The Spirit of Play

Joy is in the Journey, not the Destination

🕹️ Welcome to Playtime! I aim to put a smile on your face, laugh in your belly, tickle thru your brain or scare in your gut 🙂🤣🧠😱

Aargh! When was the last time you were frustrated by a completely new way of doing things? Not an iteration, but a completely new way of doing something. Something you have imbibed and soaked into the level of reflex.

What's worse is that l need to first unlearn old skills before I learn the new. And we often forget that teaching an old dog new tricks is not half as difficult as making him unlearn or forget old tricks.

This letter is being typed out using a new keyboard layout called Colemak. It's completely different from the qwerty layout I've used for the last 32 years. Why I'm doing it is not as important as how I'm going about it.

Before we dive into the method, let's explore the madness behind it.

Walk this Way

Why am I frustrated? As a baby, learning to walk on two feet was a completely new experience to the quadrupedal movement I had grown accustomed to. Yet, I was curious because everyone else around me seemed to walk this way.

So began my journey into the bipedal world. Every time I tried to get off my quadrupedal stance, I fell. Sometimes forward, sometimes backward on my arse. Sometimes, I managed to take a step forward or backward before falling again.

At no given point in my journey, was my face sullen and mood fallen. Frustration was an alien emotion at a time. It didn’t pump the brakes on my progress. It wasn’t determination that drove me forward relentlessly either.

Nobody had set milestones and deadlines to reach towards or complete within. I wasn’t competing with the neighbor’s kid either.

I’m not sure what was going on in my mind at the time. But if I were to venture a guess, I’d say I wanted to play with the adults in their playground. Apparently, you needed to walk on your rear legs for that.

Pressing the Right Buttons

Well, I’m not trying to play with the nerds using mechanical keyboards and alternative layouts. My reason is merely for better carpal health if I’m going to be spending a decade or two typing my heart out to you all.

What I realize from the story though is that frustration is not necessary or natural in infants. And they are the best learners in the universe. So today as an adult if I want to learn a seemingly impossible skill, the how is more an attitude, a spirit than a strategic and tactical gameplan.

So I’m going to channel only the energy and emotion of joy, curiosity, goofiness, and playfulness in my learning adventures henceforth. I’m not sure if my play learning is going to be more efficient than the standard route or the innumerable alternate hacks the productivity community is constantly experimenting with. What I’m sure of is imbibing the spirit of the infant to learn, to play, to destroy, and to create with a smile that spans from ear to ear.

I’ve always been the enfant terrible, so shouldn’t be hard. If you’re going to give this a try with any new adventure, lemme know how it goes.

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Once I get the hang of the Colemak layout, I’m jumping onto a unicycle next. Stay tuned Stay subscribed, there's plenty to play with here. Check out more articles on my website or DM on Twitter 🕹 to chat more on how we can play together!