3 Keys to Attaining the Playground Heaven Feeling
Fortitude is at the base because it is the key to enabling your ability to regain and maintain your freedom, which in turn provides the opportunity to have more fun. The “halo A” in the middle represents the playground. It is not a place, but a mindset and a feeling. You can take it with you wherever you go. How nice. The halo reminds me of the best experiences and feelings from my past, my desire to create a little heaven on earth, and my belief that we can make it happen. Actually, the “A” is not an A, it is an arrow to heaven.
Brrring – The recess bell rang, kids ran out screaming for joy, it made me smile. If you are ever feeling down, go to an elementary school playground and witness the happiness firsthand. You can’t be unhappy in their happiness.
That’s what happened to me by accident one day while walking our dogs. By the end of the walk, I was convinced that we should all be able to experience the happiness we felt on the playground more frequently than we do.
That playground is like heaven to those kids. Looking back, it was for me, too. I wish I could feel like a kid again. Playground Heaven: Feel Like a Kid Again. That would be a nice book title. A year and a half later it became a reality. Now I hope it will become a movement of playground heaven living.
The purpose of the book and this site is to help you recall the lessons you learned during your playground days and to help you use them in your daily living. The goal will be to experience that Playground Heaven feeling far more frequently than you currently are, maybe even at will.
I call that feeling we can achieve The Halo High. Halo represents heaven and High refers to a wonderful feeling. It is a feeling beyond happy.
There are three keys to attaining the Playground Heaven feeling and thereby achieving the Halo High. Conveniently, they all start with the same letter, making them easy to remember: Freedom, Fun, and Fortitude.
When that recess bell rang, why did we run out screaming? We had the freedom to do what we wanted, and we wanted to have fun. Sometimes our fun resulted in bumps and bruises, cuts and scrapes. Big deal—patch me up and get me back in the game, because we had fortitude.
Freedom and fun were all we wanted in our childhood, and they are what we want in retirement. Unfortunately, we seem to have far less of both during our working years. But good news, with a little fortitude we can reclaim them whenever we are ready. We all have the power within us to bring them back into our lives right now.
Find your game – We were happy on the playground because we were free. To be happy, we need to be truly free to be who we are naturally. In order to be free to be ourselves, we have to do what we are best suited to do to make the world a better place. We do this by using our natural talents and interests to serve others in some meaningful way. The number one key to achieving the Halo High is figuring out what you are best suited to do and pursuing it to the absolute best of your ability. Let’s refer to that pursuit as finding Your Game.
Your game is your calling—the one you were born to play. It is the game that is stirring within you, calling to you, somehow implanted in your very being. It is your responsibility to find it and play it to make the world a better place. Interestingly, the closer you come to finding it, the happier you are, and vice versa. It’s like a game of hot and cold. The hotter you get to finding your game, the more fired up you are about life. Your game allows you to be your true self—the person you were meant to be. You are at ease and at peace when you are allowed to be you.
Then once you know Your Game, go outside and play it. “Put me in, coach.” Get off the sidelines, get in the game, go outside and play. Once you have identified your game, you need to play it. Successful gameplay requires that we know the object of the game, understand the rules, develop our skills through practice, and have a winning strategy. Whatever you choose as your game in life, the object is the same; to become your best and to provide value to others. The rules are to be good and play nice. The skills required will be specific to your game, and the majority of your day should be devoted to practice as will be examined in detail later. Finally, your winning strategy is to deliver excellence to those you serve.
A free course designed to help you find Your Game is in development. Sign up below to be on Playground Heaven update list to be the first to be informed about how to access the course.
The bell has rung, we’ve made it to the playground, we have our freedom. Now what? Time for some f-u-n. Fun is playing games. Why are games fun? Duh, because they are games. Come on, let’s go.
Remember how we used to turn all of our playtime activities into games? It wasn’t good enough to just spin the merry-go-round. We had to see how fast we could spin it and how long we could stay on it. Everything was a challenge. We didn’t just swing, we had to see how high we could go and how far we could jump off. We wanted to go faster, higher, and farther than the other kids.
Fun and games go together. What is it about games that make them so much fun? Good question. Let’s see, there are at least three critical components in every fun game. First, there is an objective, something challenging you are striving to achieve. Second, there are rules about how to play the game that add to the challenge. And third, there is a scoring system to keep track of how you are doing in meeting the challenge.
So why not put some fun back into our everyday lives by turning everything we do into a game? We did it as kids, why can’t we now? The games I liked the best were the ones we made up on the fly. We were sitting around bored, and someone said, “I’ll bet I can hit that telephone pole with this rock.” We’d all take turns trying. The first one to hit it won. We played these kinds of games all day long. They usually involved doing something better or faster than someone else, maybe even an imaginary someone if you were by yourself.
These informal games were fun because they could happen anytime, anywhere. But we seem to play them less as we grow up. Instead, we opt to play the more formal games with elaborate rules and the need for coaches, referees, and fancy uniforms. They are still fun to play, but the spontaneity and creativity of our childhood have eroded. I want that back, why can’t we turn everything into a game even as adults? We still want to have fun. And we can!
A free course designed to help you turn all the important aspects of your life into fun and games is in development. Sign up below to be on Playground Heaven update list to be the first to be informed about how to access the course.
Our first test in fortitude as kids is facing a defeating the playground bully. A bully is a person who is habitually cruel, insulting, threatening, harassing, coercive, and intimidating to others who are vulnerable in some way. A group of bullies is a mob. The act of bullying is when a bully or mob intentionally and repeatedly inflict physical or emotional hurt or harm on another person or group of people who feel helpless to do anything about it.
The key thing to remember about bullies is they want it their way. Their way is the only way. If your way is different from theirs, you could become a target. Your way is freedom and fun—doing what you were meant to do to the best of your ability to serve others, and to live and promote virtuous behavior. You would think that someone with this aim in life would never be the target of a bully. Why pick on people trying to do good and make the world a better place?
Unfortunately, that is exactly what makes you an excellent candidate to be bullied. You are making them look bad. Truly good people are threatening to bullies. Deep down they know they should be more like you. They don’t like knowing that about themselves, so they don’t like you. They operate from a base of pride, envy, and greed. They want the good life of this world. They are win at all cost types. They think they know better and are better than you. They really do.
Here’s the point. Bullies are easy to spot and defeat in childhood. Their adult versions are much sneakier. They are masters of deception, making them difficult to identify and overcome. Be aware that they do exist. I like to think they are rare, but those that do exist are often in positions of power and influence. They can cause you a whole lot of grief if you don’t know who they are.
Here are some things to think about in your attempt to identify your bullies. Anyone and anything that gets you off track from playing your game and behaving with virtue is a bully. They prevent you from doing what is in your best interests and the best interests of those you serve. They prevent you from experiencing the Halo High. Whenever your freedom is threatened, there is a bully nearby. Whenever you are not having fun, there is a bully on the loose. Bullies want to control you. They want you to play their game. You can have your freedom and fun as long as you play their game and let them win.
One you have identified your bullies it’s time to defeat them. The keys to this are to:
- Never underestimate your bully.
- Be nice.
- Take it outside.
- Be courageous.
Have courage. You have been courageous about something at least once in your life. What was it? How did you do it? Remember that time when you are faced with a circumstance requiring courage and make it happen again. You can defeat you bullies every time with a little courage and the right approach.
A free course designed to help defeat your bullies is in development. Sign up below to be on Playground Heaven update list to be the first to be informed about how to access the course.