Sometimes, spaces look playful... but you can't actually play in them. image: reddit
Don't get me wrong. I love ball pits as much as the next guy. I spent pretty much every afternoon of my childhood at Chuck E. Cheese (and, unlike kids today, I actually got to run around and play by myself while the parents drank pitchers of beer). I'm all about play, and I'm stoked that so many Silicon Valley startups want ball pits.
But here's the thing: many designers and office managers think their job is complete once they've got that ball pit installed.
Creating a playful office space requires more than that.
Being driven by a desire to win means that when you achieve your goal, you’ll feel joy. Being driven by a fear of failure means when you succeed, you’ll feel relief.
Whether training for your high school swim team or trying to make it to the pros, you've probably experienced a plateau. All athletes do! There are tons of physical reasons -- and one very mental reason -- why this happens.
You're entitled to your own opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts. Which is why I'm taking the time to point out some of the reasons that words are not violence -- and that there is truth to the old rhyme, "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me."
I recently returned home from an epic Southeast Asia trip -- I went scuba diving in Thailand, slowboating and mountain biking in Laos, hiking and surfing in Malaysia, and five-star hotel-ing in Myanmar.
But among the highlights of my trip was visiting Elsewhere Surf Camp in Weligama, Sri Lanka. When I checked in, one of the surf instructors asked how long I was staying.
"A week," I told him.
"You'll end up staying longer," he smiled.
"It is a happy talent to know how to play," Ralph Waldo Emerson once said.
He was exactly right. According to my master's research, playfulness isn't a trait -- it's a skill. But due to the ubiquity of technology (read: passive entertainment) and high-achieving childhoods, many young adults have yet to develop their leisure skills.
The fact that they're making less money and are more likely to have debt than ever doesn't help.
I was recently asked what I, as a feminist, thought of the web comic, "You should've asked." My answer is that there was a lot I liked, and a little I didn't. My favorite takeaway is that men aren't perfect and have a lot to learn -- but neither are women, and so do they!
In other words, people are flawed. We can all do better.
Let's take a break from talking about playfulness and leisure skill development for a second to discuss something serious.
Kids these days -- amirite?
No, but actually. For real. Kids these days are more sensitive and fragile than kids of the past. Even according to the president of an elite university that I spoke with recently, “Today’s college students are not like you.”
Unless the Next Words Out of Your Mouth Are Going to be, "Can I Help ___?" Do NOT Tell Me I "Look Tired"
When I wrote For the Love of God, STOP Asking People If They're Okay, I never really thought anyone would care. I love psycholinguistics (I just finished James Pennebaker's The Secret Life of Pronouns, and it was SOOO good!), and I'm all about empowerment... but people hardly seem riveted when I talk about either topic.
But somehow, STOP Asking People If They're Okay tends to be one of my most popular posts every month. Given this, I've got another one to add to the list:
STOP TELLING PEOPLE THEY LOOK TIRED.
Some of the Most Interesting, Thought-Provoking (Though Slightly Controversial) Topics for a Speech or Assembly in 2017.
So you've been asked to give a speech, talk, or assembly. And you want it to be memorable. You want your audience to think -- to feel something. To question their entire worldview, perhaps.
Now you just need a topic.
Skip the boring cliches. No one wants to hear you talk about abortion, the death penalty, gun rights, or minimum wage. These are huge and broad topics, and you're not an expert. You'll put your audience straight to sleep.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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