"I'm not having enough fun."
I hear these two statements a lot.
From friends, coaching clients, colleagues, all kinds of adults. I say adults because I don't think kids talk about their fun index.
And lately I've been feeling a bit of a fun deficit myself.
Last week I had a fruitful conversation with my friend and coaching colleague Stacy, in which we started deconstructing FUN.
- What is Fun?
- Why do we all want it so much?
- Why is there such a deficit?
- What if we're actually having fun and just don't know it?
- How do people identify their type of Fun and build more of it into their lives?
- How do you make shifts when yesterday's fun is today's boredom warmed over?
And so the Fun Experiment begins.
What Is Fun?
According to the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, fun is defined, in part, as:
noun 1 light-hearted pleasure or amusement. ... 3 playfulness or good humour. adjective ... enjoyable.
For now I am personaly defining Fun as something that brings me a sense of enjoyment and gives me the feeling of wagging my tail. Usually it has a physical component. In other words, it's not a state of mind. It's more of a state of body.
I have a lot of fun by playing with others: skiing moguls and swimming my shoulders off with my masters team; trail running, writing with groups and giving workshops; running the golf course at dusk with my niece and nephew, going to a job with great people and making them laugh and write like pirates, helping people see how kick-ass creative they are, reading in bed, daydreaming out the window of a plane traveling over the Grand Canyon. I've had fun doing errands and cooking and even cleaning and purging -- definitely purging. Some of it I know is fun, some of the fun moments surprise me.
And some days, I'm just not having any fun at all. That's okay too. The plan is not to be Stepford Spouses on Xanax here.
The point is to identify what Good Fun means for each individual and each frame of life, and build on the activities that make us feel more playful, creative and tail-waggingly fun.
What If You're Having Fun and Don't Know It?
"I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun." -- Katharine Hepburn
Part of my fun experiment is corralling what is already in existance around us. We all have full lives and most of us have created our lives with facets of things we like, we're talented at, we even love and adore; fun includes doing these activities with people we care about. Fun can be alone time. Hobbies, arts, families, work, sports.
In other words, the ingredients of fun are already there.
Maybe it's just learning how to use the parts of our lives in new ways. Or approach things differently. Or lose a few of the un-fun activities that we thought were fun and thread in a few new things. Purge, then add.
Like any success in life: It helps to have a goal and know where you're going and better yet -- know what that end-goal, in this case FUN looks like, feels like, tastes like, sounds like so that you're not sleep walking through the good times of life.
I'm going to start by looking at the components of Fun in my life and seeing how I can build on the successful parts and enhance my life in all kinds of positive ways.
I'm also really interested in sustainable fun. Along with the peaks and valleys of fun, what are ways to have the mountainscapes that are more undulating and consistent day in and day out?
I have to give a shout out to Gretchen Rubin's book The Happiness Project, which got me thinking about the daily life efforts and actions we take to improve our general emotional well-being. And using myself as a guinea pig which means I might actually have more fun.
So, here's to Fun, and more of it -- however you might define fun, today.