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Are You Having Fun Yet?

“Dad, you’re always so serious,” my son told me. “You never have any fun.”

My initial reaction to my son’s accusation was defensiveness. Of course I have fun, I thought. First of all, my work is fun. And I have fun in other ways, too. I enjoy playing with my children. And I love to read.

As I thought about it more, however, I realized that my son was basically correct in his assessment. To be sure, I wasn’t making time for fun in the way that children do.

To some extent, I think society frowns on fun. Even with children, there is often a negative connotation around having too much fun. “Don’t jump in the mud puddle. Stop joking around so much. Stop, well, having fun.”

As adults, hard work is rewarded. Fun isn’t. When we do have fun, it’s often the shallow, temporary kind. Going out for a night on the town can be fun, but the next morning may not be. Practical jokes are fun, but they are short lived, and often occur at someone else’s expense.

What would your life be like if you were having more fun? Real fun—the kind that lasts, is incredible rewarding and lifts your life and spirits? Here are a few ways to have more fun:

Engage in a physical activity. Do you enjoy golfing? Swimming? Walking? Choose a couple of your favorite physical activities, and resolve to engage in them more frequently.

Learn a new skill (or enhance an existing one). Have you always wanted to enroll in a cooking class? Learn photography? Write a book? Pick a skill, and make this the year to learn.

Make time for your hobby. Do you collect coins or stamps? Have a model train collection? Enjoy scrap booking? Whatever your pleasure, set aside one time per month (or more!) for your favorite hobby.

Volunteer your services. Have you always wanted to help someone learn to read? Work at a museum? Serve a meal at a homeless shelter? Volunteering is a way to not only have fun, but to impact the world in a very positive way.

Attend a comedy club, the theater or a concert. Laughter and entertainment provides great fun. Make arrangements to go with a group of friends—the more the merrier!

Write and send notes to your family, friends and clients. Draw something fun on the cover (like a smiley face!) and let them know you’ve been thinking about them.

Surround yourself with fun things. What could you put in your home and office that would cause you to smile when you see them? Puzzles, games, toys? Pictures of you and your family at play? Create an environment that is playful, and fun.

Take a day off, in the middle of the week, just to play. Play golf, or tennis. Go shopping, or to a movie. If you can’t take a whole day, then “play hooky” for half the day.

These are just a few ideas for ways to have more fun. To personalize it, make a list of 10 things that you know you have fun doing. Schedule a time to engage in at least one of these activities per week. Notice what is happening as you engage in this activity. Jot down what makes it so much fun. Think about, and write down, ways to make even more time for fun.

Lighten up. Be silly. Let loose. Don’t take yourself or your job or business too seriously. Life’s too short. Schedule a “play date” with yourself, and have fun!

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