Dare to Enjoy: Build These 4 Practical Skills While Having Fun!

What are you doing for self-help during this crazy time? Maybe it’s eating healthier, finding regular sleep rhythms or getting outside more.

Brene Brown challenges us to “Dare greatly.” Elizabeth Gilbert entreats us to: “Be the weirdo who dares to enjoy.” But it doesn’t have to be weird or dangerous to have fun, and it builds valuable social-emotional and practical skills. You can play! The kind of play I am talking about is:


  • Not assigned/time bound/externally labeled or evaluated
  • Provides a failure-free/”choice” zone
  • Participation is not explicitly required

Lets you/your kids agree to or make at least some of the rules:

  • Can use existing sports, cards, games and ones you make up
  • Allows changes to explore new ways of playing
  • Reflects on and compares the old and new ways

Is its own reward:

  • Allows spontaneity, imagination, exploration and discovery, even within structure
  • Is experimental: Things that don’t work stimulate trying again (“Deliberate Practice”)
  • Leads to “Flow”
  • Builds “Growth Mindset” thinking

 It builds resources just by playing:

  • Encourages problem-solving skills/executive function skills/organization
  • Stimulates imagination and exploration of specific interests
  • Challenges (in a good way!) social-emotional skills: delaying gratification/cooperation/empathy
  • Champions positive survival: competition, resilience
  • Broadens and builds positive emotions: joy, interest, engagement, pride!

I talk with Senia Maymin, CEO of Silicon Valley Change Executive Coaching, about Play on her daily video podcast below. See more @mycoach.zone

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About the author

Sherri Fisher, MEd, MAPP, executive coach and learning specialist, uncovers client motivation and focus for perseverance. She has decades of successful experience working with students, parents, and professionals who face learning, attention, and executive function challenges at school, home, and work.

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