Are we as a society becoming far too structured and too rigid? Too structured in our work and our activities….but also too structured in our thinking. Maybe we all need to free ourselves from the rigid limitations that society continues to place on us.
If You’re Too Structured, You’re Too Limited
Recently I watched a documentary called “In Search of Greatness”. It dealt with some of the greatest athletes in sports history – Jerry Rice, Wayne Gretzky, Pele, etc. But what intrigued me was the sports stars they were focusing on were not the biggest, the strongest, the fastest…These all-time greats had something else besides the measurable statistics. One of the main points of the documentary is why aren’t teams looking for the intangible qualities that made these athletes great, instead of just looking for who is the strongest, the fastest, etc.
In this documentary, Wayne Gretzky’s father tells the story of a better team that Wayne used to play against when he was around 12 years old. No matter what, Wayne’s team always lost to this one team. Gretzky’s father told Wayne that none of these kids would ever make the pros. They were not going to improve; they were limiting themselves. They were too structured, too overcoached to do exactly what an experience professional would do. But that’s not the way kids learn. Kids need more unstructured play. So they can make mistakes and learn the game.
On average, children today have less unstructured play time than the average high security prison. In prison, the inmates have an hour a day to just go outside and do what they want. Are kids today just going out and playing? Are they learning on their own? Or are they just doing what they are old and coached to do?
What About Thinking And Your Mind?
This documentary was focused on sports. But what about your mind and your thinking? Are you spending time on your own to just think freely? Or are you spending your time thinking the way society wants you to think? Are you learning to use your mind on your own?
The one true freedom you have is free thought – to think for yourself. Society wants you to think about certain things in the way they want you to think. Find some time and some energy to think for yourself. Whatever that may be. No matter how silly or ridiculous or different….you may surprise yourself at your ability to think and what you are capable of.