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.
"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.
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.
This week, I bared my soul in the semifinals of Mars Studios' songwriting contest... and I lost. But I had a wonderful time competing, and I got some helpful feedback from the judges.
And, due to the lyrics of one of my songs, I was reminded of the most hilarious review anyone's ever written on Amazon.
I Bared My Soul in the Semifinals of the Mars Studios Songwriting Contest... And Then I Lost. But I'm Super Glad I Tried.
I'll come right out and say it: I'm not sure how I even made it to the semis. It's not that I don't have confidence -- I do (#ChooseBeautiful). It's more that every single songwriter in the first round was incredibly talented.
But regardless of how it happened, it happened. I progressed to the next round -- and I was incredibly lucky to have two good friends drive all the way to Capitola from Mountain View to cheer me on. (Maybe that's what I'll write my next song about! I'll call it "Over the Hill," or, "Basically Long Distance," or something.)
In the last week, I've heard three different people claim that comparing yourself to others is somehow bad -- one even did it in a comment on my recent post, 3 Scientifically Proven Ways to STOP Caring What Others Think About You and Live a Happier Life.
But here's the thing. Comparing yourself to others, done correctly, is probably the best way to learn, improve, and build up your own confidence. Here's why:
Humans tend not to be logical and consistent, which is why, as a blogger, I make it a point to follow my own advice.
Therefore, after writing 4 Reasons You Suck at Self-Expression, And What You Can Do About It, I decided to... be more self-expressive? I've since played originals at four open mics -- and it's totally, super fun!
5 CRUCIAL Lessons Parents and Teachers Can Learn From Video Games (That Helicopter Parents Will HATE)
Video games are addictive -- literally. Kids have died, gotten obese, or contracted scurvy from this addiction. Others spend enough time at their console before the start of high school... that they basically could have completed several college degrees, had they spent that time reading, learning and discussing.
So why don't they?
Because, although many teachers are great educators... they just don't understand motivation the way video game companies do.
Fun fact: the other day, some crazy lady on the internet went haywire (or should I say... sleigh-wire?) at me because of a Facebook comment... about Santa. It wasn't the kind of "holiday cheer" I normally feel this time of year... but it did make me chuckle.
It also made me think -- should parents tell their kids about Santa? And as a psychologist, I'm pretty sure the answer is yes. Here's why:
This is a blog about playfulness, social skills and self-expression. I've mocked the idea of "expressing yourself" by wearing certain clothes, instead of creating or doing. Meanwhile, I'd been writing songs for over a year, without ever really sharing them with anyone...
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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