Category Archives: fun

Global Fun

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.

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Cliff Kuhn M.D.’s Fun Commandments Unlock Humor’s Amazingly Powerful Natural Medicine

My Fun Commandments are more relevant today than ever before because I continue to explore and enlarge their scope and impact. They are your wellspring for finding freedom from your pain and illness, navigating swiftly through grief and change, having relationships better than you ever dreamed, ridding yourself of your bad habits once and for all, finding and loving a job of your dreams, and so much more.

We only use about 10% of our brain, right? For hundreds of years we’ve been told this by psychologists and anthropologists, with the implication that we could unlock unbelievable potential if we could figure out how to use the other 90%. Telekinesis, time travel, and mutant powers await us!

But did you know that we’re already using as much of our brain as we ever will? I’ll tell you why later…

Are you still waiting for the job of your dreams? Interested in falling in love with the perfect partner? Want to take changes
and transitions in stride? Would you like to attract the attention of people who find you mysteriously irresistible? What about being able to walk into any social or professional setting with supreme self-confidence? What if you could lose weight and keep it off or quit smoking for good? How would you like to live a life practically free from the misery of pain and illness? My Fun Commandments are your solution.

How My Fun Commandments Were Created

Over two decades ago, I began creating the Fun Commandments from my work with terminally and chronically ill patients. These patients taught and inspired me to use the incredibly powerful natural medicine of humor both in their treatment and also in my own life. As my patient’s lives blossomed under the care of humor’s natural medicine, so too did mine…because I actually needed humor’s medicine as much, or more, than my patients.

I had a great family, a wonderful home, lots of expensive “toys,” and a brilliant career as a psychiatrist. But by the late 1970’s I realized that I wasn’t doing well at all. I had learned to be funny, but I didn’t know how to have fun. I was experiencing pleasure, but I wasn’t celebrating life. I could do good things, but I wasn’t free to enjoy my accomplishments.

Does this sound even remotely familiar to you? In contrast, I realized that many of my patients were doing fine compared to me. They were able to have fun even in the midst of the pain, uncertainty, and fear that accompanied their diagnoses. So, as they urged me to use the natural medicine of humor to change my own life, my patients also convinced me to write down my findings so they could be shared widely. The results of those initial writings were christened the Fun Commandments and served as the foundation for my Fun Factor prescription, a groundbreaking masterpiece which teaches you, step by step, how to employ the amazing power of humor to supercharge every area of your life.

My current Fun Factor prescription is the culmination of decades of subsequent research, practice, study, and application of my Fun Commandments with my patients. I actually went on a national tour as a stand-up comedian to do research! (I hope you didn’t have to sit through any of my performances) I continue to work (and play) with world famous humor practitioners like Mr. Jerry Lewis, whom I have counted as a colleague, friend, and admirer for over a decade! If you combine all the amazing lengths I have gone to study humor’s healing effects with my national stature as a Professor and former Associate Chairman of the University of Louisville School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, you quickly realize that I am the only doctor in the world with the qualifications and expertise to teach you about my Fun Commandments and Fun Factor prescription.

My Fun Commandments Are Designed to Change Your Life

My Fun Factor prescription is your source for finding freedom from your pain and illness, navigating swiftly through grief and change, having relationships better than you ever dreamed, ridding yourself of your bad habits once and for all, finding and loving a job of your dreams, and so much more. But it all started with my Fun Commandments and, to this day, my Fun Factor prescription is still centered around these dynamic principles.

This article introduces you to my Fun Commandments and “primes your pump” for the day you are ready to step into a life you never dreamed possible for yourself – the day you start using my Fun Factor prescription!

We all know about humor’s value, especially in recreational settings, and most people agree that laughter is beneficial. If you are part of this majority, you are to be applauded because you are already more than halfway towards turbo-charging your life with the natural medicine of humor. As you read my Fun Commandments and begin to practice them in your life, you will start to see that most of us have barely scratched the surface of humor’s potential to supercharge our personal and professional lives.

If you maintain an open mind and are willing to learn, no matter how successful you are now, my Fun Factor prescription and, of course, the Fun Commandments which form its foundation will lower your stress levels by as much as 40%, make profoundly positive changes in your relationships, and increase your job satisfaction by up to 55%.

My Fun Commandments are more relevant today than ever before because I continue to explore and enlarge their scope and impact. In fact, two of the Fun Commandments you’re about to read were added within the past year. You can rest assured that, until you invest in my Fun Factor prescription, my Fun Commandments will provide you with a foundation for amazing energy, growth, and positive change – as they have done for hundreds of my patients, family members, and friends.

Dr. Kuhn’s Fun Commandments

1. Always Go the Extra Smile

Of all my Fun Commandments, this one provides you with the most energy. It is the one strategy most effective for increasing the fun in your life. Smiling is a way to open your heart and at the same time touch the hearts of others. We have measured decreased stress, improved immunity, increased tolerance for pain and frustration, and higher levels of creativity – even from a “fake” smile!

