What is the definition of fun and how important is it? Wikipedia states that fun is “lighthearted pleasure, enjoyment or amusement.”
This definition makes me think back to those summer days as a kid and we would play board games like Monopoly for hours or card games like Crazy 8’s or Go Fish. We would be laughing and having fun and just enjoying life and each other to the fullest.
My brother and I would spend a week at our grandparents every summer without our parents there. We would build wooden boats in my grandfather’s workshop then sail them down the creek in their backyard.
Simple stuff really but it gave us tremendous pleasure and we looked forward to it each year when school got out.
At some point it seems, we determined that making a living, paying bills, and building a legacy was more important and having fun took a back seat if it happened at all anymore.
As we get older, finding a job and living the norm, some of us begin to really miss having fun.
According to an article in Psychology Today “Recreational deprivation has been linked to criminality, obesity, and declining creativity.”
I believe that may be accurate because I got so busy making a living and paying bills that I neglected to take time for fun and both my physical and mental health suffered because of it.
I ended up gaining weight and struggling with anxiety and depression all due, in my opinion, to a lack of having fun.
George Bernard Shaw states, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”
I wholeheartedly agree with this statement.
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Why is it Important to Have Fun
We have all heard of balance and the necessity of achieving life balance.
Well, fun is in the equation of balance.
Life can’t only be about paying bills, paying off loans and putting food on the table. Too often we throw fun out the window because we mistakenly believe adult responsibilities trump fun and we don’t believe we deserve fun if we haven’t achieved certain goals in life.
When we forget to keep fun in our lives and achieve that balance it can risk our physical, emotional and spiritual health.
As humans, we have known for centuries that fun is an important ingredient to our well-being.
One of the leading giants in modern psychological theories, Sigmund Freud, M.D., coined the term “The Pleasure Principle“. What this means is that in the most basic part of our personality we first discover extreme pleasure, then pursue that ecstasy or fun without restraint or limit.
The Greek philosopher, Democritus said the supreme goal of life was “contentment” or “cheerfulness”.
Epicurus, another Greek philosopher, believed the greatest good was to seek modest, sustainable pleasure in the form of tranquillity and freedom from fear and absence of pain.
In today’s world we get so caught up in our quest to achieve the big house, luxurious vacations, and expensive cars, we have forgotten all about balance.
Somehow we have come to equate having fun with being irresponsible, I have no idea where we got this idea.
I believe that everyone deserves to have fun but I also believe everyone must be willing to work for what they want in life. I also believe work can also be pleasurable and fun.
The trick is to find the balance between working for what you want and just having fun.
The truth is that having fun actually gives us the strength to carry on and keep working towards our dreams.
Think about this for a moment. Let’s say you have this important project at work and you are stressing about it. Then your buddy calls you up for a fun weekend out boating and fishing.
You have a great time and haven’t stressed about that work project all weekend. Monday comes and you are relaxed, in a good mood and ready to tackle that project.
What would have happened had you stayed home and stressed over that work project all weekend? You would felt exhausted, and sick about that project come Monday and this stress can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Finding that balance is the key.
Another benefit of taking that time to have fun makes you more productive when you do get back to work or school.
I had a certain teacher in middle school that somehow made learning science fun. Every class was fun and we couldn’t wait to get back to his class to see what we would learn next. Every kid I knew loved this teacher and thought his class was the funniest science class ever.
Because he made learning fun not a single student struggled in his class. Everyone did their assignments willingly because you couldn’t wait to see what came next. We were a very productive class.
I also once had a boss that made work fun. Every Friday he would have lunch catered and we would have a 2-hour lunch break socializing with each other. Then we would knock off for the day an hour early. You can bet we all worked a little harder to ensure we would have our work done so Fridays would continue to be our fun day.
How to Have Fun
I know right? This sounds ridiculous telling you how to have fun?
Well, may the truth be known, most of the adults living today Do Not Know How To Have Fun anymore.
Some people even use eating as a way to fill in for the fun they are missing.
Let’s get something straight here…
…Having fun isn’t complicated and it doesn’t have to be expensive. And above all, we don’t have to feel guilty for having fun either. Yeah, that was me too.
I have found that the funniest activities are often free and learning a new skill can be a lot of fun.
Any activity that boosts your mood and gets those endorphins (feel-good hormones) flowing is fun
- try a new workout (keep it light at first)
- call a friend
- dance (one of our favourites)
- be silly
- watch a movie
- invite friends over for dinner and cook together
- go swimming in a local lake or pond
- go camping
- go boating (sailing we prefer and love it)
- read a book (this holds so much potential power to the mind)
There are unlimited ways in which a person can have fun. You are limited only by your imagination. Remember a fun activity is one which makes you feel happy and lighthearted.
What Do You Do for Fun
Each of us is a unique individual and what is fun for me may not be for you.
Take some time and think back on your childhood, what did you enjoy doing for fun?
I enjoy reading a good fiction novel. I love how I can get lost in the story and the stresses of life just melt away.
I also enjoy time in my vegetable garden. Whether planting, weeding or harvesting I enjoy the peaceful time out there in nature.
I love sailing with my husband. There is just something so peaceful about the snap of the canvas as the sails fill with wind and the sound of the water lapping along with the boat. I could be out there forever.
Find what you like then do it.
Maintain the balance and you will never regret having fun.
Create Fun at Work
Just because you need to be at work doesn’t mean you can’t have fun while at work.
Implementing some form of fun in the workplace will:
- foster better work relationships
- enhance the productivity and creativity of workers
- increase the retention rate of staff
- and boost overall company morale.
Some possible fun activities to incorporate could include:
- Fun activities like having a BBQ or going out to lunch together.
- Friendly competitions – it is amazing how much a little friendly competition can lighten the mood and boost productivity. Come with prizes for monthly competitions that everyone can participate in.
- Celebrate Wins – by celebrating each other’s wins we are acknowledging the hard work that went into that accomplishment and it makes people more willing to put forth the effort. After all, we all want our efforts to be recognized.
In the office, just like in life, you are only limited by your imagination.
By implementing a fun work environment you will have better productivity, less employee absenteeism, happier staff who encourage each other, stronger employee retention rates.
To me, it just makes good business sense to maintain a fun and productive workforce.
I don’t know where we got the idea that fun is only for kids but it’s way past time to re-examine what is the definition of fun.
Somehow we let the pressures of life stop us from having fun and enjoying life.
The lack of fun in our daily lives has increased our stress.
This stress is directly responsible for obesity, heart attacks, strokes, anxiety and depression just to name a few.
It is time we take control of our lives and re-establish that balance between fulfilling our obligations and having fun.
We will greatly improve our quality of life if we simply allow ourselves to have fun. Have fun at work and home.
As a business owner, I intend to maintain a fun workplace and thereby increase productivity and creativity.
If you are looking for a fun way to make a living check out this article I wrote on becoming a blogger.
If you enjoy writing then blogging is for you, hands down. Hey, I didn’t know that I would enjoy blogging but I really do.
So go ahead, what are you waiting for? Get out there and have fun.
What types of things do you like to do for fun? Let me know your ideas in the comment section below. I can’t wait to read about your ideas.