Not Letting “Others” tell you how to Play


Next to writing, watching TV would be the hobby I would love to turn into a career.  How is that possible?  I don’t know but it sure would be nice.  So it would be safe to say that I watch a lot of TV.  One of my favorite wind-down to bed show is Friends.  And of course I jumped on the Friends bandwagon late.  Three years after the final episode, late but I do enjoy the show now.  So it, like many of my other favorite things, has given me inspiration in the strangest ways.

Recently, after attending the Quitter Conference, I watched the episode “The One with the Dollhouse“.  In this episode, Monica inherits a dollhouse.  Phoebe comes over to play with her and brings with her a giant dog, a dinosaur and a ghost.  With each Item, Monica has objections that make sense.  The dog is too big, there were no such things as dinosaurs during this time, and ghosts just don’t exist.  Well, Phoebe has a rebuttal to each of these.  The house was built on a nuclear waste site that’s why the dog is so big and it also was built on an Indian burial ground and that’s why there are ghosts.  And the barking dinosaurs was just fun.  Monica still wouldn’t let Phoebe play in “the house with no imagination”.  So instead of playing Monica’s way, Phoebe built her own dollhouse.  A house that included a slide, aromatherapy room, bubbles and a licorice room.  So Phoebe’s house was way more fun to play with than Monica’s.

So what can you possible get out of this episode? (you might ask me this) A lot!  Thoughts of being a kid started forming in my head.  I remembered playing games, and getting mad when others wouldn’t let me play my way.  Arguments would ensue when dolls weren’t handled the way they should or if a bike was ridden to far or a dress-up session went a way that the “my house, my rules-kid” didn’t want it to go.  And even now as adults we find ourselves conforming to the way of the world.  We aren’t imaginative in our jobs, we squash our innovative ideas because others might laugh…We stop dreaming. I know this because I have seen it too often in others, I have seen it too often in myself.

Who told you that you had to play that way?  Who told you that you can’t bring the toys you want?  Who told you that a dinosaur didn’t belong in a Victorian house?

Somewhere along the road we stopped playing our own games.  We stopped making up our own rules and we let somebody else tell us how to play.  Well from one simple episode I learn a huge lesson:

Build your own house

You don’t like a new system at work?  Come up with a better one!  You don’t like the education you kids are receiving?  Be proactive, look for other schools or talk to your child’s teacher, involve other parents.  You are tired of not living your dream?  Start working on it, take small steps to working in your dream job.

We only have one life to live, so don’t let someone else tell you how to live yours.

Are you playing your own games?  Or are you letting someone else tell you how to play?  Do you get inspiration from the strangest places?