10 months ago

Better Man

30 Days to a better man

30 Days to a better man 4. Social Play. Social play encompasses a wide variety of forms, from roughhousing with other guys, to flirting with the opposite sex. Dr. Brown argues that “the basis of human trust is established through play signals.” If you’ve ever bonded with a friend by wrestling, or felt a sense of belonging after playing a game of ultimate frisbee, you understand how this works. 5. Imaginative and Pretend Play. This is the kind of play that comes easiest to kids and hardest to adults. We lose a lot of our capacity for imagination as we age. But if you’ve ever gone paintballing, dressed up for an adult Halloween party, or wholly let go of your adult cynicism at Disneyworld, you know that we still have some capacity for it. 6. Storytelling/Narrative Play. Storytelling is not something we ordinarily think of as play. But as the Institute for Play argues, “It is in [our] capacity to produce a sense of timelessness, pleasure and the altered state of vicarious involvement that identifies narrative and storytelling with states of play.” 7. Transformative/Integrative and Creative Play. Sometimes we can use our play to create new things and foster ideas. You can brainstorm crazy ideas for an invention, jam out on your guitar as you think of new songs to write, or make a funny video of your cat to post on YouTube. Today’s Task: Play! While play may seem like a silly frivolity, it’s actually an essential part of our health and well-being. Manning up doesn’t mean turning into a robotic stiff. You should also maintain some of your boyish spirit. You need to make room in your life for things that you don’t have to do, but that you simply do because it gives you pleasure. So today you have to spend at least 30 minutes in pure play. 156

Brett and Kate McKay There’s definitely an aspect of play with video games, but for the sake of stretching yourself today, pick something a little more creative and openended. Play a pick-up game of basketball with your friends, a board game with your wife, or a game of catch with your kid. Jam on your guitar or dust off your skateboard. Take a hike or ride your bike. Do something that society says you’re too old for, but you know deep down absolutely still gives you joy. Make a slingshot; play with fireworks; build and fly a paper airplane; play table football; skip a stone; fly a kite. Keep in mind that some of the best play involves novelty, curiosity, and most of all, exploration, whether of the limits of your body, new physical locations, or the corners of your mind. Remember, the purpose of play can’t be more important than the pleasure you get from it. So you can go for a run, but you can’t bring a watch or try to set a new PR. And you can tinker in the garage, but not because you need to check changing your car’s oil off your to-do list. It must be something that you’re doing simply for the fun of it. For ideas about what to do for play, Dr. Brown recommends thinking back to your fondest childhood memory of play and linking that memory back to your present life. For example, if you used to love tag and kickball then go play a pick-up game of some sport. And if you used to love being read to at night, then read to your kid. If your favorite thing to do as a kid was climb trees, go scramble over some rocks. If you used to endlessly tinker with an erector set, work on a craft. But of course don’t overthink this task too much; it’s play after all! Just think about something that sounds fun and do it. Finally, while today’s task it to set aside time for play, you should ideally strive to make play an integrated part of your everyday life. Now go play! 157