Last weekend we went ATV riding. As the red dirt kicked up and filled every exposed surface of my body, I looked as if I’d gone for a really bad spray tan.
I loved the feeling of being so free that nothing mattered.
I didn’t care that my clothes, my hair, or even my teeth were stained with dirt. In fact, for days I continued to find this red dirt on my body, even inside my ears, which had me laughing.
It reminded me of being little and not worrying about making a mess: building cakes out of mud and jumping in rain puddles. I was unfiltered, I laughed, and I played.
Think back to when you had these moments. I bet you can’t help but smile.
At what age do we decide it’s no longer OK to play? To make a mess? To get dirty and figure out how to clean it up as we go?
Instead, we decide we need to appear perfect from the get go, wrinkle-free, no dirt allowed.
IMAGINE IF WE WORKED OUR BUSINESS WITH THE CAREFREE ADVENTURE OF OUR 5-YEAR-OLD SELF.
Back then it was perfectly OK to ask a stranger to play. No fear, no inhibition … just the pure intention of gaining a playmate.
Fast forward to now. We make up what they would say before we’ve even asked. We prejudge. We surrender.
What if you channeled that happy-go-lucky you of yesteryear?
How many more people would you talk to?
How many calls and presentations would you do messily without a second thought?
BECAUSE IF YOU WERE TRULY BEING YOUR AUTHENTIC, PLAYFUL, YOUNGER YOU, THE RESULTS WOULDN’T MATTER.
It would just be about the play date itself. Nothing more … and you’d do it again tomorrow.
Maybe it is time to play make-believe, get messy, and see what happens.
You’ll know it’s working when you find the dirt in your ears too.