This is the real secret of life: to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play. –Alan Watts
There are two parts to what Alan Watts is talking about, and both parts can be tough enough on their own.
They make a powerful combination.
The first is engagement and connection with the present. Although he calls it a secret, it’s pretty much out in the open. Anyone slowing down enough to notice what’s appealing about the way little kids act can recognize that it’s their ability to be present. At that time, they’re not caught in the past about what might have been or trapped in the future of what might or might not be.
The second part is about play and playfulness. While playfulness doesn’t require anyone to be in the present, it helps. It also makes the playfulness more serious and more genuine. Playfulness focused on the past might be called denial. Playfulness oriented to the future might be disengaged from what is.
Coupled together, playfulness and joy in the present moment are, well, downright tasty!