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Are We Having Fun Yet?

2013 March 12

People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing. ~ Dale Carnegie

having fun yet?The funniest thing happened to me last week. For several days I’d been struggling to figure out how to get beyond a stumbling block on a project and finally “got it.” Out of the blue, this clear as a bell thought popped into my head “This is SO much fun!” But the real magic was the momentary feeling of absolute joy that accompanied that little epiphany.

Of course your idea of fun may differ greatly from mine, and we’ll explore that in a moment. But the point is that my moment of joy was a natural reaction to doing something that I found to be fun – learning something new and solving a puzzling challenge.

Why having fun matters.

Fun activities are not only proven stress relievers, they provide a source of eustress, the “good” kind of stress that keeps you feeling vital and alive. It’s the sense of exhilaration you get from riding a roller coaster, or meeting an exciting challenge in your life. We thrive when we have regular eustress in our lives, and fun activities can provide that.

For kids, having fun is not only natural it’s a priority, but as grown-ups we are less inclined to indulge in what we tend to view as frivolous activities. Of course, we have the power to change and regain our sense of playfulness, should we choose to.

As I see it, the two greatest barriers to having more fun in life are 1) not taking the time to understand what fun feels and looks like to us (as opposed to the other guy) and 2) not giving ourselves permission to lighten up.

What does fun mean to you?

Adult life is so full of responsible roles, looking after others and the noise of everyday living, that we can become disconnected to what fun actually feels like and what it really means to us. And therein lies the challenge, because how can you become intentional about having more fun in your life, if you don’t know what fun feels like, or what activities are most likely to create that feeling?

I could provide you with a list of what I consider fun activities, but it wouldn’t mean much – just because something is fun for someone else doesn’t mean it will be fun for you. For example, for me fun is a spontaneous road trip, getting off the grid and exploring a new place, curling up with a new mystery/thriller and a good glass of wine, hiking with my dog, and accomplishing pretty much anything that someone told me I’d never be able to do. These things may be boring as dirt to you, but that’s okay, they work for me.

Interestingly enough, once we become aware of our “fun” triggers, we often find a central theme. You may find that the activities that are the most fun for you typically have to do with sports and competition, spending quality time with your family, or exercising your creativity. For me, fun is almost always about personal freedom.

Today was good, today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. ~Dr.Seuss

Self awareness is the key to understanding how to have more fun in your life. It’s about becoming aware of the activities that spark feelings of joy and happiness – you know the feeling where you are totally in the moment, and just for that time you don’t have a care in the world?!

Give yourself permission to lighten up!

  • Be a little more selfish: Making time for activities that you enjoy and taking care of your own needs on a regular basis can be a little daunting at first, but the result of this awareness is that you learn what drives you, what excites you, and what motivates you. It can also have a dramatically positive effect on your health, overall happiness and relationships.
  • Stop living by the rules: Some rules make sense and are good for us, however living a life based on others’ rules, needs, and expectations can stifle your self-expression and creativity, not to mention your potential.
  • Scare yourself once in awhile: Where would a discussion on personal growth be without our old nemesis the comfort zone? When we allow ourselves to stay comfy and cozy within our self-imposed boundaries, doing the same things day-in-and-day-out, we miss out on people and experiences that can enrich our lives.
  • Resign as general manager of the Universe: While it is admirable to take pride in being responsible and socially conscious, focusing all your energy on solving other peoples problems or ruminating about how bad things are in the world rarely solves anything. Learn to empower others by letting them solve their own problems. If you want to make a difference in the world vote every chance you get, volunteer in your community and donate a portion of your earnings to worthy causes. Then focus on what’s good about yourself and your life and work on bringing a little more joy and happiness into the world around you.having fun at any age
  • Stop thinking fun has anything to do with your age: Contrary to what some believe, the ability to have fun does not diminish with age. On the contrary, having fun is about attitude and the ability to take pleasure in the simplest of things. One of my best friends is a remarkable woman of 78 who has the energy and drive of someone thirty years younger. My late grandmother was 105 when she passed away and right up to the end she loved debating politics, watching roller derby and telling a good joke.

So, are you having fun?

If the answer is yes, great, please let us know your secrets! If your answer is no, maybe you have just lost touch with what the term fun actually means to you. The next step is to give yourself permission to lighten up and intentionally add a little more fun to your life.

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14 Responses
  1. April 1, 2013

    Fun is essential for succes in anything. If you keep doing something that you don’t consider as fun, even a alittle bit, you are going straight to a dead end. Great article mate. I really resonate with what you wrote.

  2. March 21, 2013

    Sometimes we get too busy with our work and life that the fun part really starts to miss…Everyone must be having a different idea of fun..but to have it is important..I chat with my friends, read, go out and listen to some good music…Thanks for reminding how much fun is important ..

