Play Manifesto

Please note: this is a reblog from 2011 I thought you might enjoy again.

Close your eyes and imagine a world without play. It’s pretty bleak, downright glum. Our brains are hardwired for play. Without play we are less productive, less creative. We don’t work as well; we don’t learn as well. These are the precepts outlined in Steve Keil’s video, Play Manifesto.

Steve Keil is an entrepreneur from Bulgaria who is fed up with the seriousness in his country that had caused it to be ranked in last place in every conceivable comparison in Europe. Can you imagine? He tries to get through to the people of his country the importance of changing their backward thinking. If he can, his world can change for the better.

Keil is concerned about his country but his message transcends all political borders. Every country, every business, every family can benefit from acting on his beliefs that are based in scientific fact.


Evolution is excellent at deselecting those traits that are not useful, and selecting for preservation those which are useful and necessary. It is a fact that we and the animal kingdom need play in order to properly develop.

Keil points out that among animals, we know that rats play, but we may not know that play causes their brains to grow larger. We know that bears play, but maybe we didn’t know that it isn’t just the ability to hunt and the access to sufficient food that provides them a long life span. Play helps them survive longer.


He goes on to explain how a less restrictive, less controlled atmosphere where employees can work without fear of being berated or fired, and where ‘play’ is incorporated, fosters high levels of creativity and productivity that benefit the company, as well as the people.

Simply put, play improves work. Play creates openness to change. Play increases the ability to learn. In the workplace, play provides purpose and mastery.

Please watch the dynamic Steve Keil speak to hundreds about the concept of the goodness of play. The video runs about 18 minutes. If you don’t have time now, bookmark this page and, please, come back when you do have the few minutes to watch. You won’t be sorry. Keil is on a mission to change the way of life in his country and you’ll feel his passion and want to pass on his message in your world.


He credits the US, in that we play more than the people in his country. Many of us do play regularly and, I think we’ve seen the benefits of that way of life. But there is always room for improvement, there is always something to learn and a reminder is usually beneficial.

His message resonates so strongly with me, that I have taken on many of his phrases in speaking with others and in writing this post. I believe him.


Please enjoy Steve Keil’s Play Manifesto. Challenge yourself to find more ways to incorporate play into your life. Who wouldn’t want to increase his productivity, creativity and happiness?

Tell me…Do you play and what kind of play do you enjoy? Is any form of play allowed in your workplace? What benefits have you experienced from playing?



  1. Marcia Richards  November 19, 2012

    Marcia Richards recently posted..Play ManifestoMy Profile

  2. Diana Douglas  November 14, 2012

    Sometimes I feel guilty when I take the time to do something totally unrelated to writing. This is a great reminder on how important ‘having fun’ is to our mental and physical health. BTW, I didn’t know that rats played. It sheds a whole new light on the critters.
    Diana Douglas recently posted..Self-Publishing on Amazon #4 Judging a Book By Its CoverMy Profile

    • Marcia Richards  November 14, 2012

      I’m the same way but no more! I’ve begun blocking my time. It’s a Steven Pressfield recommendation that I learned about from Joanna Penn. So while I’m creating blocks for writing and writing business, I can also block out time for some sort of play–even if that’s just having a conversation with one of my kids or watching a little TV with Hubs. It really is important to give up the guilt–that’ll just sit in our bellies making us sick in the long run.

      I used to work with a girl who had a pet rat. She was always coming into work with cute stories of its antics. So, yeah, knowing they play makes them just a little less icky. 🙂
      Marcia Richards recently posted..Play ManifestoMy Profile


Add a Comment

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: