What changed my life from work to play? In 2016, I went to Mexico, England, Scotland, Bulgaria, Italy and back to my easel, filled with inspiration for playing with my brushes and oil paints.
I grew up on a farm where I learned to work. If I got my work done, I could go play. In 2003, I had the idea to flip that; "If I got my playing done, then I could work." The thought brought excitement and a big smile to my face, which was immediately wiped away with thoughts like, "You can't do that, how will you get your work done? You have to get your work done! Who will do the work if you don't?" (Does your mind ever hijack you like this?)
Around the same time, I saw a book titled "The Gift of a Year." The two ideas merged in my mind and I wondered what would happen if I gave myself the gift of a year to play first. "If you get your playing done, then you can work," what a concept. It was a scary thought. It contradicted the way I observed people living life. Being the rebel I am, however, I committed to my year of play. After all, what was the worst thing that could happen if none of the work got done? I would be out on the streets with nothing, right?
The first morning I awoke after my brave resolve, my body wanted to go straight to "work." I caught myself and was surprised to discover that I didn't even know what to do when I thought of playing. "How do I play?" "What do 'I' want to do?" Playing with my thoughts about it was the first playing I did. Ironically, in the beginning it felt like work to figure out how to play.
As I continued playing at the beginning of each day, the joy it created went with me into my work. Before long, my work began feeling like play. Then one day I realized I didn't have any work to do. It had all become play and I officially "quit working!" I have played ever since. I laugh inside whenever I tell someone "I have to go to WORK." It's my private joke (well, not any more, now you know lol). I love what I do. I am in the business of creatively inspiring others to live their passion. How fun is that?!
If your life feels like it has too much work in it, consider giving yourself the gift of a year to play first. What if?