The phrase works just as well with other words in the place of ‘playing’: ‘being curious’; ‘being creative’; ‘exploring’; ‘learning’;…
But thinking about the importance of ‘play’ reminded me of something intriguing: young children always seem to enjoy the box their toys come in as much as they enjoy the toys themselves.
Perhaps it’s because everything is new to them, and so there is equal adventure and discovery in all things.
But whatever the reason, as we get older, we seem to lose this ability to find equal pleasure in all things – an ability we might refer to as ‘imagination’.
But it’s that ability to imagine – to find meaning and value in any and all things – that lies at the very heart of creativity.
While there may be no such thing as a new idea, there are an infinite number of ways to ‘re-imagine’ existing things in order to create new meaning and value.
And it’s that ability to see unexplored meaning and value in things that other people overlook that offers the greatest creative opportunity.
Perhaps it’s time to start thinking about the box itself, rather than just thinking ‘outside of the box’.
Thanks very much to the wonderful littlemiss for the quote.