By: Lisa Slagle
Want to know something kind of embarrassing to put on the internet? When I mountain bike, I pretend I'm in a scene out of The Hunger Games or LOST, and I pedal as fast as I can. It might look like normal trail riding, but in my head, I am launching off of boulders over imaginary alligator pits, escaping from villains, and leading Scout up and over ridge lines to safety. Oh, and making it to my truck in time to drive away from the massive, slow-motion explosion that happens in every other scene in Die Hard 4.
Want to know why my brain works like this?
I believe in the power of play.
If you stop and think about it, play is a magical place where focus meets interest. It's the art of being present, content, and engaged.
Through play, it's easy to learn (word games, educational video games, puzzles), to connect with others (sports, chairlift jokes, cheesy corporate trust falls), and to transcend barriers (interacting with animals or babies, breaking the ice on awkward dates, laughing in every language). The concept of play is kind of what life is about.
It's such a big deal, in fact, that the UN even defends every child's right to play, "that every child has the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts." The UN believes that play can be used as a standard for a nation's treatment of its children. Kids deserve to play.
I think adults deserve it, too. Playing requires creativity, interest, humor, and imagination--all traits I believe are essential for anyone who owns a business.
I tend to work with a category of people I call "adventure entrepreneurs." These are people who own gear shops, guiding companies, or manage ski resorts. They love adventure and run their businesses with passion, a little bit of chaos, and Chacos. I always make sure our meetings are fun and often outside because we are the most productive, creative, and conjure the best brainstorming sessions when we play a little. In the creative industry, this mindset is what works for me.
So I play. I show up to the Wheelie Creative office to create a logo, FVCC to teach a class, the ski resort to snowboard through imaginary fire, or the gym (aka, adult jungle gym), and I play. It keeps me interested in my work, inspired, and focused. I am playful while I design, often quietly adding sound effects to the shape builder tool in Adobe Illustrator, scribbling concept sketches on my coffee cups while I wait for my breakfast burrito, or challenging my intern to pull-up contests a few times a day so that our eyes don't get sucked into computer screens without a break all day. (He wins every time. It's not even close. But it is entertaining.)
Design is fun. So is life.
Want to work with us? Talk about updating your website? Compete in the pull-up contest?
Wheelie Deep Thoughts
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