Play is something that most of us associate with childhood. As adults, we might play with children, but most people gave up playing when they hit puberty. But not today’s guest Jeff Harry, The Play Coach.

Do you give yourself permission to play?

It’s considered OK to play sports, cards or board games, but there are adult responsibilities, so it is mostly believed that there is no time for ‘child’s play’ in the adult world. There is a little light as the gaming industry has tapped into our desire to play and made it acceptable for adults to play online games. However, all of this play is still confined to our leisure time; the difference with children is that playing is their day job.   

But what if we have got it wrong. Should play be part of our day job as adults?

Jeff Harry shows individuals and companies how to tap into their true selves, to feel their happiest and most fulfilled — all by playing. When he saw the movie “Big” where Tom hanks got to play in a toy shop, thinking that was a job he wanted, hestarted writing to toy companies. In his words…

“I was spamming before spam was even a thing.”

Letters from a 9-year-old get treated as kind of nice but politely rejected. Not that it stopped him, he kept writing, and by the time he was 15, he got some advice to study mechanical engineering.

So, achieving the degree and got the job he had always wanted in toy company. However, it was not what he expected or wanted, because as he discovered, there was no play!

Time to Move On

There he was 25 and working in a cubicle, looking at a screen and writing reports about play. Then 9/11 happened and leaving New York seemed like a good option, so he quit. 

Moving to the San Francisco bay area, he got the perfect job building stuff with Lego, and over the next 12 years he turned it into the largest Lego inspired stem organisation with over 400 people doing creative stuff. 

Our conversation is the story of how Jeff took play into the business world. He has since worked with Google, Microsoft, Southwest Airlines, Adobe, the NFL, Amazon, and Facebook, helping their staff to infuse more play into the day-to-day.

Jeff is an established international speaker.  He has been selected by BambooHR & Engagedly as one of the Top 100 HR Influencers of 2020, for his work in organisational development. 

“While we spend most of our time pretending to be important, serious grown-ups,
it’s when we let go of that facade and just play, that the real magic happens.”

It is a wonderful conversation; Jeff encourages us to embrace our nerdy genius, as it gives us the power to make a difference and change lives. He believes that we already have many of the answers we seek, and by simply unleashing our inner child, we can find our purpose and, in turn, help to create a better world.

I hope you enjoy this playful conversation with Play Coach, Jeff Harry.

Jeff Harry’s Links:

Thoughts on Christmas

That is it for this week. For those who celebrate it I hope you have a good Christmas with some opportunities to play.

Once the rushing around is over and the holidays begin, Christmas is often a great time for relaxation and reflection. Especially for those of us in the northern regions. It is cold, dark and a good time to snuggle up (preferably by a glowing fire).

I use this time to find inner wisdom, much of that was explained on the advent journey in a previous podcast. referencing our Spirit-duality Event.

If you are looking for some answers some of the links below might be a good place to start: 

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