What would our workplaces or our homes look like if we made sure a little play was part of the mix every day?  Are we nurturing our playful impulse sufficiently?

Here’s an example: We once had a tiny squirt gun that we used at staff meetings to liven things up around our boardroom table seating fifteen. The squirt gun was uniquely fun because the water didn’t actually come out the end where you would expect. Instead, there was a tiny nozzle on the top which you could rotate to point in any direction, thereby completely surprising people who might be just nodding off.

One of our business mottos are: There’s not enough fun in the world.

Sometimes we just have to lighten up, especially during the rough patches. Here’s an example of play in our dental office:

Image: Fiddlehead Superheroes dressed in their favorite super hero's costume

EWC Founders – Dr. Lynda and Dr. Chuck – often lead their team with a funny bone. Here’s a photo of their office staff, who were directed to show up for an all day staff meeting, dressed as their favorite superhero. They obviously took the challenge to heart!
Source: Dr. Lynda

When we closed our office for an entire day to do some training and education last winter, we asked everyone to come as their favorite superhero and spend the day in character. It made for a totally playful spirit, despite the fact

Image: Fiddlehead Team changing in cardboard phone booths

Dr. Chuck made two telephone booths for us and in “Clark Kent fashion”, we had a relay race to see who could change out of their superhero costumes in the tiny booths. It was a hoot!
Source: Dr. Lynda

that we were tackling some difficult issues.

I’m happy to tell you we left Dr. Chuck’s two large phone booths in our waiting room, to remind us all of the fun there is to be had everyday when one is part of a large, wise, creative team.  I’m also happy to say that we made it over the hump of that ordeal. We made it happen with many episodes of laughter and play.

Today we are going to begin to appreciate play. We have two TED talks on the subject that both inform and inspire. Enjoy!

Now here’s a guy who can take us to the finish line, or the starting line (with our new perspective) on the importance of play. This guy wears the brand “nerd” with pride, and takes us to both the valleys and the mountain tops of this issue. Take a look…

Yesterday, our office team faced a grueling day.  In our morning huddle I asked my employees to try one new exercise: when they found themselves at their whit’s end, they should pause, pull up to the ten thousand foot perspective on the moment and ask themselves “Now what’s funny about this?”

As always, they took that request to heart and we shared lots of nutty, fun smiles. We had a busy but great day nurturing our playful impulse.

Stay curious, open and hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda

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Notes:

  1. “The Decline of Play | Peter Gray | TEDxNavesink.” YouTube. TEDx, 13 June 2014. Web. 30 July 2013. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg-GEzM7iTk>.
  2. “The Importance of Play | John Cohn | TEDxDelft.” YouTube. TEDx, 19 Dec. 2013. Web. 30 July 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-NT1-BdOvI>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.