written by BRICE HOGAN | LEARNING, HABITS
Do you feel smothered? Do you feel that between working, having a family, and all the other responsibilities in life, there is no room for fun?
It's difficult to feel alive these days, add in the distractions at work, the never-ending apps and the information overload we are bombarded with so much negative stuff and it seems impossible to have any fun.
This is why having fun is a very serious business.
"Having fun is not a diversion from a successful life; it is the pathway to it"
- Martha Beck -
The Interesting Thing about Fun
Many years ago when I was 16 a group of friends and I were asked to volunteer to help clean out a run-down building (a church) in the city of Detroit where I grew up.
As you can imagine I had other things I would prefer to be doing on a Saturday. Playing basketball, hanging out with friends, sleeping. Nope, I was being forced by my mom to go help someone. In my defense, I was 16 and a bit selfish.
We get to the church, and the volunteers there gave us some instructions and some tools on what to do. I remember I was given this shovel-like took and it had a razor on the end of it. It was used to loosen old tiles on the floor.
I took the tool and with several friends, we started to dig up the tile from the floor. It was messy, it was hot, and it was fun? Amazingly this thing I was forced to do turned out to be one of the funnest things I ever have done.
It's funny how sometimes things that we expect not to be fun are some of the funnest experiences we have, and other times things that should be fun aren't.
Why is that?
Fun is a Feeling Not an Activity (1)
As I mentioned in the earlier example about volunteering. The activity was not fun in the normal sense, but the feeling I had was.
A young girl was once asked what the color of fun would be. Her response, "Fun would be the color of sunshine," How very true.
When you have fun it is interesting to see the change in their physical appearance. They are probably smiling, laughing, and some people will notice a glow. Some people describe their friends look illuminated.
There are 3 Factors of Fun
Play is one of the defining ways we have fun. It is defined by a light-hearted attitude we have, that allows us to let down our guard. We struggle to let go of our perfectionism, but when we engage in playfulness we can let that feeling go and be our true selves.
Scientific studies show that when we are having peak fun, it is usually engaged with others we know. This makes sense because we are social creatures and we want to share our "fun" experiences with others.
We lose ourselves in play and we lose track of time, which truly does fly when we are having fun. Or, at least, the illusion that time is passing rapidly makes us think that we're having fun. (2) That is what flow is when the time we are spending is pleasurable enough that we don't even notice how long we have been doing it.
Fun Shouldn't Feel Good its Good for Us
Here are some things fun does for us:
Fun is energizing it fills us up
Fun allows us to be in the moment
Fun is when we can truly connect with others
Fun makes us healthier and more relaxed
Fun is socially beneficial
Fun is a health intervention
Fun makes us happy
How can we have more fun?
I found a few interesting ideas on the web about having more fun.
Cook a Turkey
Give someone a nickname
I had to laugh at a few of these. But as you think about it defining what is fun is based on what you enjoy. It could be something playful or something more thoughtful. It could involve physical activity or something more mentally challenging.
Defining what is fun is up to you but you need to do a few things to make sure that having fun is a regular thing in your life.
1) Prioritize it.
If you don't it's really difficult to fit it in
2) Reduce distractions
3) Increase connections
4) Do something out of the ordinary
Now go have some fun.