Everyone knows the saying; 'all work and no play makes John a dull boy', but is it possible to make them merge and play while you work? One day, in the midst of my work, I wondered why I was not enjoying it anymore. Why did the working hours appear so long, while the non- working hours so short? I always wanted to do what I was doing. But why did this work of seeing and treating patients appear dull and monotonous over a period of time? The simple solution to this universal problem was revealed to me after two visits to a particular multiplex theatre. We had once gone for a movie there and I don't remember enjoying the drive at all. The mind was too preoccupied with reaching on time, whether we would get the tickets or the parking space, etc! The second visit was when we went out for a post-dinner drive and ended up at the same multiplex because it was a nice and long drive from my home. Now did I enjoy the drive? Yes I did, because the drive this time was not the means of getting somewhere, but an end in itself. So possibly, I was not enjoying my work because it was a means of getting something else and not an end in itself.
Now let us consider an activity, which we actually consider as play. Take the example of a boy who loves to play cricket. It is his passion. He goes to school to play cricket, comes back from school to play cricket and sometimes, bunks school to play cricket. Everything else seems to be work to him and playing cricket is, well… just play! Not only does he play for his school, but goes on to play for the country. The 'little master-blaster' that he is known as, bats with abandon. His free flowing cricketing shots not only get him a lot of money and name, but also the captaincy of the team. Thus begins the downfall. His mind is no longer on playing cricket, but what it is getting him. It ceases to be 'just play', but becomes work and he no longer enjoys it. He has a point to prove, and the harder he tries, the harder he falls and it takes him a long time to even come close to his initial level of playing and enjoying the game. He has to lose the captaincy, his mental peace and physical health, before coming around.
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