Value the Journey
You Play when you value means over ends — when the process is more motivating than the result.
The utilization of Experience, Observe, Wonder, Fuse, and Imagine — is tightly coupled with your ability to slow down, take detours, and even get lost from time to time. To make the most of these functions, you must adopt a mindset that enjoys the process — the path — and values it more than it values the ends.
When the result is your ultimate goal, you “play” safe and take the shortest path known to work. You try to avoid surprises. You move fast and straight ahead. Your field of vision narrows, and with it, the chance of coming up (let alone act upon) creative ideas is significantly reduced. Creativity is often messy, and when you aim solely for the ultimate goal, the last thing you need is a mess.
When you Value the Journey, you are motivated to explore and try unproven or riskier operation methods. When you Play, you experiment, learn, make mistakes, take unplanned detours, come across surprises, and use them as opportunities. You take risks because you know you can benefit from them even if you fail. Your field of view opens up, and you have the bandwidth to explore it, make unexpected Fusions, and Imagine. And all this can happen regardless of how serious your goal or project is.
To take creative steps in uncharted playgrounds, you must enjoy the journey at least as you desire to get to the destination.
When defining a vision or a set of goals, define the value you will have in the journey, regardless of the outcome. Give it at least the same level of importance as the goals.
Avoid aiming for and taking the shortest and safest path. Spice-up the journey with detours, riskier roads, unproven methods, and opportunities to be surprised.
Regularly balance progressing toward the predefined goals and increasing the value of the journey.
Celebrate the journey even when you come across pitfalls, failures, and difficulties. Learn from it and value the Experience.
Actively look for opportunities throughout the journey, even if they are not aligned with the original vision you had.
Set a goal to learn something new every week while working on your project. Don’t just save time for such an activity, but make sure it is an inherent part of your work on the project. Don’t treat it as a side activity. Apart from the obvious value, such a goal can lead to surprising discoveries and creative insights in the context of your destination.
When you fail, don’t settle with learning how to avoid similar failures in the future. Learn something new (and positive) from the failure or from the way that led you there. An alleged failure in one context can have value in another context.
Attribution and Inspiration
- Inspired by the definition of Play by Peter Gray