The book ‘Who moved my Cheese’ – is a cautionary tale about how failure to adapt to our everchanging environment can threaten your survival.
I read this book about 20 years ago. It was a time when we needed to access more information and move faster to get ahead of the game. But now old-fashioned trends are making a comeback. Our addiction to screens, overachievement and acquiring stuff is disrupting our attention span. The best way of tapping in might just be to tap out.
When we play, our brains exercise flexibility. The process sparks spontaneity and creativity, making us present, and enabling us to maintain and renew neural connections that embody our ability to adapt.
The German term Spielraum translates literally to playroom. But actually means, room to play. It is where we are relieved of an obsession with long-term goals and our anxieties about our past.
Growing up with two ambitious and hardworking parents, my grandmother was my beacon. When you were with her, she was completely and utterly with you. She created spielraum, a gentle space of exploration and fun without distraction or agenda. I see how challenging it is as a parent today to allow for sufficient spielraum. We feel conflicted when we say no to the excessive extra murals and ‘structured fun’ constantly being dangled in front of our children’s noses. And their calendars have become alarmingly full.
But our fear of missing out is distracting our children from their most important task of developing a rich inner world. Because fantasies and daydreams are the most constructive things our children can do.