As I approached the beach I could hear the laughter. A group of children where playing in the sea. I could feel their joy jump through the lens as I took the photograph.
A child’s natural energy is playful, spontaneous and joyful. A child does not need to be taught how to play.
Most people consider work and play to be mutually exclusive. In today’s society, this certainly seems to be the case. Work is serious, considered to be very important and is done by adults. There is usually a clearly defined task or activity to be done, and after completion of this, you are rewarded financially. A signed contract governs what you can or cannot do, how long this should take, and the benefits that you will receive in the process. Unfortunately, work has been formalised and regulated to the point that it has become sterile and meaningless. In the process, work has also become stressful. The heart energy of a person shuts down under these conditions. When this occurs, work loses its ‘soul’.
Playful energy is at the heart of creativity. Being playful is a way of being, that encompasses lightness, joy, freedom and spontaneity.
Sport is formalised play. Professional sport offers the athlete the opportunity to integrate the worlds of work and play. The challenge for the professional athlete is not to lose sight of the fundamental reason why sport was chosen as work. When the energy of joy and love is brought onto the field of work (play), exceptional performances occur.