I’m always going on about FUN.
Have you noticed?
It’s not that everything is ‘fun’, it’s not. There’s plenty of misery, pain, hopelessness and sadness out there. I see it every day.
But there’s a lot of fun to be had too … if you look.
Fun is good for you. Proven fact: Fun is a top to bottom body-brain brightener.
My old Yoga teacher used to say: “You don’t catch butterflies with a fishing rod”. What he meant was you need to get the right tool for the job. So ……
How do we ´catch´more fun?
I start with kids. 4 year-old kids know instinctively how to catch fun.
I watch them. They dance and sing. They skip. They laugh. They run around. They do random things. They’re silly. They play. They giggle. Having fun comes naturally to them.
I just copy them.
Now, for goodness sake, don’t get me started with “But Doctor Saunders, you can’t behave like that when you’re older.” Why not?
It just makes me cross. When we speak or think like that, we’re playing victim. No one stops us having fun, except ourselves. We have just gotten out of the habit of looking at the fun side of life, and slipped into our “serious” adult selves.
This constant “habit” of being too serious elevates our levels of stress and anxiety, makes every task more complicated, every effort more demanding, every relationship more intense, it weighs heavily on our shoulders and on the decisions we make.
We need to lighten up.
I dance and sing and am silly and have as much fun as I can and I’m nearly seventy three and three quarters! Ask the missus, she’ll tell you.
Come with me. Hold my hand. Pretend you were 4 once again.
You’d be very short and you’d have to clamber up chairs to sit at the dinner table, wouldn’t you? Getting up and down stairs would be still be ‘interesting’, wouldn’t it? Careful not to fall.
If you were 4, you could get under the dinner table and look up at the top from the bottom, if you know what I mean . I bet you’d find all kinds of things stuck to the underside of the table … someone’s gum perhaps, or some pieces of unappetizing vegetables someone snuck under there so as to not offend, or get caught.
If you were 4 again, you’d be very close to the ground, and you’d find all sorts of curious things down here too.
If you were 4 again, your vision would be very sharp. You could pick a blade of grass and marvel at all the tiny hairs on the stem. And if the sun came out, you’d see hundreds of rainbows hanging onto each one.
How valuable would it be for you to get that fun feeling back in your life?
No doubt you’ll remember my spectacularly brilliant Newsletter on Goldmining and my story on how “I got a B in Physics”. Do you remember this bit?
”So if I get in the habit of mining for gold in them thar hills of my inner gold mine, it gets easier and easier for my associative memory system to find many more flecks of gold inside my mine, my mind, my brain, and suddenly I have many useful happy hacks at my fingertips.”
A tip: your time is not finite. The sand will run out and it’ll be no fun if you look back over your brief time here and think “Shit! Missed most of it “
So listen up:
- Have you started to build your Goldmining List? Are you adding to it whenever you remember a glorious moment? Do you look at it before you go to sleep at night? Or when you need a boost to your motivation? How many “fun” memories do you have on your list?
- Have you begun to mine the precious resources you have access to, in this new day and age of neuroscience, to tweak your amazing brain into producing the specific results that are so important to you personally, to your precious health, to your success and to your full enjoyment of life?
- Are you on the path of reinventing yourself? How much play time have your incorporated into your New Year plans? Did you borrow the kids’ coloured pens and markers and use a different colour for each idea? Did it make your planning a lot more fun and relaxed?
- Are you finding yourself laughing a bit more cheerfully and more spontaneously after reading about The Serious Business of Laughing?
- Have you experimented with chatting with your inner child in playfulness rather than criticizing yourself every time you slip into an unhelpful habit? Fun, isn’t it? Phew!
- Have you gotten into the habit of adding happy soothing background music to your work or home environment while you go about your normal activities? Do you sometimes change the tune, turn up the volume and start to feel like you want to dance or sing along? Are you using music as a free and powerful mood brightener?
- Have you begun to talk directly with your brain yet? Do you sometimes find yourself asking your brain to make your life a little (or a lot) more fun and enjoyable? Try it, especially just before you go to sleep? What have you got to lose?
By the way, this is the toughest part of brain reprogramming because it is so simple. “Hello, my name is Brian. I am Clifford’s brain. It’s a pleasure to meet you and your face puppet.” Brian is your brain. When you roll your eyes upwards to feel that eye strain, you are literally looking at your brain. You both are not doing this by accident. You are deliberately communicating about something important.
- Did you breathe a sigh of relief when you read that some of the harder challenges in your life, or in a loved one’s life, may be of a Neurological, rather than Psychological, nature and therefore fixable? Can you see yourself moving forward more confident, relaxed, joyful?
- Have you taken care, or started to take care of this business of worrying yourself sick? Do you remember to change that broken record tune on the radio of your mind to a more jazzy, happy, energizing sound? Can you do it again on automatic? You’d be surprised how much more fun you can have when you’re not worrying.
- Have you played with flushing away the misery that wreaks havoc in your mind while you are mostly unaware of it? Did my story of the old Victorian crapper make you smile? Have you begun to imagine you have a beautiful gold crapper of your own to flush away the dark cloud filling your thoughts with gloom and doom?
If you’ve read this far, you will see why I say things like “Happy is a habit”. It doesn’t require any skills, or efforts, or time even. In fact, it’s pretty well the idea behind just about everything I write about.
You only have to believe it enough to actually do it a few times before your brain takes over and does “Happy” on automatic, and that will be that. Next …
Let me know how it goes for you.
- What is your idea of fun? Silly, creative, serious or full-blown euphoria?
- Do you equate fun with happiness? How so?
- How is your inner child? Missing in action? At the ready whenever an opportunity presents itself?
Post your questions or answers below and read what others are saying.
What I’m Watching:
Have you had your daily dose of fun today? It’s not just enjoyable, it’s also essential for your health and happiness, says science journalist Catherine Price.
She proposes a new definition of fun – what she calls “true fun” — and shares easy, evidence-backed ways to weave playfulness, flow and connection into your everyday life.