A very wise old man from Aerosmith once said “Life’s a journey, not a destination.” And although we would all agree with that statement, we as a culture have never taken it to heart. We’re all so goal oriented.
Struggle through school to earn a degree. Struggle through work to earn a living. You can sleep when you’re dead. And if you need a break, play a game. The game is the escape time you need to recharge, let loose, and get yourself ready for more trudgery. Ick.
The thing about gamification is that it’s not about playing a game at all. It’s about tricking you into doing more of something. It’s great when it helps you brush your teeth and the only consequence is your pearly white smile. It’s another when it’s about sucking the few moments of attention you have left for some screen time that only serves to distract you. “The current age has been characterized as one of the “continuous partial attentions.” Cellphones with constant notifications requiring our attention and entertainment with intruding advertisements invade every moment of our already fast-paced life.”
So what if we stopped tricking ourselves into doing more by making a game of it, and actually just learned to have more fun no matter what we did? What if we stopped playing games on our phone and learned how to play the game of our actual lives?
Alan Watts said, “This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”
Prax takes the goal of creating a space for personal growth and makes it a playground. Playful praxtitioners offer Micropractices™, creative prompts that inspire you, dare you, challenge you, inquire within you to play with your practice. You have the permission to respond in a way that is creative, and oh so slightly (and cumulatively) productive. Professional praxtitioners across all skills, perspectives, and professions are not just offering you a playful way to broaden your skills, or earn another badge or certificate, but to show you how to actually enjoy the journey of every step, instead of losing the present for some future you may or may not attain.
Becoming a Praxer.
When you spend time praxing, over time, you’ll learn how to enjoy the pleasures of discovering something new again, of having fun sucking at things in the beginning instead of worrying what others will think, to take real appreciation in other people’s appreciation of you, and vice versa. A game is playing by someone else’s rules. Having fun is about taking control of the situation and playing how YOU want to play. Dr. Spock said that we love “play, not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard.” It’s fun not because the world goes your way but because you’re creating your own world with challenges you’d like to take on, not challenges you can easily win. That’s when you become a Praxer, that’s when you’re someone who finds a way to bring any challenge into their own world and make it one they’ll have a fun time taking on. Then every time is play time!