By: Jonathan Pishner
In our society today, most people have come to believe fun is optional. Notice that it’s on our list of psychological NEEDS, not on a list of wants.
The simple fact is, Fun is mandatory for a happy and healthy life, no matter your age. Without this basic need met, you cannot function properly on a daily basis.
On a deep level, I think everyone understands this, but we’ve trained ourselves as adults to live a life of denial. We’ve convinced ourselves that enjoying life is optional. And then we get surprised when we feel miserable.
Fun is a simple concept, and the article is short, but that doesn’t make it less important.
Yet despite the simplicity of this idea, many people today are struggling in this area.
If you aren’t getting your Fun need met, it’s time to start asking yourself questions. Are you spending time doing things you enjoy? What DO you enjoy?
Many adults today have some difficulty with that question.
If you’re part of the group that doesn’t know, start here instead: What did you used to enjoy?
This should be a simple idea, but it might take you some time to work it out. If you’ve done a great job convincing yourself you don’t have to meet your need for Fun, it’s probably been a while since you’ve thought about this.
And that means this very simple question might be really difficult.
Where Do I Start?
If you’re failing to meet the Fun need and need some ideas, here is a plan that sounds silly, but works as a good starting point most of the time:
- Click here and Google “how to have fun”.
- Experiment until something works.
Yeah, I know that sounds ridiculously basic, but basic plans are best.
Experience has taught me that a LOT of adults have to start with this plan. I’ll even tell you how it will play out.
You’ll run a search on “how to have fun” and get thousands of options. Most of them will be unappealing. Several others will be too expensive (most of us can’t run out and buy a jetski).
Maybe 10% (if you’re lucky) will sound like they could work.
Of that 10%, you’ll try several things before anything sticks. Very few people hit it on the first try.
But remember, this is a NEED.
If you had a medical condition, you’d probably be willing to try 20 different treatments trying to get it right. So you can’t try 2 things and give it up.
Fun is not all about the screens.
Many people believe meeting your Fun need has to involve some kind of leisure activity. That’s not really true. Anything that you enjoy can meet your Fun need.
In fact, we’ve been so trained to look for enjoyment in screens (TV’s, computers, phones, etc) that we often forget that our best enjoyment probably won’t come from that source. In fact, we’re so trained to look for enjoyment in screens that many of us don’t look any further than social media. But screen-related activities tend to create their own problems if overused.
So learn to look elsewhere.
Some people love gardening. Some love weightlifting. Some love marathons. These are all difficult activities in their way, but the enjoyment and reward people get from them is immense.
The chief way to tell if it meets your Fun need is by asking: what is my state like AFTER this activity? Am I positive, or energized, or relaxed? If so, you are doing something right. But if you consistently feel drained, or cranky, or stressed afterward, it may be time to try something else.
If ever there was a time to embrace the philosophy of “you do you”, this is it. Only you decide how to get this need met.