Having fun is an important aspect of Abundance. Because, after all: why do we seek abundance if not to be able to enjoy our lives more?
There are some simple ways to activate this area of our abundance right away, without necessarily needing a lot of money to do so. I’ll get to that in a minute. But first, some important context…
Recently, someone I did a coaching session with reminded me of one of the things I told her in our session: that she deserved to have more fun in her life. During our session we worked on some belief blockages around that.
In follow up, when she reminded me about this topic of fun, I asked her: “Have you been having more fun since we talked about that?”
She replied with something very honest and vulnerable: “I’m not sure, because I’m not sure I know how. I’m not sure I know what fun means to me.”
I could totally relate to that. Because here’s the thing: not everyone gets to have a great, fun-filled childhood. And that’s when most people learn how to have fun.
Some people had to grow up too quickly. Or they couldn’t do the fun things they wanted to when they were children, because there was some version of ‘not enough’ going on. Not enough money, or not enough time, or not enough friends to do fun things with, or not enough permission and freedom to do those things.
Sometimes the idea of fun that our family had and pursued, is not actually our own idea of fun. There can be a mismatch there. So, there are lots of reasons that ‘fun’ can get prematurely shut down inside of us when we’re growing up. Then, what can result is a state where we don’t even know what fun is. We don’t know what it really means to us, individually.
In my early twenties I lived and studied at university in Japan for 5 years. That’s a culture that is very focused on academic achievement. Kids there would go to school all day, and then they’d go to another school, after normal school, for extra tutoring so they could pass tests to get into the best high schools and universities. They wouldn’t finish their ‘double’ school day until about 6pm, when they’d go home, eat, do their homework and go to bed.
There was very little play time for many kids in that culture.
What I noticed was that among the Japanese that I went to university with – having now got into university, the final goal of those long hours of childhood study – they finally had a little bit of free time. Time for fun. And they didn’t seem to know what to do with it. What was ‘fun’ anyway?
I joined a social club at my university, which was focused on Aikido (a Japanese martial art). Instead of being a fun kind of club, it was run like a military boot camp. I asked around: most of the other clubs at my university (from trampolining to chess) were just as serious and lacking in fun. I didn’t know how to process this – I didn’t want to spend my extra-curricular free time not having any fun, so I ended up quitting the idea of being in a club at university in Japan. I found other ways to have fun.
Now… I’m not saying that Japanese people don’t know how to have fun. But I am saying that the focus in that culture on academic achievement does seem to crowd out the opportunity to learn a lot about different kinds of fun in childhood. It becomes something that has to be re-learnt later.
That can be true for anyone.
How do you, as an adult, re-learn what it means to you (and not to anyone else) to have fun? What do YOU find truly fun?
Here’s a simple process that I came up with for my coaching client:
Set aside a notebook that is designated for finding out what fun means to you.
NOTE: Some of the FUN THINGS may cost money to do, other things may be totally free and just require your time to do them. Be sure to record both kinds of things on your list.
Don’t discount something just because it doesn’t cost money to do it. If it’s fun, it’s fun and it goes on the list. Equally, don’t hesitate to put something fun on the list because it does cost money to do it. If its fun, it’s fun and it goes on the list. Try to separate the cost from the ‘fun’ score. The purpose of the exercise is just to find out what things you find really fun.
This is how you can teach yourself what ‘fun’ means to you. Now, as an adult.
Keep yourself open to the idea that this list is just for you – not for anyone else. Your idea of fun can be unique to you. And also, that your idea of fun may evolve as you go through life. It’s not fixed. You can always cross things off the FUN THINGS list if you stop enjoying them. Like, I used to love salsa dancing but now my hips ache after I do it. So I’d like to learn to dance tango instead, because it seems a bit gentler on the body.
Other things on my list are:
Once you have your FUN THINGS list, how do you incorporate more fun into your life?
When you have free time, go to your FUN THINGS list and choose something that is doable from the list. Choose something that is affordable to you, doable that day, and that you have enough time for.
And then, go have some fun!
As always, scroll down and let me know in the comments if this post has helped you in any way. And also, let us know what fun means to you. It may give someone else some ideas.
To YOUR Abundance,
Julie Ann Cairns