Play, passion and purpose…

“We need to focus more on teaching the skill and will to learn and to make a difference and bring the three most powerful ingredients of intrinsic motivation into the classroom: play, passion and purpose.”  Tony Wagner

If you want to be happy in your life and career you need to be able to tap into these three vital motivational elements. This blog is called the child, animal poet and saint because it too emphasises the importance of play, passion and purpose.Play


Rediscover the child in you, and refresh your brain! I’m always amazed by the fearless and practical way young children approach learning. Their brains are like fresh sponges soaking up life’s lessons. As we grow older and achieve qualifications and status we often feel we have “arrived” and stop learning. The sponge begins to harden in repeated habits. Samuel Becket says in “Waiting for Godot” that “habit is the great deadener.” (L’habitude est la grande sourdine…)

Break the habit of not learning new things! Undertake a new project…

We retain so much more when learning is fun. Children build up their basic foundations of life through play…Why do we stop? Ed Cooke, a memory expert, has developed a company called Memrise.

 “The idea of Memrise is to make learning properly fun,”

He and his colleagues have developed all sorts of ways of stimulating the brain to massive learning feats via playful engagement with words and images. You can even learn languages in a short space of time…Click this link to find out how.


PassionAccording to Kierkegaard, the human self desires that which is beyond reason. People want more than a good argument. They will not just follow a head…but they might follow a heart. People respond to emotions, and passion is a great vehicle to convey such feeling. As well as educating the head we may also need to think about inspiring the heart. Kierkegaard continues:

 “All existence-issues are passionate, because existence, if one becomes conscious of it, involves passion. To think about them so as to leave out passion is not to think about them at all, is to forget the point that one indeed is oneself and existing person.”

I find that art (the poet), and nature (the animal – especially the running animal!) are gateways and mentors to our innate passion. What inspires your passion?


A famous You Tube video says that people are motivated by Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. The founder of Skype said that he wanted to “be disruptive but in the cause of making the world a better place,” and Steve Jobs said he wanted, “to put a ding in the universe.”Many companies today add to their credibility and recruiting pull by having credible Corporate Social Responsibility programmes.

On an individual level as well we need to have a purpose beyond ourselves. This is where becoming a “saint” is important. The more we seek to draw into ourselves the less we end up owning – we only truly own what we choose to  give away.

“The love we give away is the only love we keep.” Elbert Hubbard

In our hedonistic self-seeking world a bit of sacrifice and self-denial might open the door to some genuine happiness.

What are you living for? Why do you learn stuff?

If the educational system limits the goal of learning to a purely material level (learn to earn!), there will be a lot of de-motivated and disappointed students. Learn to transform, learn to empower are much better motivators.

So here we have it…thank you Tony Wagner for sharing your wisdom…

Now go play, find your passion and your purpose…


About thechildanimalpoetandsaint

I am a runner and a preacher...
This entry was posted in Animal, Child, Poet, Saint and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s