D oes summer reconnect you with a lifetime of fun memories? Maybe this season simply sparks memories of and ideas for activities that differ from those more common the rest of the year. This summer, are you intentionally reconnecting with past joys or discovering new ones? More practically, are you having fun?
Yes, fun—you know, activities that energize, surprise or even relax you. Fun might exhaust you or create great ease. Either way most of us welcome fun.
What things are fun? While we might agree on the feelings fun generates, agreement evaporates once we begin listing fun activities.
What’s on your fun list?
- Card games
- Board games
- Visiting museums
- Creating art
- Traveling to familiar places
- Traveling to new places
- Walking on the beach
- Swimming in the ocean, river, or pool
- Attending sporting events
- Playing sports
- Watching fireworks
- Watching plays
- Watching movies
- Redesigning the layout of room
- On and on
[Yes, my imagination is limited. Many of these are on my fun list.]
Agreement Not Needed—FUN is Needed!
Fun not only creates joy, excitement, pleasure, and renewal!
Fun sparks ideas!
Fun can even inspire work related actions!
Now we’re getting to the exponential value of fun!!
My Mistaken Approach
For decades I behaved as thought I believed that fun was extra, if not superfluous, and most importantly fun always came after work. Likely I developed that belief, without question, from assumptions I made from observing my parents. But along my journey that assumption came to my conscious awareness. I’ve since rejected it, and altered my behavior.
Flow is Fun OR Fun is Flow?
Yes, fun is an essential component of well-being.
Additionally, fun can become the fuel that propels your actions and the heat that melts your resistance.
When inspiration strikes AND you run with the gifted inspiration, the actions you take, which some might label work, generate more fun. If this continues, you might hit the sweet spot that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi coined “flow” in his seminal work, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.
When in flow, time passes without your awareness. Focus becomes effortless even when the tasks underway are challenging and puzzling. Plus, resistance doesn’t reside in a state of flow. Csikszentmihalyi’s real insight—we experience our greatest happiness in this state of flow.
Fun: A Catalyst for Success
If flow is focus without resistance, maybe fun is the catalyst for flow!!! Maybe flow and fun aren’t that different.
Imagine you daily embrace fun as a catalyst for action rather than the reverse, saving fun as your reward for having exerted great effort to plow through your resistance (or too often get stopped by it and guiltily steal fun while still resisting).
When you discover your version of fun, you may also have discovered the secret to your success—the elixir that calls into your power focus without resistance.
Bottom line: Begin your day with something fun and sprinkle fun throughout the day. Then notice if work doesn’t find its way in between the fun.