Can you come and play?

I was just reading an article about famous inventors who were asked what inspired them. And most of them told stories of playing as children – tinkering with tools or construction toys, thinking about nature and how it "worked," make-believe games with others, or drawing real or imagined objects and scenes.

And these are just the areas that child-development experts identify as universal kinds of play: exploration/tinkering make believe/visual thinking, social play/collaboration, and puzzle play/problem solving. But most of all, when you play, nothing is impossible. You're open to new ideas and ways of looking at things. The great inventor Alexander Graham Bell has said "We are all too much inclined to walk through life with our eyes shut. There are things all around us, and right at our very feet, that we have never seen, because we have never really looked."

As a matter of fact, businesses are now looking into injecting more "play" into the workplace to encourage creativity and new ideas. So, whenever you are stuck over a problem or need some inspiration or help, or stressed, take time out to "play." Put the powers of make-believe, tinkering or puzzles to good use. Because when you play, you expand your mind and your world.

And it's the accumulation of "little things" that can either leave us feeling stressed or happy. I'm sure you can recall a day when nothing seemed to go right. And it wasn't because anything really bad had happened, like being fired from a job or having an accident. But somehow you found yourself feeling angry or tired at the end of the day. Perhaps it was just a string of little things, like being splashed by a passing car, discovering you forgot a shopping list, and then the rude behavior of a passerby.

But I'd just like to point out that we can choose which "little things" we pay attention to. Take that imaginary string of little things I just mentioned. Maybe you were splashed by a passing car, but then the sun came out and promised a beautiful day. That shopping list you forgot? Maybe you saw an item that you'd always wanted just came on sale. Someone was rude to you? Maybe another person pointed out that you led something that you would have regretted losing.

You can create your own string of "little things" that will leave you feeling happy rather than stressed at the end of a day. Bask in a beautiful day, share a joke or a smile, do some little thing that gives you pleasure.

After all, it's always the little things, isn't it?

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