There was a time when you didn’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow. You were totally engaged in the moment. Do you remember what that was like? Many of us have fond memories of playing at the playground. There was the swing, the slide, the seesaw and the sandbox. And of course the other kids. Once you felt safe, you let go and forgot about time. You weren’t concerned with what you had to do “afterwards;” you didn’t even think about “afterwards” or tomorrow. You were in the moment. Nothing else mattered. You can be there again.
For some of us that playground might have looked different. It might have been the park or the street in front of our house. There was always a game that you could play that was played before by other kids. If there wasn’t a game you liked, you used your imagination and made one up, including the rituals that went along with it. Because it was your ‘magical playground,’ you were in your own world, with your own set of rules.
Then one day you grew up and the game got more serious. In this new game, there was a new set of rules that put more emphasis and importance on results, money, rather than on fun and play. You worried about the loose ends and uncertainty in your life. You worried about tomorrow, and whether you were good enough to make it, whatever making it meant for you. You forgot about the magical playground. It was just a distant memory.
In this new game you created a story. You believed that because of the demands of this new game that you didn’t have time for play but it actually works the other way. When you make time for play and what’s meaningful for you, you’ll get better results in the bigger game of life. You’ll struggle less and be more fun to be around.
When you’re excited about one aspect of your life that enthusiasm spreads to your entire being. People pickup on it, even though you might not be aware of it. Our passion and enthusiasm is contagious. People want to be around you.
We use our imagination all of the time. When we worry we drive ourselves nuts by imagining worse case scenarios. There’s a better way use our imagination; a way that is exciting and fulfilling—a way that empowers us.
We rediscover a magical playground for our lives today. We dream again. We are happy. We are courageous. We have vision. We believe our lives will turn out better than we expected. Yes that might require a stretch of the imagination, but why not stretch it. Just for fun take some time now and imagine that your life has exceeded your expectations. Imagine, who you become in the process and, the different parts you get to play. In truth you have been doing this all along. As Shakespeare wrote in As you Like It.
“All the world’s a stage.
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts.”
Whatever stage we are on in our life journey, each of us has already played many parts in our life and I’m sure we’ll play many more. Each role has its unique set of rules, language, rituals and costumes. I’ve played lawyer, musician, father, husband and athlete and now I’m playing wise elder.
Are you ready to create the next part? If it is—then
IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO ENTER
On the entrance to your magical playground is the following:
“To dream – again. To dare – again.
To feel enjoyment and happiness – again,
or for the first time.
To realize – Ah, this is living —
This is the stand I take!”
What then? Please feel free to pass this onto those in your circle. You know I like to hear from you. Let me know what moves you.
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Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide and recognized thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. A former trial attorney for 30 years, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.