The Playful Manifesto [*]

Creativity thrives when you play. But this doesn’t mean you need to build a fancy physical playground. Instead, we should focus on the mental playground: creating the right atmosphere, mindset, and intrinsic motivation to play, and create value along the way.

Playfulness is a mindset. A physical playground can be a nice extra. It looks great in a magazine, no doubt about that. But being playful is first and foremost a way of seeing and interacting with the world. With the right mindset, you can be playful anywhere. In fact, the world becomes your playground.

A playful mindset means turning anything into a game. If you have young children, you know exactly what that means: any old box, what you might consider pure junk, can instantly become the coolest thing ever.

Being playful is being ready for surprises. Being playful is looking for surprises – embracing surprises and enjoying them. Sure, not every surprise at work is one you want to embrace. When an unexpected problem surface on the field in one of your products, you just want it to disappear. But at some level, you can still treat it as “part of the game.” It doesn’t mean you are not taking it seriously, but you can see it as another part of your playground.

Things are not so simple. Being playful, especially when the goal is boosting creativity, cannot work on call or in a predefined time frame. As being playful is a mindset, it should be present all the time (or at least most of the time). If you manage to perceive the world as your playground, everything becomes an opportunity to play.

Being playful is a mindset. We can bring this mindset to everything we do (well, most of it anyway). And the immediate result will be a boost to our creativity, which in turn will make us even more playful. It may seem like a kind of magic, but in fact, we are naturally wired to operate and evolve like that.

By Lidor Wyssocky (@LidorWyssocky, @seempli),
a fine-art photographer and the creator of seempli
a revolutionary platform for igniting creativity
and imagination in everything you do.

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