I have to tell you… reading what Pink has to say about play was a bit unsettling… a bit vindicating… and a bit “this really makes sense!”
Over the past number of weeks, Lynn’s been talking about the ideas that Daniel Pink discusses in his book, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future.
This week, because Lynn’s traveling, it’s my turn to weigh in.
It IS a Laughing Matter
A few years ago, I was introduced to the world of yoga by my friend, Jeanne Magenta. It was a new and wonderful experience. Looking back, this introduction occurred at the same time that I was working through Prime Potential as a client… before I ever joined Lynn at Miruspoint Faciliators. I am absolutely certain that this physical/mental/emotional practice helped me significantly when it came to integrating the significant changes which were occurring in me as a result of Prime Potential.
Now, Jeanne is a dear friend, and honestly one of the happiest people I’ve ever met in my life. Just to have her in a room lightens the place up by an order of magnitude. I gotta be honest, though, when she started talking about Laughter Yoga a couple of years ago… and started inviting me out to the park to laugh with a bunch of strangers, I thought that perhaps something had finally snapped whilst attempting an extreme yogic pose… kind of like a rubber band being stretched so far it finally breaks. It seems to me I made some excuse about being busy that day.
Today, however, I retract my uninformed opinions about Jeanne’s mental and emotional well-being, and confess that she was probably way ahead of me.
Pink talks about the extreme value of laughter, and cites it as a critical component as we transition into the Conceptual Age. Pink refers to Dr. Madab Kataria, a physician based in Mumbai, India. Believing in both the physical and mental health benefits of engaging in a good old belly laugh, Dr. Kataria began the movement of Laughter Yoga which has spread around the world.
Pink writes (pg 186),
…Dr. Kataria’s popularity around the world, and especially the gradual acceptance of laughter clubs in offices and boardrooms, reveals another important dimension of the Conceptual Age—a move away from sober seriousness as a measure of ability and the elevation of the next essential high-concept, high-touch aptitude: Play. “The whole purpose of the laughter club is to be more playful… When you are playful, you are activating the right side of your brain. The logical brain is a limited brain. The right side is unlimited. You can be anything you want.
Now, where did I put Jeanne’s number… and which park did she say she’s laughing in next?
Learn more about Laughter Yoga in Metro Vancouver by CLICKING HERE.
It’s Not All Fun and Games, You Know
To be frank, I’ve had a pretty rocky relationship with online and computer games. At one time I viewed them as a complete waste of time, a significant contributor to antisocial behaviour, and the bane of my existence. Then… I gave in and started playing the very game I loathed so much. And I got lost in it. I would start playing, and hours would pass without any notice from me, and I really started to enjoy the experience. That is, until I wasn’t able to continue “leveling-up” (this had NOTHING to do with skill – sigh), at which point I threw in my joystick and walked away in defeat.
What author Pink observes is that playing games is an activity which truly exercises and develops out ability to use our right brains in more profound and creative ways. The benefits of game-playing is being seen across a broad spectrum.
The fact is when kids play video games he can experience a much more powerful form of learning than when they’re in the classroom. Learning isn’t about memorizing isolated facts. It’s about connecting and manipulating them… Playing video games enhanced individual’s ability to detect changes in the environment and their capacity to process information simultaneously… One study found that physicians “who spent at least three hours a week playing video games made about 37 percent fewer mistakes in laproscopic surgery and performed 27 percent faster than their counterparts who did not play.”
I can admit it when I’m wrong… I stand corrected.
The Pieces Fit
And you know what? To me, at least, this all makes sense.
Something that we talk about a lot around here is Choice Theory. One of the hard-wired genetic needs that every person on the planet has to one degree or another is the need for FUN. In his work, Dr. William Glasser observed that the need for FUN was linked to the process of learning… we learn best when we’re having fun. Case in point: children. How do kids learn best? Answer: by playing and having fun.
The same is true for us adults as well.
Laughter, play, fun… it’s time that we really made space for them in our lives. Not only because they make life more enjoyable, but because they’re essential parts of our continuing growth as we embrace the conscious development of our right-brain attributes and abilities.
Now… where DID I pack away that joystick…