141: Using Your Intensity to Add More Play to Your Life with Gary Ware

How much emphasis do you put on play in your life? Somehow, as we enter adulthood, we lose our affinity for play. Today’s guest has made it his mission to bring play back into the lives of busy adults, and he’s here to tell us how his intensity has made it all possible.

Gary Ware is someone I first met at the World Domination Summit this past year. People are drawn to his playful energy, and he is twice-exceptional, with ADHD and dyslexia. Gary will share how he’s learned to channel his energy in positive ways to help himself and many other people as he teaches them how to bring more play into their lives. Gary is the founder of Breakthrough Play, and he’s a sought-after corporate facilitator and keynote speaker with nearly a decade of experience as a performer in improv theater. He assists teams with unlocking creativity, confidence, and sparking collaboration with experiential methods proven to drive peak performance. Gary spent over a decade in the corporate world and originally pursued improv to master public speaking. He discovered that combining improv and play could be a powerful solution to achieve various business challenges. Naturally, he created workshops for his team and other executives in his network to deepen relationships and improve creativity. Gary became obsessed with learning how to use play as a transformational tool, and, as a result, happily transitioned from marketing to pursue facilitation full-time. When Gary isn’t leading workshops and keynote speaking, you can find him learning magic or off on an adventure with his wife, Courtney, and son, Garrett.


Show Highlights:

  • Gary’s intense passion for helping people be more authentic

  • Why people feel uninspired and unengaged at work today

  • Why finding joy in what you do is a conscious choice

  • How Gary uses his personal brand of intensity to find different ways to solve complex problems, even using hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming

  • As Gary grew up, he was a curious and playful ball of energy, and always the class clown

  • The cultural factors that affected his intensity because he attended a different school almost every year because of his father’s military career

  • Becoming a “social chameleon” to fit in wherever he was, but never really knowing who he was

  • Gary’s identity crisis as an African-American

  • How Gary had to learn what was necessary to survive and how to operate with a filter

  • The story of an out-of-control moment of a food fight in school

  • How Gary uses his superpower of making people feel comfortable

  • How Gary harnesses the power of his intensity in being his goofy self, but always in connection with others

  • Why Gary views his ADD as a superpower now

  • Why Gary calls play “a gift” and a “form of meditation”

  • The best advice Gary ever received: “You are perfect just the way you are.”

  • Books that have helped Gary: Play DHD, The Big Leap, and The Happiness Advantage (see resources below)

  • How Gary brings playful methods to interesting situations

  • Gary’s advice for listeners: “Think about how you played as a young child, and think about how you can bring that back into your life.”


Breakthrough Play

Find Gary Ware on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook


The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

Play by Dr. Stuart Brown

Play DHD by Kirsten Milliken

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

Check out Embracing Intensity for more info about the Befriending Your Brain course series, launching in the fall.

When you allow yourself to be vulnerable, you can connect with another person. ~ Gary Ware
Using Your Intensity to Add More Play to Your Life with Gary Ware
As humans, we are wired for play, but we forget that we have permission to play. ~ Gary Ware