This question rang through my childhood as an invitation to experiment, explore and engage in something extraordinary.
Now, with seven children, I love that my children always have someone to play with. This is exciting to witness and be a part of as sometimes that someone is me.
In living out a realized life, integrating work, life and family, there are challenges, but oh the rewards are so sweet.
I thought I’d write about a bit of what our realized journey is like and what I have learned in focusing in bringing it all together.
I’ve noticed that the above question has changed over the years for me. It has moved from “Can you come out and play?” to “Would you like to play?” I am learning that there is a subtle yet profound difference in these two questions. The key to an integrated realized life is found in this subtle difference.
Can you come out and play?
Although on the surface this question seems simple and straight forward, it leads to a complex world of doubt, confusion and misunderstanding. It’s not the right question.This question inquires about your ability to play. Using the word “can” sets this up. This immediately puts an obstacle in our way to integrate what matters most to us. This question ends up being a challenge and not an invite at all.
Would you like to play?
This question gets right to the heart of the matter. This question simplifies the whole process of finding out where the fun is to be had. This question lets you know where you have an opportunity to be a part of something extraordinary. The question isn’t “Can you play?” We all can play. The question is, “Do you want to play?” Two very different questions.
A realized life, that integrates work, life and family is always about where the opportunities are. It’s about doing the right things, not just anything. We’ve been told that we can do anything we put our minds to. This distracts us from the right things we’re meant to do. There’s a lot we can do, but the key to an integrated and realized life is to do the things we’re meant to do, where we’re meant to do them.
The question, “Would you like to play?”, leads to you to some exciting things:
What happens when you step out to experiment, explore and engage in what matters? Life changes. Lives change around you. It takes risk, intrigue and community.
Experimenting can lead to a lot of distraction. However, experimentation is key to living a realized life, in work, life and family. In knowing why I’m here, I’m able to step out and experiment with new ideas that help me realize my purpose in areas where I have opportunities. (backlink to finding your opportunities) This applies to me, my company and my family. As well as all those that have done the work to clarify their purpose. Experimenting has become an incredible tool. Even though there is risk involved, by being clear on your purpose, you’re able to step out with confidence, focus and wisdom.
Exploration involves intrigue. Realizing your purpose draws you and others into the experiment. It is exciting to be a part of something that makes a difference and that matters. It is incredibly rewarding. This deep satisfaction is fuelled by passion. Passion leads us to protect what matters. To dig deep into the things that matter and learn all we can, the tool of exploration is required. A question like, “Would you like to play?” makes this possible.
To live the realized life, also required engagement. It is vital. If we don’t engage in realizing our purpose, we fail. The question “Would you like to play?” brings this right to the surface. Here we get to confront our willingness to experiment and explore in the things that matter most. “Can you come out and play?” gives us an out. Of course we can play. It comes down to do you want to.
I remember counselling a small business owner once who was struggling so deeply with getting his business going. I finally asked him this question: “Do you want to run this business?” “Yes” was his answer. Then “run the business” I said. We have to want to engage. Engagement doesn’t just happen on its own.
An integrated and realized life takes commitment, passion, clarity and a willingness to play. Purpose is realized in community. So we need to step out to experiment, explore and engage where we have opportunity and collaborate with others in what matters most.
A realized life has challenges, struggles, and hardships. But through those, it provides hope, meaning and life not only to you but to those you serve as well. That’s an experiment that requires innovation, creativity, collaboration and community.
Would you like to play? If so, where will you step out today to play and realize your purpose where it matters to those you serve? Feel free to join the conversation on Facebook