Is it really worth reading a column on how FUN can make our lives more…fun? It seems like a no-brainer, yet, our schedules are so filled with maintaining our businesses, homes, health, and families, that we can go days, weeks, or sometimes months without any real sense of enjoyment or deep satisfying pleasure. But fun is not a frivolous luxury. According to British psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott (1896-1971), integrating fun and play in our adult lives is necessary to relieve the strain that exists between the external “real” world, and the internal world of our unconscious, both of which influence our day-to-day reality.
Fun is one of the best and easiest ways to breakthrough status quo and experience yourself at your intellectual and creative best. It leads to new perspectives, refreshed attitudes, and a sense of joy and energy which attracts more joy and energy.
When deciding to integrate fun, you don’t have to set a huge, complex, or extreme goal like sky diving or learning to play the ukulele. Beware of adopting an “all or nothing” attitude. If having fun becomes another burdensome task on your “to do” list, it will more often than not lead to nothing.
This acrostic is designed to help you find a simple way to embrace the value of fun.
Friends – As entrepreneurs we carry the sole responsibility for the success of our business from idea to implementation. However, fun is something that can be delegated. Reach out to your friends and prioritize time for the relationship that brings you joy.
Unique – Children are inclined to have fun because they exist in a natural state of curiosity where so much is new and wanting to be discovered. Pursue an activity that you’ve always wanted to try or practice a skill different from ones you use every day. The challenges that come with putting yourself in a state of “beginner’s mind” can be exhilarating and rejuvenating.
Nostalgic – Engage in an activity that you used to love. Did you previously play in a band or on a softball team? Did you write short stories or doodle on the edges of your notebook? Would it be fun to revisit your past hobbies?
Be creative and be conscious about having fun. If you already feel overwhelmed with what is currently on your plate and don’t want to add something new, then pick an existing project and ask yourself, “How can I make it more fun?”
Below is a list of five reflective questions to help you better understand your relationship to and opportunities for fun.
- What do you find fun now? What did you find fun as a child?
- Who in your life is the most fun? Why?
- What are you like and what do you like about yourself when you are having fun?
- On a scale of 1-10, how much is fun a part of your life? If it isn’t already a 9 or a 10, what would make it so?
- What can/will you do this week, to have fun? Be specific. Add it to your calendar. If it involves other people, get them onboard today.
Stacey Zackin, PhD, MSW, PCC (aka: theCoach4you ~ Coach/Speaker/Educator)