Can You Come Out to Play?

What did you want to do every day as a kid?  Play, right?!  Do you still wake up every day thinking about what you are going to play?  Why not?  You should.  Let’s do!

Have you ever thought about what the perfect day would be for you?  I did a couple of years ago and arrived at 4 general things I would like to do every day:

  1. Think about what I am doing, how it is going, and what I should do next;
  2. Learn something new;
  3. Take action to help myself, others, and the world be better, and;
  4. Be active and do things that serve to keep me young.

Let’s see, how can we turn the above points into an acronym?  The key words are: Think, Learn, Action, and Young.  Let’s make “Think” into a “P” word and we’ll have PLAY.  How about “Ponder” or “Pray” depending upon your beliefs … yep that works.

Since making this “perfect day” discovery, I have attempted to PLAY every day.  You can too.  It’s not that hard and every day that you do will be better than those when you don’t.

Here’s how it works.

Ponder/Pray

Start each day by giving yourself a time-out.  You know, the quiet time we give kids occasionally to calm them down and make them think about their behavior.  It’s viewed as a punishment when we are kids, but as adults getting a time-out is a gift.

Start by thinking about what is going well in your life and what could be better.  Be grateful for your abilities, for the people in your life, for all that you have, and for the opportunity of another day.

Forgive yourself for the dumb things you do.  Do the same for others.  Think about those in need, and what you might be able to do for them.

Be happy for the good fortune of others.  Ask for guidance and help.  Generate ideas for future consideration.  Plan your day.

I also find writing my thoughts in a journal to be helpful.  There is something about the action of writing that serves to make your thoughts clear and memorable.

Learn

This is my personal favorite category.  Every day that I learn something new is a happy day for me.  Sometimes it might just be improving at something I already do.

Read at least one chapter of a book of interest.  Not an entertainment type book, but something that can help you improve yourself.  Nowadays it is easy to find something to watch that will help us get better as well.

You Tube is an amazing resource.  I don’t know where people find the time, or even why they choose to make videos about nearly anything you can think about wanting to know.  I am so thankful that they do though.  Maybe you are one of them, or you should be thinking about joining their ranks to share your valuable knowledge.

Doing research on something you want to understand better, or to help you form your world views is also a valuable “learn” activity.

Act (Take Action)

Life is about doing.  You can think and learn all you want, but without taking some type of action it just doesn’t matter.  I once heard someone say that the cemetery is the most valuable place on earth because there is so much undisclosed knowledge and wisdom buried there.  Let’s share our light with the world before it’s too late.

What type of action should you take, you ask?  Anything that serves to make the world a better place.  Use your talents and interests to provide value to other people.

Carry out the plan you made during your time-out.  Once you complete one task, ask yourself, “what’s important now” or WIN for short.  This is a question the legendary football coach Lou Holtz asked his players to contemplate to keep themselves on track to doing the most important things in their lives.

Make your “to do” list every day.  As important, make a “not to do” list.  Anything that is not helping your cause in bringing your value to the world should not be done.  Recognize those things and stop doing them.

Youthify

Youthify is my made-up word for doing the things that serve to keep you young, healthy, and energized.

Drink water, eat healthy, exercise, brush and floss your teeth.  Do something fun.  Smile and laugh.  Get together with your friends.  Make some new friends.  Go outside and play.  And make sure you get enough rest.  Take a brief afternoon nap if you can.  Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

I use a PLAY Day Checklist every day to remind myself about what is important to gaining and maintaining my happiness.  You can download it for free at this link: https://www.playgroundheaven.com/sandbox/

I make my PLAY Day Action Plan in the morning during my time-out, and then check things off as the day goes by.  At the end of each day, and the end of each week I do a quick review by asking three quick questions: (1) what went well that I should continue, (2) what should I stop doing, and (3) what should I start doing to get even better and have even happier days?

That’s all for now.  Can you come out to play?  I hope to see you on the playground soon!

To Your Happiness, Scott

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