Recently life has been getting to me and I have had no idea why. My business is great. My home (although probably needs a clean) is lovely, Mr T is wonderful, my friends are great. I am doing what I want to do, aligned with my life purpose and yet I felt unsatisfied. (And cross with myself for feeling that). Then I spent a wonderful day in Copenhagen alone doing some of the things I love. I got brunch, shopped and then had a wonderful trip to a Royal palace where I got to dance in an empty ballroom (well, the guard wasn’t there and I had it all to myself!) and spent the rest of the day in a tiara. It was lovely, spontaneous and fun.
And then it dawned on me. I am seriously missing fun in my life. In my hyper-focused goal-oriented life I had forgotten the key component. Fun. I had fallen into the Entrepreneur trap of existing. Existing isn’t about material needs. You may have a Ferrari in the driveway of your beautiful home overlooking a majestic view. It isn’t about family either. You may have a wonderful and loving family. It isn’t about health; you may be very fit. So what is Existing? It is an inner void – a lack of inner joy. For the most part, you are successful. Yet, you still feel like there should be more to life than this. And there should. Life should also be fun.
So me being me, and loving google-fu, I began to do a bit of research online. And I feel across Daniel Kahneman Ted Talk The riddle of Experience vs Memory, which reveals how our “experiencing selves” and our “remembering selves” perceive happiness differently. Teh “experiencing self” defines our happiness in the moment. Whereas the “remembering self” defines happiness in our memory. I realised that my remembering self could look over my life in the last year and remember that I have been happy in my abundant life. Yet at the same time due to the focus, I put into my work, by overly focusing on the goal posts of this year’s plans I was on a day to day basis experiencing more work than fun. No wonder I wasn’t feeling great, even when things are going to well. And of course, if you don’t feed your “experiencing self” enough fun then your “remembering self” has nothing new to remember, resulting in frustration.
The irony is that society rather frowns on having fun when it is actually one of the most fundamentally important building bricks of a happy life. (Something society knows is incredibly important. Having fun balances the mundane activities such as paying the bills or cleaning the house. Fun produces happy hormones which in the face of adversity allow us to strengthen our resilience. And not in the least it makes us more productive. Think about school, the lessons you remember and learnt the most were the ones you enjoyed. Fun is essential to happiness and a balanced life.
Are you having enough fun in your life? And I am talking about real fun not the fake “fun” activities such as spending the holidays with your in-laws or the team building days. I am talking about real fun. The kind that makes you smile from ear to ear, your eyes light up and your belly hurt from laughing. Or even just the kind of fun that gives you a wonderful feeling of contentment with the world. Research professor Brene Brown, Ph.D., writes in her best-selling book The Gifts of Imperfection, “A critically important component of wholehearted living is play… Play is as essential to our health and functioning as rest (but) spending time doing purposeless activities is rare. In fact for many of us it sounds like an anxiety attack waiting to happen.”
Is it really so difficult to have fun?
Well for some of us it is. I decided that enough is enough and I want to reclaim the fun in my life. To allow my experiencing self to have fun. Great plan! But how? I have currently little time and limited resources. A challenge to be met! A few hours later I had created a process to stop the anxiety attack of having fun. Consequently, I am feeling happier and healthier already. Not that every day is perfect. It’s just now that every day has some fun in it that I can experience in the now and remember happily after.
If you need to have some more fun in your life try my process, put it into action and within hours you will begin to feel the fun factor exploding into your life. A fabulous way to feel happier, enjoy your journey and love your life!
Find your smiles
Sit down with a notebook and list things you enjoy—anything from scratching your head to dancing in a palace. As you write down each item, consider doing that very thing later today or this week or this year. You’ll have different emotional reactions to each idea. One emotional reaction, in particular, will signal that your sense of fun has been awakened and is pointing the way to a joyful, meaningful life. Do that thing whatever it is as soon as you possibly can!
Remember fun through the eyes of a child
In your notebook, begin listing things you remember enjoying as a child. Pay particular attention to things that made you “lose time,” so that hours seemed to disappear in seconds. What absorbed you that completely? Look for patterns in this childhood fun. Choosing activities that fit this code will make you happier and more purposeful across the board.
Keeping a fun journal is a great way you remind you of the fun you are having in your life.
Every day jot down a brief list of your major activities. Give each experience a fun “score,” with zero meaning no fun and ten is the MOST FUN EVER! As the days go by, you’ll begin to see which activities and people yield the most fun—and you’ll be surprised
Make time for fun
Block out time for fun each week. It can be a day, an evening, or even a lunch hour, but you should set aside some time to do some of whatever you came up with as a pure fun activity. You don’t have to do it by yourself, but if you bring along family members or friends
Randomise your fun
Write down all your ideas for fun activities and put them in a hat. Pick out one and do it. Just go for it. Trust the randomness of the universe to give you an amazing time.
Have a spontaneous day
Set aside a day to be spontaneous. Wake up and ask yourself what you want to do (and hiding under the duvet or on the couch is a non option). Now go do that activity. When it’s done start again from the beginning. The rules of the day? Simply follow your heart and your instinct.
Create a new holiday
Why not create a National Girlfriends’ Getaway Day or mango eating day, or finger painting day? First, define what the day means to you and then invite others to join in the fun!
If I have inspired you then I would love you to return the favour by telling me how you are bringing more fun into your life! Together we can make our lives happier and each others
Have a weekend filled with fun <3