The Virtues of Playfulness

personal development Sep 01, 2021
children playing in buubles

I recently celebrated my birthday and repeated two rituals I've practiced all my adult life.

The first was to extend a wave and a smirk at my old catechism teacher, Sister Mary Agnes. On the day before my confirmation ceremony, she took me aside, wagged a finger in my face, and scolded, "Scott Perry, you little hellion, you will not live to see your 30th birthday."

Sometimes I think I've made it this long simply to spite Sister Mary Agnes...

Then I remind myself, "Growing older is required. Growing up is optional."

Playfulness matters. It matters a lot. Especially when you are invested in exploring the edges of your understanding and pushing the boundaries of your abilities. Taking yourself too seriously while experimenting, exploring, and trying things that might not work is a recipe for frustration.

Creating your dent in the universe means pushing up to and against false certainties, common usage, and the tried and true. Pushing through the status quo into something better and serves more requires courage, commitment, intention, and integrity. Failure, misfortune, and resistance are constant companions for difference-makers.

Approaching challenges with unabashed awe, wonder, a sense of humor, and a spirit of fun cultivates resolve and resilience. We can create and play a longer and more infinite game while dancing with uncertainty and difficulties through playfulness.

After all, a game you can't lose is not a game at all. It's a chore. Choosing to playfully do hard things cultivates a posture of leaning into worthwhile endeavors with more joy and a determined smile.

How can you develop your potential and deliver on your promise by approaching your work more playfully today?


Scott Perry, Chief Difference-Maker at Creative on Purpose.

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