The purpose of life is not to work. The purpose of life is to play. We forget that often. It will help to define what these words mean. Work is anything we do to acquire something else. We work for an extrinsic reward; something outside of the activity itself. At our occupations, we work for money. Money is the reward for working. At our home, we do housework for cleanliness. We workout for a better body. If it wasn’t for these rewards, we might not want to do the work.
However, its possible that we would do those work activities even without an extrinsic reward. We may do them because they are fun. That would make it play. Play is anything we do for it’s own sake. We play for an intrinsic reward; the reward is in doing it itself. We play the piano because we enjoy it. We play ping pong because we enjoy it. We play the lottery because we enjoy it. (C’mon, you don’t really expect to win, do you?) Anything you do without needed a payoff, is play. Play is the expression of creativity and life in abundance and safety. That’s why children play all day. They don’t need to feed themselves, or worry about their mortgage. Us adults do have to work of course. Work pays the bills. Work feeds us and the family. Work gets us all the fun things that won’t be simply delivered. Work pays for play.
If the purpose of life is play, and work is necessary, than the perfect activity would be one that is both work and play. Some of you may already have jobs that you love. Many lucky people get paid to play; athletes, poker players, entertainers, musicians, etc. If you’re in that category, awesome. For the rest of you who may not have a “play” job, there are two solutions:
- Learn to see your work as fun. Can you turn the most boring chore, or the most tedious work project into a game?
- Find fun activities that also give you things that you want. For example, if you want to get in better shape, but hate the gym, maybe you can join a volleyball league. That way you can play while getting “fitness work” done.
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