“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” ~ Albert Einstein
I was being playful today. As I was enjoying the moments of fun and happiness that went along with the playfulness, it occurred to me that I am often very playful. I also realized that I am often at my most creative when I am allowing myself to be playful. I come up with wild new ideas … they float right up vs. having to go looking for them.
I am, by nature, a pretty playful person. It doesn’t mean that I do not give importance to things or that I cannot be serious or that I do not accomplish things. I do (lots of things as a matter of a fact). It is not so much about the doing or the importance about what I do … it is the state of being I am in as I engage with things.
Being in this particular playful spirit I got off on a tangent as I began to research how fun, humor and playfulness impact creativity. By gosh … there it was … chunks of researched evidence … scientific studies … and even lists of brilliant creative people through history who were playful. Ahhhhhhhhh, exactly what I needed to validate myself!
If that is not enough there was other really juicy findings such as playful people perform better, have better cognitive and emotional function, are bored less, more spontaneous and out-going and cope with stress better. I was beginning to jump up and down and get giddy just thinking about it!
Adult playfulness, it seems is a fairly new area of study for researchers and scientists. It occurs that for centuries they have been studying much more serious things. Oh, and then the beginning studies were, of course, done with children … because they are naturally allowed to be playful. But in the last 50 years research on creativity in adults has begin to show that playfulness, fun and humor have a positive impact on the quantity of ideas and the quality of creative thinking. WHOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
And how exactly do these researcher define playfulness? I had to know so I could check and see if I was indeed playful (I needed to make sure before getting too excited). In their book, Play, Playfulness, Creativity and Innovation, authors Patrick Bateson and Paul Martin define it as, “cheerful, frisky, frolicsome, good-natured, joyous, merry, rollicking, spirited, sprightly