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The Importance of Play

by Sean Ogle | Last Updated: January 26, 2012

This week, almost without exception, I’ve done no work.

I used to say the word vacation was dead to me, because no matter where I went I would always be spending a few hours a day working.

I expected this trip to be no different.  There are 11 entrepreneurs hanging out here in Mexico, all with laptops, and I expected everyone to spend at least half of their days working.

The reality has been the exact opposite.

We’ve spent the last three days doing nothing but playing.  I’ve played more over the last few days than at any other period in my adult life.

Jenny Blake Yoga

Daily yoga sessions are a must.

What does that look like?  Daily dodgeball tournaments,  trampoline jumping sessions, zipline gauntlet, turning our mini golf course into a real golf course, card games, pool and ping pong, and all sorts of other shenanigans that could really only be described as “you had to be there.”

How is it that you take a group of some of the most successful, driven people I know, put them in a compound together, and almost nothing ensues but play?

It’s because everyone here has their priorities straight.

Work will never go away, it will always be waiting for you, and you can do it at any time.  The magic that has happened here however, only lasts for a short period of time until we move onto the next adventure.  Why waste the current opportunity given to us just so that we can do something that can be done any other day of the year.

For me personally, this has been a struggle.  I’ve resisted the urges to come back and check my email every other hour.  I’ve put projects on hold, and to be honest, it’s been more or less the only source of stress in my life this last week.

Obviously we are all able to do this because we spent a lot of time working during the lead up to the trip, but this experience has reminded me just how important it is to play.  Take time each week to go out and do something fun.  All too often we get caught up in work and life, and begin taking ourselves too seriously.

It’s good to know that you don’t always have to be serious.  If you’ve been feeling bogged down or struggling with any aspect of life – consider doing some playing (whatever that means to you), you may be surprised by the results.

And with that, it’s time to get back to the zip line.

Sean Ogle is the Founder of Location Rebel where he has spent the last 12+ years teaching people how to build online businesses that give them the freedom to do more of the things they like to do in life. When he's not in the coffee shops of Portland, or the beaches of Bali, he's probably sneaking into some other high-class establishment where he most certainly doesn't belong.
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