“The great man is he who does not lose his child’s-heart.” – Mencius, Book IV
Remember when you were a child and played – just played. Time didn’t matter and the world’s problems seemed so far away. Even though the world is different now, you can still play, just play and feel alive again. Here are 10 ways…
1. Ride the rides, swing on the swings – Get back to the source of the action–a playground! Next time you’re at a playground with your kids, take advantage of your chance to play. Climb the ladders, dash across the monkey bars, swing as high as you can on the swing. You will enjoy it just as much as you did when you were 6 years old.
2. Don’t think about it – Before you let your mind take over with thoughts of how silly you think you’ll look, take the plunge. Don’t even think about it. Race your kid down the street, roll down the hill, jump on the trampoline. Let your inner child take over and just play. You never used to think about what you looked like doing it.
3. Water park – They’re for kids and adults, too. Swimming and slides can be adventurous and exciting, no matter your age. In fact, you may find yourself doing more bold things now that you’re older. The biggest slide there may not intimidate you the same way it used to.
4. Laser tag – The competition, the hunt, the fun–it never stops. Get back to one of the funnest games around and take a group of friends out to play laser tag. Use it as part of a birthday celebration or just some weekend fun. It’s good, clean fun, and you’ll have a fantastic time.
5. Sports – Whether you were the sporty kind growing up or not, you can enjoy a friendly, non-competitive game with friends or family. Tossing a ball back and forth, playing touch football, shooting some hoops–all fun activities that will bring out your competitive nature and allow you to just have fun.
6. Board games – These can actually be as challenging as they are fun. Games like Risk or Settlers of Catan are great for adults because it involves complex strategy and decision-making. There’s always good-natured humor involved, too. Find a couple hours one evening to enjoy a board game with your significant other, or a few friends.
7. Be spontaneous – You may not be able to whip out a nerf gun and start a war, but you can let go of having such a rigid schedule. Yes, you still have to meet deadlines, but take a look at your schedule and see what you can do, even when you’re on a time crunch. Leave some spaces open, like during a lunch break or right after you get off work, where you don’t plan what’s next. You just see what you’re in the mood for in the moment.
8. Dance – It’s not everyone’s forte, but that’s part of the fun. Letting go of your inhibitions and just giving it your best shot. Try it the next time you’re near a dance floor and the music starts up. Confidence is the key! Commit to it and you’ll be having a blast.
9. Making chores fun – Race your spouse as you two try to each get a chore finished. You clean the bathroom and do laundry while he does the dishes and takes out the trash. Household chores are something that none of us look forward to, but you can make them fun and feel like you’re just playing again. It’s a strategy we use with kids, but why not use it on ourselves to make adult life more fun?
10. Take advantage – When you see opportunities, seize them. Don’t write something off because you don’t think you can do it or don’t have time. What about the costume party your friend is going to? What about the talent competition your workplace is having? There are opportunities as an adult, you just have to be willing and ready.
About Alex Blackwell