Do you know the importance of play?

Ravens go sledding, just like us…

They’ve been observed sliding down a snowy hill on their backs, then flying back to the top of the hill and doing it all over again… just for the fun of it!

Bison go ice skating, just like us…

They‘re known to repeatedly run onto a frozen lake, slide around on all fours and gleefully shout or yelp into the air…just for the fun of it.

Hippos do back-flips in the water, just like us…

It’s common for a hippo to go around and around, back-flipping underwater… purely for their own entertainment and joy…just for the fun of it.

I’m laughing just imagining these sights!

I’m sure you never thought you would learn anything about happiness from a raven, bison, or hippo, but I think you should take note.

These animals innately know the importance of play. It’s natural to them, and it is for us as humans, too. However, because of our inclinations as adults, we often disregard our instinct to play… or put it on the backburner because we’re too wrapped up in our work, our family, our finances, etc.

In fact, studies have shown that species with larger, more developed brains (proportional to body size) play much more than species with smaller brains. Play allows the brain to grow and expand… there is just so much more potential for creativity and imagination when you add play into your routine.

So maybe you should try sledding or ice skating this week (but maybe don’t attempt a back-flip unless you are a gymnast!). Just find something you really enjoy and do it. Not because you’re going to get anything tangible out of it, but because it will make you a happier and healthier person in the long run.

For me, play is travel and photography.

I see photos like these and they make me smile…

I imagine taking them and they make me laugh.

The fact that you can turn fun times and fun photos like these into an income is icing on the cake.

You challenge is simply changing the way you think about it.

Don’t try to take pictures of flowers on the table if beautiful flower pictures don’t brighten your day.  Put a hat on your dog instead.  Or head outside.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. said: “Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.”

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