fun: enjoyment, amusement, or lighthearted pleasure
What is perceived as fun can differ markedly from one person to another. What matters is not any general definition of fun. What matters is what is fun to you. And what is fun to you should be a magnet because, as the definition says, it’s enjoyable, amusing and pleasurable.
Many of us, including me, were brought up to embrace hard work, diligence and seriousness. It’s how our parents were raised – how they lived their lives. They lived through the Great Depression and World War. They lived a blue collar life working hard for every dollar, and their hard work and discipline made it possible for me to enjoy an exciting and fulfilling life.
So I would never disrespect their focus on hard work. It will always be essential to earning and building the resources to be able to enjoy what most of us consider opportunities to have fun.
But too many of us get so addicted, so driven, so chained by work and perpetual hamster wheels that our personal fun magnet loses its power. We compromise on what is truly fun to us, and tell ourselves that we should be satisfied with whatever amusement and enjoyment will fit in the cracks and crevices of our work schedule. It’s kind of pathetic… and harmful…. because humans NEED fun.
We instinctively know that living in 2021 is such serious stuff
Covid-19, divisive politics, domestic terrorism, economic challenge, global warming, etc.… it’s enough to dampen anyone’s joy meter. Throughout history strife and sadness have permeated life. Life in the 21st century is not for sissies.
We are obviously limited in how much our individual choices can affect major forces that affect our life. We can wear a mask, get vaccinated, vote, volunteer, contribute to causes, strive to increase our income, be more educated… we’re definitely not powerless to meet our challenges.
Every day we each get to make a choice how we will deal with life’s challenges. But our power is limited in so many areas to effect real change in our life.
And in the background of all these challenges is the inevitable reality that we are forever aging. We can feel it. We sense its relentless march. It tempers our constant quest to live a full, meaningful and fulfilling life.
I contend that one of the most powerful, most profound choices we can make is a personal commitment to actively defy aging in every way possible. In my upcoming book “EverAgeless: 6 Steps To An Ageless Life,” ACTION is the centerpiece of my advocacy.
We can choose to Look Inward to understand our true self, our core values and the truths that make us “us.” Only then can we build sustainable positive growth in our life.
We can choose to Age Defiantly. An active defiance of aging (not an obsession) is both healthy and rewarding – providing a sense of more control and more purpose in our life.
We can choose to Filter Stress. We cannot eliminate stress, nor should we. However, we can develop and refine ways to proactively run stressful information, situations and anticipation through a well-designed and well-constructed filter that assesses any stressful information, situation or anticipation with one primary test – will it help or hinder us as we move forward on our journey to an ageless life.
We can choose to Forever Aspire. Whatever our age, our education, our job, our health, our stress level, our financial position, wherever we are in our life… we can aspire… free of limits, borders and fears. To aspire is to breathe. To live. It is hardwired into our brain. If we were forever free to aspire, we would do so with consistent joy and anticipation.
We can choose to Take Charge of our life. So many barriers, distractions and circumstances conspire to slow our progress or stall our life journey. Everyone needs to build a systematic, internalized, every-day commitment to keep moving forward. And the only way to achieve this level of control in our life is to take charge.
And the 6th and final step in that journey is our choice to EMBRACE FUN! Life in the 21st century does not have to be free from joy, laughter, silliness, fancy or reverie. An ageless life is a full life – full of substance, meaning and full of fun!
Having fun is a cart-and-a-horse thing
It isn’t that having fun will get us closer to an ageless life. Rather an ageless life frees us to have more fun! I would argue that when we feel our self having a lot more fun in our life, we’re already there.
A life more free of the barriers, borders and fears that numb the fun receptors in our brain is a life in which fun is free to flourish. Hopefulness replaces anxiety. Energy replaces lethargy. Contentment replaces resignation. And it becomes a geometric progression. The more joyful life feels today, the better it is likely to feel tomorrow.
The pessimist will tell us not to enjoy life too much now, because something will happen tomorrow to dampen that joy. I would argue that, for the person living an ageless life, tomorrow is for planning, not for worrying. The timeliness of an ageless life reduces those feelings of unease about the future.
Of course, we all know that tomorrow may bring pain or sorrow. The goal is to make tomorrow less material to our enjoyment of today.
I contend that one of the prime directives in our life should be to more freely embrace fun in our life. You’ll be amazed and thrilled how that attitude radiates to those around you – at home, at work, wherever you are – and how that radiation is returned to you, energizing your life even more.
Make time for real fun!
Life has a way of crowding out the fun. Don't let it. Plan for it. Make it a priority. Embrace the spontaneous. Smile often. Laugh every day.
You can do it if you CHOOSE to do it!
Here’s my favorite TED Talk about fun:
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