Lime in the Coconut

Last week in my “Da Vinci and the 40 Answers” class we stressed the importance of play. Being a stuffed shirt 24/7 helps no one, especially you. It is unhealthy. You need to give your self time to play. Why? Well for one reason it has been shown that historically that’s when the best ideas seem to appear out of no where, like the Great Gazoo.

Remember Harry Nilsson song, “Put the lime in the coconut?” Well we were discussing it in class and it occurred to us that even though we had heard this song for 35 years, none of us had ever tried it. In fact none of us even knew anyone who had tried it.

So we said what the hell? Let’s get some coconuts and some limes and see what comes of it. So we did!

For an activity to be play, the activity must be intrinsically motivating. If you play because you want to win a trophy, you’re not really playing for pleasure and therefore not really playing.  Play must also be freely chosen. If you’re playing because someone told you to, you are not truly playing. Play must be actively engaging. You have to develop the willingness to say yes to the absurd, to the impulse, and you must have fun. You must derive pleasure from your play.

Ninety percent of the books written each year are nonfiction, but 90% of the books purchased each year are fiction. That is a mind-boggling statistic. We think that people want facts, but the reality is that people want to escape from facts. People want to play and have the child inside of them unleashed.

Kurt Vonnegut once said, “I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you any different.”

Freedom is actually a bigger game than power.

Power is about what you can control, but freedom is about what you can unleash. Which entity do you think is bigger – that which you can control or that which is beyond our control and recognition?

Did we solve global warming by putting the lime in the coconut? Well no….at least not yet.

I did learn that coconut milk doesn’t really look anything like milk. At least cow’s milk that is. It looks more like fuzzy water.

It actually doesn’t taste too bad. I think next go around we should add some Captain Morgan’s though.

Mark L. Fox

About admin

Mark L. Fox is a leading authority on teaching practical creative thinking techniques for business. Mark was the youngest Chief Engineer ever on the Space Shuttle program at the age of 31. He received NASA’s highest recognition of “Launch Honoree” at the age of 23. Mark has an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering with an MBA. Having held top management positions in Rocket Science, Aircraft Hydraulics, Engineering Services, Customer Service, Software, and e-Business, Mark has an extremely diversified background.


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  2. Eremeeff,

    Thanks for the kind words. Make sure you subscribe to the Blog posts by using the Email subscribe link in the top right hand corner of the page or sign up through any RSS. I plan right now to post a new article 1-2 times a week.

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