Dear Why Team member,
I hope this weeks message finds you well and having fun while working.
Why Fun while Working?
This is certainly a loaded question; loaded with power and insight. Many perceive “getting to have fun” as a reward: after a hard week’s work, I have the weekend when I can relax and have fun but, I often speak on the importance of work being its own reward. And, since we can spend most of our time working, we have to find a way to happily marry the two: work and fun. If we don’t love what we do and do what we love, it’s likely that we won’t enjoy life as much as we could and that we won’t bring forth our greatest gifts for others.
Certainly, there are parts of our work that are difficult to love, but if those parts become the focus of our daily thoughts, it won’t be long before we will be looking elsewhere or become depressed.
Are you having fun with your work life? If not, why not?
There are many ways of living that can take the fun out of life. The most prevalent reason life has become less fun for many, is that their mind keeps them in the past or stressing about the future, away from the fun which is always in the present. And with a play on words, maybe the present we all most want to receive is that which contains fun. However, the mind can often become preoccupied with past and future. Those mired in thoughts of the past with “should have”, “could have” and “would have” are those who suffer most from depression. Maybe it’s because the past is hopeless - there is no hope to change it. There is, of course, hope to change the way we THINK about our past - and this is why a focus on what we learned or how we grew from our past difficulties can help give meaning to the suffering - suffering that is a part of life - and with this mindset, we can help reduce the pain and set ourselves free from overthinking about the past.
The other path for removing fun is a mind overly focused on the unknown future. In fact, it’s the unknown part of the future that for many is the tough part. Those who’s minds are over-focused on the future often suffer from anxiety - afraid of what “could happen” with no limit to the minds imaginative ability to focus on possible negative outcomes.
I recently heard Dr. Kevin Elko remind his audience that the human brain is not built for happiness, it’s not built for Bold or Success, it’s built to protect you from what could harm you.
As adults, it’s wise to learn from our past and to plan for our future, but it’s not wise to do these activities to the exclusion of Fun. Maybe the primary reason Heaven is seen through the eyes of a child is that the child is present - living their life more fully in the moment and likely having fun by doing so.
Who wants to live and work with no fun?
If you are in a funk, consider asking yourself theses questions:
Why am I not having fun?
What choices have I made, what anxieties might I have nurtured, that has made my work more work and my life less fun?
Because Fun is its own reward!
When we are having fun, we are compensated immediately; in real time - and everything else is icing on the cake. The trick is to have fun not only during vacations or only when immersed in some hedonic pleasure, but rather to have fun during your work days as well - which comprises such a huge portion of our lives. When you make your work fun, not only will you get more done, you will, of course, enjoy doing it.
I have been speaking professionally now for over fourteen years and I can tell you from experience, my best-received speeches were always the ones where I had the most fun. And that fun was not fully dependent upon the audience, location or time of day. I typically showed up in a spirit of gratitude and was excited about the prospects for what would unfold - including the unknown outcome that I could not fully control. Faith, confidence and the curiosity of a child can certainly fuel an abundant life. And when your own cup is overflowing, you are surely more able to serve others more fully.
How is an audience to have fun if the speaker is not?
How are your friends, family, and colleagues to have fun with you if you yourself are not? Isn’t it true that some go to parties, and others bring the party? Which describes you?
I truly believe that if I am not having fun most of the time, at work, from the stage, with colleagues, friends and certainly family, I am doing something wrong. The common denominator is likely me and taking more time to look within is maybe the most loving thing I can do for myself and others.
I encourage you to take Dr. Elko’s advise and “don’t be a thermometer, be a thermostat”.
Does a beautiful day lift your spirit? How do you lift your spirit on a rainy day?
Are you hitting your daily disciplines: getting sleep, exercising, eating well, loving yourself and those around you? Are you living in gratitude for the very gift of life you are so privileged to live? Get after those thoughts that steal your joy. Throw them out like you would a thief in your house; as ancient wisdom suggests.
This week, more than ever, make time and effort to fuel more fun in your life. Identify what it is about your work that you enjoy most and recognize that all else is making it possible for you to do that thing. Finish your days with a smile of reflection that today was a great day - and if not, commit yourself to making the next day better. When we get what we need, we become more of what others need. Make more aspects of your life more fun to live and notice how much more you get done by doing so - for yourself and for others.
Make it a great fun week!