So what does playfulness actually mean? Since I have been jabbering on about its wonderful side effects, some of you could very well wonder why I just didn’t start my whole project here by stating its definition.
There’s two reasons I didn’t do just that. First I didn’t want to narrow things down, to get all left brained and specific. Secondly I didn’t actually know myself. Wait! What? Yes, I’ve written a whole series of pieces on something I can’t even define! I could just say I was being playful; which is certainly true. However playfulness is actually hard to define. Several psychologists have taken a crack at it, and it doesn’t appear to me that anyone’s come up with something everyone agrees with. The definition I like best is by psychologist L.A.Barnett. She defines it as: “The predisposition to frame (or reframe) a situation in such a way to provide oneself (or others) with amusement humor and/or entertainment.”
As much as I like that definition I think it falls short. In fact I think the above quality is merely a side effect of a much broader frame of mind. This definition leaves out such things as looseness, possibilities, confidence, or following your heart. All of which lends itself to the above ability of framing.
So how does Stephen W Noble define playfulness? Time to step up to the plate and take a swing at it.
Playfulness is being connected to your heart, to your essential self and it’s innate intuition. Secondly, playfulness is embracing possibility and hope. It is a confidence and optimism towards Life. Third playfulness is an open minded curiosity. These three aspects lead to other qualities like a sense of adventure a willingness to experiment and push the envelope, a certain looseness and spontaneity or a predisposition to improvise, as well as a liveliness or vitality.
After writing this it is now apparent to me why people who are playful embrace Life, are fully engaging with the world around them. Why they more often find themselves equal to their own lives.
Having said this, I am delighted that you, me, all of us can learn to be more playful
It’s time to play!!! 😃