"Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game." — Michael Jordan
When I was nine years old my parents bought me my first saxophone, and before I even had my first lesson—before I even knew what I was doing—I remember sitting in my bedroom playing my heart out anyway. It was around this time that my grandmother sent me a card with a little quote written inside for encouragement. It simply said:
“I never practice; I only play.”
It’s been over a quarter century since that day yet even to this day take this sentiment to heart. Often, I might add, to the chagrin of the various music teachers I’ve had over the years.
Whether you’re a musician or have any other skill that you’ve had to work at, you’ve probably already discovered that the most tedious and difficult part is practice. But playing, on the other hand, is the fun part! Of course, in order to play well we must take time to practice our craft, but to everything there is a season, yet even still I know many people who spend they’re whole time practicing, planning, and preparing, but never actually get around to the playing!
A number of years ago I played with a Dave Matthews Cover Band. We spent months practicing together, but never before we ever got a chance to play we disbanded. The various members ended up getting other playing opportunities so they took it. We had spent our whole time practicing that we missed our chance to play.
On the flip side to this story, a few years after that group disbanded I joined another Dave Matthews Cover Band, and ALL we did was PLAY! In fact, the very first time I met the guys was at our first gig! We just played, and we hit it off so well that we kept playing every chance we could.
The Magic Word Play reminds us that to everything there is a season, so if lately you’ve found yourself practicing more than you’ve been playing, then set aside some time today to simply play.
As children whenever we experienced snow it was a reason to celebrate! As adults the same snow is viewed as a burden. So what changed? How can we re-experience such things in a more positive light?
Jonas Cain is an educator, facilitator, and coach, working to engage, empower, and encourage leaders and the people they serve to experience joy.