My wife keeps telling me that my blog is way too serious. She is surely right [she usually is and is a lot more fun than I am] so today I’ll explore the world of fun. We all like to have fun but why don’t we have more fun, why is it important to have fun and how do we actually have fun?
I don’t think anyone will dispute the importance of having fun in life. Fun is a way to relieve stress, stay connected with others, maintain balance in life and prevent burnout. Isn’t it true that it’s easy to have fun in childhood, but as we grow older fun becomes more elusive and we often need to make it a priority? Do you have enough fun in your life?
So to get some different perspectives I decided to turn to some of my friends to hear what they had to say. I asked them why it is important to have fun and how do you have fun in life.
The answers I received were diverse, fascinating and provided a revealing perspective into the world of fun. Thanks again for all your input guys!
Having fun is essential to preserving your physical, mental, and spiritual health. Fun is spending small slices of life with friends and/or family, people close to you, with whom you feel most comfortable. It can also be exploring new things, changing your routine (e.g., new places, new recipes, new games). In short, it is building enjoyable memories that you can always go back to, especially when times are hard.
Having fun makes you feel happy. Fun gets your brain cleaned out of what my mom calls brain cobwebs. What does that mean? All that thinking that ends-up creating more stress, frustration, anxiousness….etc. The kind of thinking that makes you nag and pester others around you. My mom also thought we should all have a quota of fun every week. She didn’t want us to over-do the fun, though, because we might stop appreciating it. Fun can be anything: From enjoying the company of your siblings or nephews, watching a good movie, sharing a good margarita with a good friend, or tubing down the river. It’s such a personal thing. Probably the most common truth to all of this is: There are happy people and serious people. The serious people might have fun sometimes and feel happy, but always go back to being serious again. The happy people, myself included, are usually feeling happy and having fun with life in general and on a daily basis. Sometimes, they might have a bad day, but are generally up-beat and thinking positive thoughts.
Interesting question to be sure, and I am constantly of the opinion that I personally work far too hard and don’t leave enough time for what most people would define as pure fun. That said, I am convinced that having fun is critical to long-term happiness and success in all aspects of one’s life. I have always tried to have fun in everything I do, including work. Fun creates enjoyment and the balance necessary to manage the challenges placed on our daily lives. I look to have fun on a regular basis, and I can find it through spending time with family and friends, playing and watching sports, general entertainment, and having success and enjoying what I do at work.
This one is hard and certainly varies from one to the next. But, it certainly is true that most people can do a better job of having fun. It is also true that all kinds of huge positive direct and indirect effects accrue to those having fun, including all kinds of performances (sports, professionally, personally, health and longevity, popularity, etc. etc.). My wife just bought me a book called “Now”, which as I understand it talks about the importance of living in the present and totally leave ALL historical garbage behind since it is sunk cost and nothing one can do anything about anyway. That is a lot easier to say and conceptually understand that actually implement. Nonetheless, to have genuine fun you have to somehow allow yourself to and by implication be in control of your own mind and happiness. As for what exactly to do it will vary but likely success will come if the individual picks activities that creates the right associations relative to allowing living 100 percent in the now.
There are two essential characteristics which differentiate us from animals. The ability to take an abstract view, a perspective apart from our own physical interaction with the world, and humor. Although many animals often exhibit playful behavior, that lacks the detachment and emotional relief which is associated with human behavior. So, short answer to your first question: it is what makes us human. I do very little in life without serious intent. I would put miniature golf or bowling in the category which fits the definition of fun. I never do those things. My casual enjoyment without serious intent is mostly social, such as our wine dinners. At least there, the food and grog are usually pretty good, and there’s occasionally some interest in the conversation. Usually I social with a smaller group of closer and longer duration friends. Take the weekend. My dog and I made our five mile run on Saturday afternoon at the lake. On Sunday morning, we took a canoe tour of West Bay, seeing eagles, osprey, ducks, a beaver and a few fishermen. Both very enjoyable, but in different ways, and neither would I describe as fun. Fun is more primary for people who go for casual interaction based amusement without mental or physical exertion. You have fun with your kids when they are growing up. It’s an important part of family activity and balanced development for the child. Some of my favorite activities: skiing at Telluride and in Canada, running to the top of a mountain, rowing hard for more than an hour, a hundred mile bicycle ride, maxing out my heart rate, and flying my airplane. Lighter stuff include dinner with my wife, reading, water skiing, learning more about aviation and piloting
In today’s stressful environment (economy, daily commute, stresses at work) it’s essential to find time for fun. It’s too easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day stresses of life. Having fun brings you back to what’s really important, plus it makes you feel young again. A good example would be yesterday, I was sitting by the pool reading a magazine dangling my feet in the cold water. Before I knew it I was surrounded by 5 children wanting to play volleyball. It was 2 hours of playing in the water, showing a little girl how to hit the ball over the net, laughing and just being a kid again. I laughed and played and forgot all about the article I was reading, and how cool the water had initially felt.
Fun is the reason we toil. Fun is the reward. Fun is the part of everything that makes life worthwhile. A life without fun is called purgatory. Fun finds me. It always has. I am very easily amused. Daily life with family offers a great deal of fun for me.
Fun is part of what gives meaning to all the tedious stuff we do day to day. Lots of obvious fun things, but more specifically I would say being in or on water. Sailing, rowing, surfing, swimming, water skiing, and just about anything else along those lines, though I’m not as tolerant of cold water as I was in younger days. And then gathering with friends for a nice dinner and a few glasses of wine at the end of an active day.
I have come to the conclusion that having fun is very important in order to deal with the more serious aspects in life. Having fun is renewal of energy and relaxation and also a reminder of your other sides of your personality,which is quite important to be able to bring forward in other aspects as well. Like how one can respond to even serious things by being able to bring out energy, joy and excitement is priceless. My idea of fun is something that triggers emotions like happiness, excitement, inner peace and hope.(And probably many others as well). Could be anything from reading a good book to skiing.
Fun is an integral part of our lives and a key component of our happiness and wellbeing. It is tightly coupled to our personality and character and I believe achievement of fun greatly depends on our personal courage, inclination to embrace risk, living in the moment and pursuing true desires in life. One might classify fun in two buckets: first, there is the perishable and evaporating fun, and secondly the sustainable fun that comes from living life to the fullest. Both are critical to happiness but one without the other leaves a void in our lives. Examples of the first type of fun is watching a movie or having dinner with your friends. The other type of fun can be illustrated by something a friend of mine recently did. He bought a big sailboat (I had no idea he was even interested in sailing and has since been learning how to sail and has as a result created a new way to greatly enhance his life by enabling a complex symphony of sustainable, fun experiences.
During my long runs this weekend I thought a lot about what fun is to me and concluded that I experience the most fun when I learn, discover, create and change status quo; when I contribute, help others and make the lives of family, friends and others better; when I take risks, plan and go on adventures, push myself mentally and physically and venture outside my normal comfort zone; and of course when getting pleasure from an assortment of everyday happenings primarily related to family, friends and work.