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Andrew Petty is Dying

Release Date: 07/12/2021

End-of-Life Planning: Why You Should Do It Now, and How, with Michelle Mathai show art End-of-Life Planning: Why You Should Do It Now, and How, with Michelle Mathai

Andrew Petty is Dying

Do you have a plan for when you die? Do you have a plan for when your loved ones die?  In 2001, Michelle Mathai was just two years into her first foreign service post as vice consul in Auckland, NZ. She and her parents were on a farewell trip around the island in anticipation of Michelle's imminent departure for a new post in El Salvador. In the blink of an eye, the trip turned tragic when their car, with her dad at the wheel and her mom in the back seat, careened off the road and into the mercilessly icy current of a glacial river. As water rushed in, Michelle was able to kick out the...

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Suffering, Surrender, and the Leap of Faith: How to Find Freedom on the Other Side of Letting Go, with Carrie Chown show art Suffering, Surrender, and the Leap of Faith: How to Find Freedom on the Other Side of Letting Go, with Carrie Chown

Andrew Petty is Dying

What do you need to let go of? In her teens, alcohol became Carrie Chown's refuge from emotional pain. By her early college years, she was firmly in the grips of alcoholism. Carrie worked hard to keep everything looking shiny on the outside, but inside she wanted to die. Then, she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension as a college junior and was told she had two years to live. Ironically, it felt like an answer to her prayer to die.  In June of 1999, Carrie summoned the will and the courage to get sober so she could begin an IV treatment the following month. Remarkably, she survived...

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What Do You Do?: A Tool for Understanding Yourself Better and Finding Your Unique Path in Life show art What Do You Do?: A Tool for Understanding Yourself Better and Finding Your Unique Path in Life

Andrew Petty is Dying

“What do you do?” We’re all familiar with that question. It comes up naturally when we meet someone for the first time in a social setting. Its usual purpose is to learn what someone does for a living to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.  In this episode, however, we’ll REpurpose this old question in a new way to help you know yourself better and discern even more clearly the paths in life for which you’re uniquely made. It will become a new tool in your ongoing quest to live YOUR life with guts, gusto, and abandon.    My Answer to “What do you...

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Have Time, or Time Will Have You: Escape Regret and Create a Life You’re Proud Of show art Have Time, or Time Will Have You: Escape Regret and Create a Life You’re Proud Of

Andrew Petty is Dying

This episode is a wake-up call, a call to get back in the driver’s seat of your life, a call to become the boss of your most precious nonrenewable resource: Time.  Because if you don’t have time, Time will ultimately have you. And you won’t like the results.    Guilty as Charged How many times have we heard someone say, “I don’t have time,” or “If only I had more time,” or said something like that ourselves? I imagine we’ve all done it. I sure have.  If we’re honest, sometimes we trot out statements like these like badges of honor in an attempt to show...

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Rites of Passage: How Reviving Neglected Rituals Can Set You Free, with Amy Musson show art Rites of Passage: How Reviving Neglected Rituals Can Set You Free, with Amy Musson

Andrew Petty is Dying

What place do rites of passage have in your life?  In this episode, my special guest is MY coach Amy Musson, and we explore why rites of passage matter and the surprisingly harmful consequences of neglecting them. It turns out that there's more at stake than you might have thought--if you've ever given rites of passage much thought at all.  If you haven't given them much thought, then you're not alone. I think most of us in the materially affluent Western world today have largely neglected meaningful rites of passage. Emphasis on "materially affluent," by the way, because, as Amy and...

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The Making of The Alpinist's Marc-André Leclerc: A Transformational Conversation with Marc-André's Mom, Michelle Kuipers show art The Making of The Alpinist's Marc-André Leclerc: A Transformational Conversation with Marc-André's Mom, Michelle Kuipers

Andrew Petty is Dying

"If I've learned anything in the last three years, it's that life and death are so much bigger than us. You embraced life and love with all your amazing energy, which still reverberates. You are still with us on walks in the forest, on windy ridges, in a sunlit moment after the rain, in the love, laughter, and music of your friends and family. You are there in dreams that seem more real than waking moments. Everyday I think of you on your timeless flight. I love you with all my heart, and miss you more than words can say." Michelle Kuipers wrote this heartrending caption for an Instagram post...

