, let’s have fun learning.