The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Winning or playing

It seems like a detail, but it is an important one.

Someone who participates in an activity to win is willing to fail. As a result, there is something that is at stake. The engagement in the activity becomes strategic and outcome-oriented.

Someone who takes up an activity to play needs partners who are willing to play by the rule of playing. Those partnering to play are focused on engaging in the process. And usually, there is nothing relevant that is at stake.

When something is at stake, it transforms the context in such a way that concentration will often be eased. There is attention in the process. In contrast to this, when nothing is at stake, there is no automatic reason to heighten attention. Consequently, concentration needs to be found or attended to without the assistance of external forces.

Both approaches are needed to learn.

However, one’s attachment to the outcome impacts the ability to be present in the moment and thus the ability to pay attention to the process. When the chosen option is there to either enforce winning or avoid losing, attention shifts to the outcome and into the future. The ability to be present is lost. That is the ability to impact the outcome.



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