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How To Make the Most of Today: A Simple Framework show art How To Make the Most of Today: A Simple Framework

Andrew Petty is Dying

How do we make the most of today? This episode is short and sweet, banged out somewhat hastily during the current season of curveballs I mentioned in the previous episode–but banged out with love and goodwill toward you, my fellow traveler along life’s winding path, you who are waking up to the reality of your Mortality and courageously embracing it to live with guts, gusto, and abandon.  So today I’m gonna give you what I’ve got and pray that it reaches the hearts of those who need it most. And what I’ve got is a simple framework for making the most of today–the only day...

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What to Do When Life Throws You a Curveball: Notes from the Field show art What to Do When Life Throws You a Curveball: Notes from the Field

Andrew Petty is Dying

What do we do when life throws us a curveball?  On this podcast, we’re equipping ourselves with the mindset and the means to live with guts, gusto, and abandon. Growing in our ability to respond to life’s inevitable curveballs requires both evolving our mindset and upgrading our means. And as we get better at responding to life’s curveballs, we increase our capacity to live with even more guts, gusto, and abandon.  In this episode, I’ll draw from my own recent experience to share with you what I’m learning in real-time about what to do when life throws us a curveball. ...

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Ignore at Your Own Risk: How Your Relationship with Death Affects Your Quality of Life, with Dr. Frederic Tate show art Ignore at Your Own Risk: How Your Relationship with Death Affects Your Quality of Life, with Dr. Frederic Tate

Andrew Petty is Dying

What is your relationship with Death?  It may seem like an odd question, but your answer to it has everything to do with your quality of life. My guest on this episode shares actionable insight into this relationship so that we can optimize our quality of life.    Introducing Dr. Frederic Tate Dr. Frederic Tate is a fascinating human with a perspective on Life and Death forged in the crucible of end-of-life care. A trusted friend connected us, so I knew Frederic was someone I should get to know. And I took an immediate shine to him from afar when I learned that he grew up in the...

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What Do You Want?: A Path to Purpose and Fulfillment, with Chris Slota show art What Do You Want?: A Path to Purpose and Fulfillment, with Chris Slota

Andrew Petty is Dying

What do you want?  It's a simple enough question at face value, but it can be far from easy to answer. Many of us have never truly tried to answer it. Many of us have never been aware that it was important to do so. And many of us are a lot better at knowing what we DON'T want.  Failing to answer this question can lead to surprisingly harmful consequences--but answering it can put us on a path to unprecedented purpose and fulfillment.  Don't just take my word for it, though. In this episode, my guest, Chris Slota, gives us unfiltered access to the remarkable personal...

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More Episodes

“I didn’t when I coulda, and now I can’t when I wanna.” An elderly man once spoke those words to a client of mine. The man was obviously saying a lot in that one statement as he reflected back on his life. But at least one of the things he was acknowledging is that he didn’t enjoy himself as much as he could have when he was still able to do the things he enjoyed. What a bitter realization! 

How often do you play? You know--do something just for fun. Do something that doesn’t have anything to do with work. 

In this episode, I show you how to set yourself free to play more so that unlike the old man, you can look back and say, “I’m so glad I did when I coulda, because now I can’t when I wanna!”

 

Kids 1 - 0 Adults

Kids are really good at playing. It’s their default setting, you might say, and a top priority on any given day. We adults? Not so much. We’re very often all work and no play. We may want to play more or even know that it would be good to do, but when push comes to shove, a lot of us bang out a few more emails or do yet another project around the house. 

I’m not arguing that, like kids, play should be our TOP priority as adults. I don’t think that’s true at all. You might know a few adults for whom play seems to be a top priority at the expense of the other things in life that matter, too. 

But I am arguing in favor of just a bit more play in the midst of all of our adulting. Some of you reading this right now have been wrestling with this very thing. 

 

My Own Experience

In fact, I’VE been wrestling with this very thing, so this topic is close to my heart. My wife and I have been in an intense chapter of life renovation for the past 9 or so years. It’s required a lot of blood, sweat, tears, perseverance, and resilience. Thankfully, we’re enjoying the fruits of our labors today more than ever before. We’re actually living the dream we first began to dream 9 years ago. But play has often fallen way down on the list of priorities in the name of pursuing our dreams. 

In Ep. 017, Busting the "Balance" Myth: A Better Way, I proposed that growing in our ability to manage life’s many tensions is better than trying to achieve and sustain the ever-elusive, ever-fragile “balance.” In my case, for the past 9 years, I’ve allowed the tension between work and fun to favor work more often than fun. More recently, though, I’ve realized that it’s time for the tension to favor play a bit more, too. So, I’m taking steps to let play take up a lot more space on my calendar, so to speak--to let an attitude of playfulness have more air-time.

For example, this past weekend, we spent Saturday and Sunday afternoons with our boys and some of their cousins at a cool little spot on the river that runs through town--tubing, hunting for crawdads, building dams, and just goofing off. We all had a blast, and we made some memories. I want more of that! You can hold me to it. 

 

What Qualifies as Play? 

Play doesn’t have to be river outings, of course. Play is simply whatever is fun for you, whatever gives you energy back...and ISN’T part of the work of life. It’s not as if play is unproductive, though. I actually think it’s productive in some of the most important ways, and I touch on that in Ep. 032, Reimagining Productivity: A Path to Greater Freedom and Fulfillment

 

How to Play More

So if you’re realizing that you’d like more play in your life, here are three essential ingredients in the recipe for more play:

First, Give Yourself Permission to Play. This one is a big deal. Many of us lack internal self-permission as adults. Repeat after me: I can do what I want, when I want, where I want, how I want. One more time: I can do what I want, when I want, where I want, how I want. Do you really believe that? Because it’s really true. That’s the great permission of adulthood. So, if you really want to play more, first give yourself permission to do so. You CAN play more simply because you WANT to play more. Period. 

Second, Summon the Courage to Play: This might sound strange at first. But hear me out. When we play, we briefly put down the many concerns and nagging uncertainties of life as a human on planet earth. And we focus our attention on the present moment and the potential for fun that it contains. I think that many of us fail to play as often as we could because we aren’t willing to put down the concerns and uncertainties of life even for a moment. Because that could be the moment when the thing we most fear happens! Or what if I don’t return that client’s call right away? I could lose their business! So, instead of putting work down, even just briefly, we stay connected all the time in an attempt to stave off undesirable future outcomes. And all the while, we miss out on fun that could be ours right here, right now. 

If you really want to play more, summon the courage to play. Life IS fraught with peril and uncertainty. Play anyway! 

And third, Embrace Your Mortality as Motivation: Let the inevitability of your Mortality compel you. When you breathe your last, will you be more glad that you fired off that last email or that you rough-housed with your kids? Will you be more glad that you booked that extra work trip or had a new adventure with your son? Australian Nurse Bronnie Ware wrote a book called The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, in which she chronicled the regrets of the dying that she cared for as a palliative care nurse. #2 on the list of top regrets was, “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.” 

Think about that. REALLY think about that. Because it’s too late once the Grim Reaper comes a’calling. 

It’s up to you. 

 

Simple, But Not Easy!

Though on the one hand, this approach to play is simple, it’s far from easy. There’s a time for everything. A time to work and a time to play. It’s not always obvious which is the better choice in a given situation. And even when we feel persuaded that play is a good choice, actually making that choice is another thing entirely. 

So give yourself grace as you strengthen your neglected “play” muscles. In time, with practice, they will provide better counterbalance to your well-developed “work” muscles and allow you to manage the tension between work and play even more effectively. 

Let’s recap. To set yourself free to play more, first give yourself permission to play. Then, summon the courage to play. And finally, embrace your Mortality as motivation. 

Remember, you are going to die. But you’re not dead yet. So get after it, and don’t forget to play!

 

I Can Help

Sometimes, we need help with one of more of those three ingredients in the recipe for more play. We lack objectivity about ourselves, and the support of a trusted partner can create the insight we need to get unstuck. 

I can be that partner for you. 

Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, visit my website, or email me. 

 

Three More APiD Episodes to Help You Play More

These three episodes of Andrew Petty is Dying will help you in your ongoing quest to play more: 

I’m so glad you tuned in today. Don’t forget to follow this show, and I’ll see you next time on Andrew Petty is Dying.

 

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