The article above is an excerpt from Ted Schredd’s “Gramma Knows the F word.”
There are more than six billion people on this planet so there are probably six billion different definitions of exactly what fun is. The activities that a thirty-year-old Democratic web designer from New York considers fun will be much different from that of a sixty-two-year-old Republican farmer from Arizona. Fun is a noun, a verb and an adjective.
The dictionary refers to it as playfulness, merry play or amusement. For me, having fun merely means creating more opportunities to experience joyful feelings. Fun is a way to expand your happiness levels to the maximum. It’s an emotional, mental and physical ritual that will bring more joy into your daily life. When you are experiencing fun, you are living in the moment and expressing your spirit to the world. Fun keeps your blood pumping and magnifies your zest for living.
The simplest definition is this: Fun is a way of being. It is a skill that is learned, developed and honed. People who possess a “fun” state of mind just have a flexible way of discovering their world without prejudices or judgment. Fun is being involved in your environment and participating in life. It is not the ultimate destination but a way of traveling down the road. True fun knows no color of skin, any political alliance or religious endeavor. Fun is about you enjoying your life. Whether you play tennis, go shopping or stick carrots up your nose – good for you – whatever makes you happy.
That’s the general definition; maybe defining what it isn’t will help. There are certain activities that should never be considered fun under any circumstance.
1) Any activity in which human beings are injured or maimed physically, financially, emotionally or mentally without prior approval. Side effects: Guilt, loss of friends, jail time, broken bones, public ridicule and stains on your clothes that never come out.
2) Laughing at people instead of laughing with them is just an uninvited form of abuse. Side effects: Invariably shows that the person doing the attacking has low self-esteem or defective sexual organs.
3) Doing jobs or activities that you despise. Side effects: Ulcers, stress and anger.
4) Any activity in which animals are injured, maimed or killed for no particular reason. Side effects: You begin to hear barking in the night, but there is no dog there.
So I hope that helps in defining fun, but defining a fun person will also help. In my experiences with fun people, I’ve always wondered how they can wake up with a giggle and a smile no matter what’s going on in their lives. I had to know the who’s, why’s, where’s, what’s and how’s of fun, and this is what I found.
I discovered that no one kind of person is more deserving or more likely to be fun than another. They can be rich or poor, good-looking or funny-looking. They were not confined to a certain age, culture, religion, location and ethnic group.
The one common thread these people posses in their lives is a fun way of thinking – a belief system that helps them perceive the world in a way that’s beneficial to their level of happiness. They have their share of misery and woe. They get angry, they cry, become scared, get jealous and encounter bad situations. Instead of dwelling in the negative, however, they immediately start to think of the positive. They understand that there is little or no value in wasting your attention and energy on something that makes you feel like crap.
Fun people have the ability to enjoy whatever life throws at them. If their house burns down, they say, “Gosh, am I glad I’m not on fire.” They lose their job and all they can think about is what’s next? When they get dumped, they rejoice because they have learned some lessons and can now move on to find someone who is a better match. The flat tire in the middle of nowhere isn’t bad luck, it’s an exciting adventure. When they realize they are burdened with negative emotions, they know how to move on and get doing the things they enjoy doing.
Chuckle-chasers understand that fun is a necessary part of a balanced life. They live in the moment and for the moment. They learn from the past, enjoy the present and dream about the future. They may use alcohol or stimulants, but they aren’t a necessity for having fun. They don’t want to escape the moment they want to live in it.
Giggle-getters are committed to pursuing activities that bring them joy. Regardless of what is going on in their lives, they still find the time to get out and get pleasure from the world. They usually have a fulfilling career and a reasonable lifestyle. Having nice things around them is important to them, but it is not an obsession.
Lovers of fun understand that their brain is the part of their body that makes them happy. They challenge their brain and fill it up with new ideas and concepts. Through flexible thinking and the process of gaining more knowledge, they achieve a sense of freedom.
These lovers of life find it easy to be pleased about a tree, a bird, a flower, a good friend, a great piece of pie or a colorful sunset. Happy people go into life with open ears, eyes, hearts and minds. They are curious about the people around them and seem to respect the planet and the creatures of it. They realize that the world is always morphing and changing, and as a human being they need to transform as well.
Fun people have many childlike qualities, like playfulness and curiosity. They are quick to laugh at the world around them and at themselves. They say yes to new adventures and new experiences. Fun people do not set unrealistic expectations for themselves, the people around them or the events in their lives. They expect to enjoy themselves no matter what happens.
When they play in life, they give it their best but know that winning is not the most important part. They are more concerned about giving a good effort and enjoying the game. They are more concerned about giving a good effort and enjoying the game. They know that high fitness levels keep them feeling good. These fun worshippers understand that their bodies are the apparatus that allows them to move around to discover life, so they take care of that apparatus. Yes, they eat chocolate and hamburgers and ice cream, but they do it in moderation. When they have exhausted their energy reserves, they know how and when to relax.
Happiness hounds are not interested in sensational news coverage. Their days are not dictated by how many people died and for what reasons. They are sympathetic to the troubles of the world, but they are unwilling to let all of the world’s woes affect their lives. They watch very little TV because they’re too busy enjoying life. Instead of seeing what is wrong with the world they are out there experiencing what is right.
They have high standards in all of their relationships. Whether it is business or personal, they rarely have people in their lives who cause them grief. Fun people realize that compromising your spirit for a better deal, higher social status or a little sexual action just isn’t worth it. They have learned how to say no to activities or people that take them away from happiness. They do not depend on their friends or people that take them away from happiness. They do not depend on their friends or lovers to make them complete and happy – they just have them around to help achieve that happiness.
They have careers that challenge them and get them out of bed in the morning. If they hate their jobs, they’re actively working on a day-to-day basis towards a more satisflying profession. Fun people have excellent control over their time, their money and their energy. They understand that there needs to be a balance between work, play, family and friends. They seem to have a certain wisdom in prioritizing where fun sits into the picture.
I can tell you that my own personal pursuit of fun has shown me that a true endorphin high comes from a blissful state of fun. The more I experience life, the more I realized that fun is an addiction all in itself. And what a wonderful addiction it is. Now that you have a target to aim for, the question is: How can you discover more fun in your life?
Ted Schredd’s first book, “The Cycling Adventures of Coconut Head: A North American Odyssey,” chronicles the tales of Ted’s 8,100-mile bicycle ride around North America. The book went on to become a Canadian best-seller (and my favorite bicycle travel book of all time!). Ted’s second book, “Gramma Knows The F Word” is an insightful and heartwarming collection of advice designed to help adults discover more fun in their lives.
For more information on how you can discover more fun in your life, please visit: www.discoverfun.com