To Blur the Line a Bit

The Tools of the Mind program at a school in Red Bank, N.J., encourages “executive function” — the ability to think straight and self-regulate. (Photo: Gillian Laub for The New York Times) “We often think about play as relaxing and doing what you want to do. Maybe it’s an American thing: We work really hard, and then we go on vacation and have fun. But in fact, very few truly pleasurable moments come from complete hedonism. What Tools of the Mind does — and maybe what we all need to do — is to blur the line a bit between what is work and what is play. Just because something is effortful and difficult and involves some amount of constraint doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.”

~ Angela Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, quoted in “Can the Right Kinds of Play Teach Self-Control?” by Paul Tough, New York Times (September 25, 2009).