Aug 232007

This isn’t about hippie crap like finding your inner child, this is about a very real and helpful strategy that you can use to add more fun into your and make some real progress in areas in which you are getting stuck.

You see, its easy to become attached to our expectations when we try something new, or just do anything. I want to become a black belt at Getting Things Done, and its really easy for me to start beating myself up over not doing one part of the system well enough, or just gush over myself doing really well. That doesn’t work so well, because I then get into a stuck state. The real key to tackling this issue is to remember that I’m just playing with it.

Ever seen children play with something? It doesn’t matter if they’re not doing it “right”, they’re just trying to enjoy themselves. Even if you show them the “right” way, they’ll just go on doing it the way that feels the best to them and is the most enjoyable to them.

Another challenge I have right now is with Photoreading. I’m still evaluating the system. You see? I sound like I’m in a business meeting. Truth is, I’ve tried to let go of my expectations for the system and started just playing with it. And its really helped. When I’m just playing with it, I’m not trying to force anything, and I’m helping keep my conscious mind out of it. And if I don’t do it as effectively as I could a few times, I can just say, I’m playing with it.

This is also a strategy I find personally effective. I learn new software programs very quickly, and that’s because I just start playing with it.

I’m also applying this strategy (it amuses me to call playing-like-a-child a strategy) to this blog. I was originally very obsessed with providing the best articles, but, the truth is, I could spend my entire life on one article, making it better and better. I’m finding it more helpful to relax and let go of those expectations and focus on delivering the best content I can in a certain time frame.

Remember rule number 6: Don’t take yourself so goddamned seriously. Here’s another take on this from XKCD.

For another perspective on this strategy being the only viable way to learn anything in this rapidly changing world is from the god-like Ze Frank, here.

Just so you know, this strategy of just playing with it allows you to let go of expectations and emotions about failure. It might even allow you to eventually laugh at how seriously you might take everything. This helps you become less egoic. So, if you’ve been trying to become less egoic, try laughing at yourself and becoming more playful. Relax, life’s a game and about 99% of the things you do won’t matter in a week and a half. 🙂

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