Success Through Play for Adults

Success Secret: What The Most Successful People Do That Most Other People Think is a Waste of Time?

How to be Successful Without Being a Hard-nosed Go-Getter

You might think in order to be really successful you have to be a go-getter, be really hard-nosed and have a ruthless streak that will stop at nothing.

Yes, many successful people are like that, and many of them have absolutely miserable lives.

That is not success in my book and probably not in yours either.

What the Most Successful People Do

But there is one simple thing that some of the most successful, innovative and brilliant people have in common that makes them stand out from the crowd. It has nothing to do with being an A-type personality, being an extrovert, having brains, or having special gifts.

In fact, it is a simple quality that you and I potentially have in bucket loads, except we probably don’t think it’s that important.

In fact, we have been trained from an early age that this is something we should leave behind in childhood and concentrate on the serious things of life like working hard, getting good grades and acquiring special knowledge.

It is something that, if you made it part of your normal life, would make your life much easier.

It would enable you to be much more adaptable to the challenges that come your way.

It would make you a lot more fun for other people to have around.

And it would blow your stress levels out of the water.

It would also make you happier, healthier and more fulfilled.

It is very simply the ability to play.

success through play for adults, the importance of play for adults, success secret
I want to play

And it is the one thing that most people stop doing when their lives start to get difficult.

It is also the thing that some people start doing when their lives start getting easier again.

Do you think there’s any connection?

Success Through Play for Adults: The More We Play in Life, The Happier WeAare

Because the truth of it is, that the more we play in life the happier and more fulfilled we are.

Look at Richard Branson, a man who created the Virgin brand and truly knows how to play and inspire all those who come into contact with him. This is his success secret.

There are many others like him.

success through play for adults, the importance of play for adults, success secret
Richard Branson, a man for whom play is BIG business

These people have carved out a way of living their lives and making their businesses work that not only makes them very successful but also enables them to offer something very valuable and exciting to everyone who comes into contact with them.

The “feel-good factor” that makes us want to buy their products and choose them above their competition irrespective of price.

So when did you last play? When did you last really laugh?

Have you been in the grip of seriousness, busyness, rushing around like madmen, and worst of all – worrying?

If so you might want to take a large breath and let all those things go….

And play.

“I Can’t Play!”

Many people say to me, “I can’t play. I just freeze and feel exposed and really, really uncomfortable.” And so it’s not surprising that they don’t want to endure this kind of torture.

Maybe it’s because they never played much as a child. They became little adults before their time.

Or they only played competitive games. Many men have told me this. They’ve never really played for the sheer pleasure of it and without any goal in mind. Because as great as it is to play competitive sports, the focus of these is on winning and beating the other party. It’s is not about playing with, engaging with, or interacting with other people.

success through play for adults, the importance of play for adults, success secret
Most adults have lost the ability to play

It is the collaborative aspects of play that is so powerful, restorative and healing.

The Importance of Play for Adults

In fact, most adults have lost the ability to play. It starts around the age of eleven when the two hemispheres of the brain become more separate. The educational system with its emphasis on left-brain skills, very soon a door slams shut on the ability to play and to be creative. The two of course are inextricably linked.

Certainly, it happened to me. In fact, I loved playing with Sindy dolls with my younger sister – long after it was “cool” to do so. I would have been embarrassed beyond belief if any of my friends had known what I did at the weekends, and so I kept it a very dark secret.

And slowly and surely over time I stopped playing and became a very serious girl. Only too soon I completely lost touch with my ability to play.  I was hopeless at any kind of competitive sports and so I retreated into the world of books. In my first career in nursing, I found it very difficult or even impossible to play with the children in my care. I had no idea how to interact with them. I felt awkward and stupid even trying to play with them.

It was only much later, when I started doing drama and unlearning everything I had learnt, that I began to really play. To play, in fact, in a way that I never had done as a child. I discovered there was an immense capacity to play in me. I began to have fun and realised that most of my experiences of fun up till then hadn’t been too much fun.

By degrees, I got freer and freer.  And something very powerful began to wake up in me. It was almost as if I needed to become an adult in order to really experience what it was to be a child.

The Life and Soul of the Party

And I began to see all kinds of changes in my outside life. Things I had been struggling with for years. I noticed I was much more comfortable in social situations. Where previously I didn’t know what to say if someone was bantering with me, I suddenly found I could banter back. It just slipped out of me, and I found myself saying some quite clever things that I could never thought of in a million years. (This is the skill that most comedians and entertainers have in bucket loads.)

success through play for adults, the importance of play for adults
Life and soul of the party

I went from someone who was a wallflower living on the sidelines to someone who could be the “life and soul of the party”. I found, too, that I had more energy, felt more alive and felt much happier than I could ever remember feeling. I discovered too that I liked it when I was in the centre of things… that, in fact, I was a very different person from the one I always thought I was. I shifted rapidly from introvert to extrovert.

It was time to reinvent myself, and tell the truth about who I really was.

Scientific Endorsement

This is backed up by scientific research. Neuroscientist Candace Pert confirms that her research into the opioid receptor revealed a connection between play and healing. She makes the point:

“Play is more than simple stress reduction… to act out our aggressions, fears and griefs, to gain mastery over these sometimes overwhelming emotions. When we are playing we are stretching our emotional expressive range, loosening up our biochemical flow of information, getting unstuck and healing our feelings.”

Candace Pert

Brendan Photo

Listen to this audio of how playing enabled actor Brendan Gregory to melt the emotional blocks that were keeping his career stuck.

The power of play to resolve emotional blockages through an individual session

Success through Play: Bringing Play Into Your Daily Life

The hardest thing of all is to bring play into your daily life – to truly make play your modus operandi. When you do this, all sorts of amazing things will start happening. Opportunities will come your way, and your interactions with other people will be so much more enjoyable and fulfilling.

It is a skill that can be learned. And there is no great mystique to it. It may take a little while to make it a part of your life, but it can be done.

success through play

Have a playful and very successful day.

© Claire Schrader 2011 & 2023

Want to find more success through play? Join one of my upcoming courses to help you transform the behaviours and habits that are holding you back in your career and your life.

Take a look a these articles: How to Set Yourself Free through Drama, Why You Need to Get Out of your Head, How to Be More Creative

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