Life is absurd. How serious do you want to take it? How important do you want to make it? Do you play to win, play to have fun or play not to lose? How does your approach to play impact your satisfaction with life?
What happens when you play to not lose?
I watched a group of 10 year old children try to not lose the gold medal game in a hockey tournament. They had an early two goal lead. They played hard and were fearless. With less than six minutes to go they changed. They held back. They stopped doing the things that made them wonderful. They stopped doing the things that made the magnificent. They made mistakes they got in each other’s way. They ended up losing.
Our best results come without pressure
I’ve watched kids play sports for years. Most play their best when they don’t think there are consequences, when the game doesn’t matter, when they play for the joy of it.
This creates an interesting paradox
In order to be our best and most successful, we need to remove the pressure. In order to achieve our greatest successes, we need to detach our actions from the outcomes. Given how much we have been trained in schools to focus on the outcomes, this commitment to the present, to the process of being and becoming is counter-intuitive.
Beyond this paradox
How can we rekindle the spirit of play in the paradox of being highly competitive? How can you add play and levity in a sense that things don’t matter to your work how can that paradox improve what you do? How do you perform under pressure? Comment below.