Very often the articles I write are inspired by a conversation, a TV show or commercial, a tweet or a website I happen stumble upon while traversing the dark and scary depths of the Internet.
So this past weekend, while I was surfing the vast ocean known as the World Wide Web, I found myself reading an interesting site that reminded me of how important it is to enjoy life.
And when are people usually enjoying themselves the most?
When playing a game!
Now, I have talked in the past about the importance of finding a physical hobby that you enjoy but I think it is good to occasionally remind ourselves to simply embrace life itself with childlike exuberance.
Personally, I like to view my whole life as a giant game. Let’s think about it:
- You get to be any character you want. (Well, maybe you can’t really be a Orc Necromancer… but you get the idea)
- It’s a giant sandbox; you can go explore and do whatever you want, whenever you want.
- It has limitless multi-player possibilities.
- It has all the requisite, built-in, social networking features that seem to be all the rage these days.
- It might be hard, but it is never impossible.
- It’s meant to be enjoyed!
The reality is, as we get older we forget what it is like to be a child. We get caught up in daily obligations, immersed in inter-personal drama and burdened with having to be “an adult“! I am not justifying shirking your responsibilities, rather I am saying remember to take the time and at least play. If you can turn your life into a game, even better!
“I used to party with this guy that told me ‘Van, don’t take life to seriously. You’ll never get out alive.'” – Van Wilder
I used to think I had a pretty good handle on remembering what it was like to be a little kid turning everyday tasks into fun little games; I always bound up stairs two at a time like an exuberant 10 year old, I still walk long curbs as if they were tightropes like I did when I was 6, I haven’t stopped finding any excuse to scramble up a trees like a monkey like I did when I was 12… and I have to be honest, I still to this day will play “the ground is lava” and jump around like Ezio from Assassin’s Creed when the opportunity presents itself.
Then I stumbled across Stephen Jepson, and his site – “Never Leave the Playground“.
To say I was inspired would be an understatement; this guy gets it! I highly recommend taking 10 minutes and checking out his site, but here is what it is about in a nutshell – it’s about this really cool old guy (in his early 70s) who turns everything in his life into a game to stay fit, limber and sharp as a tack (and, truth be told, he might also be a little crazy). He takes the whole “life is a game” concept to an entirely new level!
All kids turn the most mundane things into games to keep themselves amused and excited, but as we age that urge to be wide-eyed and fascinated by the simplest things falls by the wayside as we find ourselves spending our lives sitting in morning traffic, stuffing ourselves in cubicles at work and then struggling to balance our checkbooks in the evening after we tuck our own children into bed. While not my favorite movie, there was a very real truth behind the movie “Hook” and I am pretty sure that every one of us, no matter how happy or free-spirited, has at one point been more Peter Banning than Peter Pan. Why do we let this happen to us?!? I wish I had an answer, but I do my damnedest to try remind myself to have the heart of a child every chance I can (now if I could just figure out the trick to flying I’d be set!)
This is my challenge to you; try to take an everyday mundane task and create a game out of it. Something that you find fun and can focus on while performing a task you don’t particularly enjoy:
- Hate grocery shopping? See if you can carry all your grocery bags from the car to your house in one trip (my record is 19 bags)
- Hate working out? Time your workouts and see if you can beat your, or your workout buddy’s, record each week (what do you think Crossfit really is other than a fitness game?)
- Hate doing the dishes? See if you can do the dishes in the time it takes for one song to play on your ipod (if you can then next time your significant other gets to try to beat the ipod timer while doing them)
- Hate running? Pretend you are being chased by zombies (there is a reason things like Run for your Lives or Zombies, Run! are so popular)
Continue to do this until you see your whole life as a game, and then maybe you too can be as youthful as septuagenarian Stephen Jepson. I know I’m going to try my best!
Let me know what silly games you play in the comments below! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the new YouTube channel, like us on Facebook and Google+, follow us on Twitter and be sure to Sign up for our free newsletter! (No spam, I promise!)