We’ve Forgotten How to Play Episode #130

Aaron McHugh


You used to know how to play, but people like us can get pretty serious about life and forget how to really play. Remember when you’d jump on your pogo stick in the driveway until your dad came home from work?

I read this great quote recently from a famous mountaineer about how as we age we become more cautious and conservative. But we’ve got it all wrong.

“When we are 20 and have the most life to lose, we take the greatest chances. Then we get old and conservative when we have little life to lose. It should be the opposite. I plan to try K2 (world’s toughest mountain) when I’m 85. If I make it hooray! If I die trying, it’s been a good run”. Gerry Roach

Back when I was jumping mud puddles on my garage sale BMX bike, I wasn’t worried about my retirement account performance. There was a glistening in my eyes and radiance to my soul that responsibility and duty hadn’t yet impacted.

It was true for you too.
Remember when you used to play flag football in the cold and mud?
It was fun.
It was playful and you didn’t have to do it.
You chose to do it for pleasure.

Play is the stuff you get to do, not the stuff you have to do.

When are you playing?

What do you do just for pleasure?

When are you not keeping score?

What chances would you take if you were 20 again?

What if tomorrow you didn’t take yourself so seriously? What would you do?

What trip would you go on?

What adventure would you take?

What hobby would you pick back up again?

We gotta learn to play more.

I promise it is the best kept secret leading to joy and vitality.


Check out free my Restoring Balance seven-day crash course. There is a lesson on play that will help.

Check out the Adventure Playground-City of Berkley.

Listen to NPR’s Where the Wild Things Play by Eric Westervelt.

Photo credit City of Berkley

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