2. Tell the Truth

Of all my Fun Commandments, this one helps you keep an inventory of yourself. Our humor natures are open windows to the truth; therefore, if you want your sense of humor to be strong and available, you must make the effort to be true to yourself. This Commandment promotes trust in yourself and keeps you on a steady, forward pace since you will be much more cognizant of what is working in your life and what isn’t.

3. Laugh With Yourself First

Of all my Fun Commandments, this one helps you take yourself less seriously. When you make a mistake, laughing with yourself keeps you from beating up on yourself. It is a boost to your self-esteem because it is a vote of confidence in yourself. This Commandment sends a clear message to you that you are okay. You know that your foibles do not form links in an unbreakable chain, because you are learning from them and becoming more effective.

4. Welcome Your Mistakes

Of all my Fun Commandments, this one allows you to stop being so hard on yourself. Jerry Lewis once told me that he is always nervous before he goes on stage, but “the trick is to harness the fear and make it your ally.” In other words, don’t be afraid of your mistakes – welcome them! In fact, your mistakes can be so helpful to you that I suggest making them on purpose. You’re going to make mistakes anyway. Making them on purpose helps you turn your fear into fun.

5. Listen Very Carefully

Of all my Fun Commandments, this one keeps you from being too self-centered. Successful comedians will tell you that the capacity to listen is their number one creative tool. Yet listening is an often overlooked and under taught skill and most of us are very poor at it, preferring to form our next phrases rather than hear what is being said to us. To really listen we must turn the volume down on our own internal chatter and this allows us to communicate from our hearts rather than our heads.

6. Go Frequently

Of all my Fun Commandments, this one provides you with serenity. If you’ve ever learned to juggle you quickly discovered that we all have a tendency to hold on to objects for too long. The same phenomenon occurs in life and, since we are all jugglers – juggling our family, our work, our community responsibilities, and our own care, letting go is a vital skill that will prevent stress and give peace of mind.

7. Challenge Your Assumptions

Of all my Fun Commandments, this one keeps you open minded and learning. It is also an effective way to bring humor into your life. We make assumptions because it saves us time and energy in our busy lives, but assumptions can keep us from growing and changing if we are not capable or willing to see new perspectives. Get in the habit of seeing things around you in a different way and your sense of humor will become supercharged.

8. Stay Focused, Yet Flexible

Of all my Fun Commandments, this one eases you through changes and transitions. This strategy is about keeping your priorities clear, but keeping your options open. You can’t help but become an inspired opportunist when you develop a trait for seeing the victories inherent in what you used to call defeats. As you’ll come to find out, this trait is shared by all successful people.

9. Act and Interact with People

Of all my Fun Commandments, this one gives you a constant and reliable source of amusement. Reaching out and touching someone is often a learned skill, but it pays big dividends. Realize that taking chances means you will make mistakes, but they will happen less often if you are willing to learn from them. You’ll also find that a failed action is much more valuable to your health and success than a failure to act.

10. Practice Wanting What You Have, Rather Than Getting What You Want

Of all my Fun Commandments, this one helps you attract, and hold on to, abundance. One of the great paradoxes of life is that, as long as you try to fill your inner void with things outside yourself, your void only gets bigger. Learning to love what we have and who we are – right now – opens us up to receive so much more, because we want things for the right reason. We’re no longer trying to “fix” ourselves.

11. Choose to Motivate Yourself With Fun Rather Than Fear

Of all my Fun Commandments, this one teaches you how to set goals and achieve them. You really only have the choices of fun or fear when it comes to motivation and they both work well. The problem, however, with choosing fear is that it is impossible to sustain the motivation without harming ourselves through burn-out and stress. Choosing fun to motivate ourselves is the simple difference of striving toward positive goals, rather than escaping negative ones.

12. Celebrate Everything

Of all my Fun Commandments, this one provides you with abundant joy every day. If you make a practice of celebrating events you normally treated as mundane, you will be filled with an energy and spirit that you haven’t felt since childhood. Left to choose between feeling like a jaded pessimist or a naive optimist (of course, I’m using two extremes as examples), why wouldn’t you choose the latter? Either way, your life will still unfold around you – but you will see it as a gift.

By the way, researchers doubt that we have much unused area in our brain. It’s true that you might only be using 10% of it at any given time, but that is because your brain is segmented into highly specialized regions and each region is used for specific activities. There are no major unused areas.

However, you can still unlock secret, hidden powers…by using my Fun Commandments to change your paradigms and perspectives. I wouldn’t call them “mutant powers,” but you’ll certainly soon enjoy a life others will envy because you will be even more happy, healthy, and successful than you are now.