Play Manifesto

This is the first edition of my From The Heart posts. I hope you enjoy it.

Close your eyes and imagine a world without play. It’s pretty bleak, glum. Our brains are hardwired for play. Without play we are less productive, less creative. We don’t work as well; we don’t learn as well. These are the precepts outlined in Steve Keil’s video, Play Manifesto.

Steve Keil is an entrepreneur from Bulgaria who is fed up with the seriousness in his country that had caused it to be ranked in last place in every conceivable comparison in Europe. Can you imagine? He tries to get through to the people of his country the importance of changing their backward thinking. If he can, his world can change for the better

Keil is concerned about his country but his message transcends all political borders. Every country, every business, every family can benefit from acting on his beliefs that are based in scientific fact.

Evolution is excellent at deselecting those traits that are not useful, and selecting for preservation those which are useful and necessary. It is a fact that we and the animal kingdom need play in order to properly develop.

Keil points out that among animals, we know that rats play, but we may not know that play causes their brains to grow larger. We know that bears play, but maybe we didn’t know that it isn’t just the ability to hunt and the access to sufficient food that provides them a long life span. Play helps them survive longer.

He goes on to explain how a less restrictive, less controlled atmosphere where employees can work without fear of being berated or fired, and where ‘play’ is incorporated, fosters high levels of creativity and productivity that benefit the company, as well as the people.

Simply, play improves work. Play creates openness to change. Play increases the ability to learn. In the workplace, play provides purpose and mastery.

Please watch the dynamic Steve Keil speak to hundreds about the concept of the goodness of play. The video runs about 18 minutes. If you don’t have time now, bookmark this page and, please, come back when you do have the few minutes to watch. You won’t be sorry. Keil is on a mission to change the way of life in his country and you’ll feel his passion and want to pass on his message in your world.

He credits the US, in that we play more than the people in his country. Many of us do play regularly and, I think we’ve seen the benefits of that way of life. But there is always room for improvement, there is always something to learn and a reminder is usually beneficial.

His message resonates so strongly with me, that I have taken on many of his phrases in speaking with others and in writing this post. I believe him.

Please enjoy Steve Keil’s Play Manifesto. Challenge yourself to find more ways to incorporate play into your life. Who wouldn’t want to increase his productivity, creativity and happiness?

You know I love hearing from you and anxiously await your comments.

Tell me…Do you play and what kind of play do you enjoy? Is any form of play allowed in your workplace? Have you seen the benefits of play? 

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12 thoughts on “Play Manifesto

  1. That’s great, Gene! A lot of folks don’t even have that. And I know you ‘play’ with your girls. I imagine you and your wife try to fit in some time for fun, too. Can’t imagine living without playing.

  2. I had no idea Bulgaria was like this. It’s actually very sad. After watching this video I’m hoping there are more people like Steve Keil popping up there. Thank you, Marcia. This was VERY enlightening, especially since I live in the U.S. It makes me thankful.

  3. I tucked the video into my “play later” file.

    Play is so vital. I play by reading, watching a favorite TV program, drives in the country, listening to music, going to a movie, phone calls to distant friends, meditating on things.

    I have to “work” to make time to play, and when I don’t, I notice it in my creative energy.

    • Good for you, Marion. You’re already doing the things Steve Keil suggests! You will enjoy the video when you have a chance to watch it. he’s very passionate about this topic.

  4. At my old job, we would talk freely about stuff too, and the amount of laughing we did could qualify as play. But then all the budget cuts had everyone fearing for their jobs and thinking their position would be put on the chopping block if they were caught “having fun” and not working.

    I don’t play very often. I rest often. I’ve gone ballroom dancing a couple times, and I think that’s my favorite way to play.

    • Dancing a great form of play, Angela. Play can be anything you thoroughly enjoy doing…reading, listening to music, talking with a great friend. My husband is my best friend, so when we can hang out together without thinking about work or kids or the economy, we play!

  5. I agree so much! I love play and it does make for a more relaxing workplace. However, most employers don’t see that and want the nose to the grindstone.

  6. While we aren’t allowed to play at work, we do have a certain freedom to use the net and we are able to talk openly to each other on any (publically acceptable) subject. This does make for a more relaxed work environment, most of the time.

    Great post, Marcia!

I love it when you tell me what you think!

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