  3. March 20, 2013

    Sometimes we tend to become too concentrated on our personal goals and we forget to have fun and enjoy life. Getting out of your comfort zone can help you encounter new experiences that will help you as an individual.
    Lei Broch recently posted..The successes and horrors of AndroidMy Profile

  4. March 17, 2013

    Hi Marty,
    what an inspirational post to remind us of the importance to have fun.

    I love the points you are suggesting, like ‘resigning as the universal manager’ and “Stop thinking fun has anything to do with your age”.
    I learned through the teachings of Abraham-Hicks to hand things over to the Universal manager.
    In regards to age (approaching the chronological age of 60 this year) I am starting to feel more and more that I enjoy doing things without worrying what people think.

    Thank you so much for sharing this!
    Love and Light
    Yorinda recently posted..Google Reader will soon be extinct What are the Alternatives?My Profile

  5. March 17, 2013

    Hi Marquita, I love your writing and this question, are we having fun yet is a question my spirit team are always asking me as there teaching to me is, if it’s not fun why you doing it! Of course I often forget, but truth is I return to this as fun is an energy of joy – which of course is necessary if one wants to manifest, attract and create. Great read…and have shared as I hope more people get the opportunity to be touched by your lovely writing! xxx

  6. Steve Borgman
    March 16, 2013

    Marquita, thanks for the great article. Your title immediately drew me in. I’m way too serious too often, so it’s a good reminder to let go and have fun. Some of my most fun moments come from helping out with kids’ events at my church and in the community: kids are so contagious with their innocence and fun. Also, my wife unexpectedly took us out to dinner for some Thai food tonight — and that was fun, too!

  7. March 16, 2013

    How you treat your job makes a lot of difference on how you succeed on it. When you treat your job as a burden, then you feel like struggling everyday just to get through with your job, but if you are having fun while doing it, you just don’t know that you have gone a long without even noticing it right away.
    Connor Harley recently posted..What are Good People Skills?My Profile

  8. March 15, 2013

    Your posts are always a joy to read, Marty!

    Remembering to have fun is so important, and yet so easy to lose sight of. I have found that a break from routine two or three times a year is the best way for me to enjoy eustress – I had never heard of that word before!

    It also helps that I am in a loving relationship. This is on my mind at the moment, as we just celebrated our 15th. anniversary :)

    Alan Jenkin recently posted..Increase Productivity With These 3 TipsMy Profile

  9. March 13, 2013

    Fun is source of life! Thanks Marty this was a funny post :)

  10. March 13, 2013

    Great post.
    I think a hobby that can be picked up whenever you have a little free time is a great way to have fun even with a busy schedule. I like Dale Carnegie quote “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing. ” it’s really amazing .

  11. March 13, 2013

    Hey Marty,

    I think that if we smile often and have fun we can definitely be happier. Moreover, it’s hard to be mean, when you smile. So, we are inclined to be kinder to others, as well. Win-win!

    I’m dancing a lot these days (salsa and Argentinian tango), as this is my passion. It’s great FUN :)

    P.S. I’ve just started to follow you on Twitter. Your posts are truly inspiring!
    Cornelius recently posted..How To Make Better DecisionsMy Profile

  12. March 13, 2013

    I love having fun! It’s my way of not only spending quality time with my family but also a way to let my inner child let loose and be free :-) Having fun does not have to be expensive. For me, it’s as simple as reading a book, or dancing with my kids.

    I guess when most of us became adults, we’ve decided to forget about being a child and focused on problems to solve and tasks to accomplish. I am fortunate to learn that growing up does not mean I have to give up being a child. Reconnecting with my inner child and having fun not is not only liberating, but helps me become more productive and creative!
    Cherrie Bautista recently posted..Healthy Me! Release Party & GiveawayMy Profile

  13. March 12, 2013

    One of the worst things about becoming old is that we tend to lose, at least most of the times, the ability to have fun. Clearly life isn’t always easy especially during the economic crisis but given that having fun lengthen life and reduces stress it’s something we should do every day.

    Very nice article, and useful too. :)
    Andrea H. recently posted..Comment on Advertisements with Subliminal Messages: are they a real Threat? by BlissHabitsMy Profile

  14. March 12, 2013

    Great Post Marty! Fun! Fun! I had Fun reading your post! Weird as that may seem, but I did! Fun to me is to laugh out loud!! I had my Grandson here last weekend and Yes We Laughed! Today on a training call with Nick we laughed Yes Laughter. Fun! Getting out of that space, OK you say comfort zone but it does allow us to explore different possibilities.. I to have a Good Friend he is 92 and you know what when I show up at his house every few weeks he laughs WHY? Because I make him laugh! And when I leave he is always in a much better place because of this.. Thanks for the reminder Marty.. I do have to agree we need to take time to have FUN!! Chery :)
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..Surround Yourself With The Right Kind Of PeopleMy Profile

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