In our productivity obsessed culture, we’re either constantly working or feeling guilty because we think we should be. Scroll your social feeds and you’ll probably find references to #hustle, #nodaysoff or some type of work related #grind.
Don’t get me wrong. I work very, very hard. Always have and always will. It’s part of my DNA. But I play hard too.
In recent years, our society has put such a high valuation on productivity that we’ve developed a pervasive failure to appreciate the transformative effects of play.
As Dr. Stuart Brown, a pioneer on the research of play remarked, “The opposite of play is not work. It’s depression.”
The benefits of play go far beyond fun. Play helps us improve brain functionality, stimulate our imagination and deepen our relationships. That’s why I take an unapologetic stand for play in all its forms. Quirkiness, silliness, playfulness, laughter and humor — whatever helps you enter this magical state. In fact, I’ll argue that play is one of the most undervalued strategies for creative entrepreneurs.
Consider the word recreation. Re-creation. Which means to create again, to refresh, restore, make anew, revive or invigorate. What legitimate entrepreneur couldn’t benefit from more of that? To be clear: I’m all for focused work, long-term effort and consistent hustle. Those are 10,000% required to achieve your goals and keep growing.
What I am not for is a one-dimensional, narrow formula for success. What I am not for is burnout, depression and suicide. These are serious issues among creatives and entrepreneurs and we’re not talking nearly enough about them.
Amidst all our busyness, here’s the punchline so many of us miss. There is no destination in business or life. It’s all journey. All of it. Think about that before blindly opting in for a punishing, lonely version of grind till you die.