If you notice when children play there’s an effervescence about them. They don’t hold back on having fun. They are creative, inquisitive, adventuresome, and readily engage in new experiences. They have a great time just “being”.
What happens to the spontaneity, adventurous spirit and fun when we become adults?
Growing up and growing older does not require any special talent or ability or prevent us from having fun.
Having fun is usually one of the things we let slip through our fingers. Limiting beliefs often keep us from pursuing more fun. Messages like, “you’re too old to…” grown ups don’t…” “you’re acting silly”, “when are you going to grow up?” are ingrained in our subconscious until we believe them and stop having fun. We give up playfulness and fun to become more focused on “adult behavior” – doubt, worry, anxiety, fear and gloom.
If you haven’t had much fun lately, here are some tips that will have you doing fun things before you realize it:
Go against the grain and do something outlandish (but safe). A few years ago, I let a friend talk me into strapping on a pair of roller blades for the first time. It was a sight to see. I fell, got up, laughed and laughed until joyful tears filled my eyes. It was fun, spontaneous and I did it just because I could. Try doing something you’ve never done before – just because you can. Enlist friends or colleagues to join you. Doing fun stuff is more enjoyable when you can share it with someone.
Stop taking everything so serious
Life has many ups and downs but everything is not a matter of life and death. Learn to distinguish between the things you can change and those you can’t. If the washer overflows, it’s an inconvenience not the end of the world. That’s a time to take action, clean up the mess and move on not drone on and on about why you didn’t have it inspected earlier. Don’t waste time worrying about things you can’t change. Do what you can and then let it go.
Does it really matter?
When faced with inconveniences, decisions, challenges or struggles, ask yourself if in one year, 5-10-15 years from now, will it matter. When your car won’t start, your children are bickering or you spill coffee on your favorite blouse, how much will any of that matter tomorrow, next week, or next year? Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Remember to play
Stop being so busy. Just because you are busy does not mean you are on the right track to living your best life. You may be engaged in a lot of “have to” do activities while sacrificing time for fun and play. If you have children or access to children, watch how they play (you may have forgotten). Notice, how little structure there is – their goal is to just have fun. Get yourself a hula-hoop and twirl until you get silly (and as a bonus you get a little exercise). Try it, you might find it fun!
Add some adventure to your life
Start something new – Look for ways to add some adventure to your life. Be willing to try new and different things. If you don’t like it, try something else. Investigate something that that has always intrigued you but you didn’t think it was for you. Spend some time exploring landmarks and venues in your city. Most of us miss out on the treasures that are in our own backyards. Your adventure just might uncover some interesting facts and sights.
If you have lost the fun bug now is a good time to put fun back on your radar screen. You will find yourself more relaxed, smiling more, and open to even more opportunities to have fun.