“What’s the point unless you are having a good time!?”
This has been my unofficial motto for years. Why kill yourself in the gym, why work long hours, why wait in line unless you are going to enjoy this life. I truly believe it too. What is the point of doing what you are doing unless you are having a good time.
You may or may not remember the very telling headline of our time Man Goes to Mexico to Kill Himself, Ends up Spending a Week Banging Hookers and Doing Cocaine, Decides Life isn’t so Bad After All.
I believe that this is the most important headline of our time.
We live in a time when depression and anxiety is at an all time high. People are engineering themselves for misery: spending time in from of screen, comparing their lives with highlight reels on social media, avoiding prolonged periods in nature, eating processed food coupled with a lack of communication and confusion of their role in society.
We get way too caught up in doing what we are told and being an adult. The fact is, there is a lot more room in our life to be ourselves.
We forget to shuck off all that shit, go out and have FUN. We forget to go off the grid and relax, we forget to not give a shit, we forget how to enjoy the moment and not think about anything else: our family, our followers, our jobs, money issues or legal problems. Even our trauma.
The story of this suicidal man is a famous story found on Reddit. I believe it is one of the most obvious and awesome stories of the modern day. Read the whole account here. You’ll see that this bang-a-rang week where he threw caution to the wind was the thing that kicked of six years of healing trauma and saved his life.
Obviously this is a story that is in the extreme. He was suicidal and he broke the (US) law to escape. But it’s the thing of modern day legends that turn into thought provoking myths.
You’ll see that this bang-a-rang week where he threw caution to the wind was the thing that kicked of six years of healing trauma and saved his life.
We get way too caught up in doing what we are told and being an adult. The fact is, there is a lot more room in our life to be ourselves. People tend to think about the leaves and trees instead of the whole forest. We think in days and weeks instead of months and years. What you do for months and years has an impact on your life. You breaking the rules to indulge yourself for a day or week isn't going to be the thing that makes or breaks your life - unless you truly have an outlier situation.
People respect people who take care of themselves. Your fun and pleasure should be one of those things you take care of.
What brings you joy, liveliness, playfulness and puts you in a flow state?
Of course basic needs have to be met and taken care of. But you can have fun without spending too much money or time doing it. A regular practice of playing games, meeting with friends, dancing in the mirror or just camping can get you out and having fun.
Your health really depends in it.
Think about what you did to have fun when you were a kid. What brings you joy, liveliness, playfulness and puts you in a flow state?
Women often time struggle with this because our versions of fun and play differ from the narrative. Many of us are not involved in team sports, games or clubs. Yes, many of us find these thing fun and healing but for a lot of women, these activities are not fun.
I have never been a part of the typical fun band wagon. I grew up in a family of doctors and engineers. Fun wasn’t a big priority. As a teen I rebelled with partying and drugs- that does not stay fun for long. As an adult, I had to learn how to have fun all over again. Lots of the things that I consider fun tended to be solo activities. But solo activities often times don’t hit that reset/relax button AND the reckless abandon/in-the-moment button that social activities do.
Going out and drinking seemed to be a safety hazard, expensive and put me in the presence of a bunch of dipshit dudes that wanted to hit it. Not fun. But DANCING, dancing I loved. I loved playing dress up, dancing, learning, earning money, reading, hiking and learning new physical skills. When I got into my 20’s, I have had to make these a little more social friendly. I learned to love games, shop without buying, and host small parties Whiskey + Philosophy night and mostly, i had to work to finance new hobbies that required equipment and physical activity.
I have trained myself to learn new things in an attempt to have more fun and connect with others. You may have to do the same.
Look back at that you think was fun when you were a kid. Look forward and think of all the things you want to do. Some of these may require money. But this is what you work, right? It’s not just to pay the bills but also to support a lifestyle.
If going out and adventuring or taking a class is not your thing - or you can’t afford it- you have to do some brainstorming to find out how you can get in a state of flow and fun.
I have been painfully broke and I know how oppressive that is. But whenever it got to be too much, I dressed up a bit, went to the most expensive department store, spent an hour sniffing perfumes and had a glass of white wine. It made me feel rich and reminded me that life isn’t so awful.
This also motivated me to go forward and do better.
Your brain is most effective and productive when you are having fun. Creative blocks do not break through from working harder, they work by taking a break and letting your subconscious mind take over.
Your subconscious will solve more problems than your frontal lobe ever will. If fact, the greatest minds of our time were the most effective because they were “lazy” in comparison to their peers.
People tend to think about the leaves and trees instead of the whole forest. We think in days and weeks instead of months and years. What you do for months and years has an impact on your life. You breaking the rules to indulge yourself for a day or week isn't going to be the thing that makes or breaks your life
According to DEEP WORK by Cal Newport, the brain only has about three hours of focused concentration per day. That means that you can only produce deep work and solve deep problems about three hours per day. All the other hours can be used for shallow work and socialization.
There is no great entrepreneur that doesn't have fun. Most think it's because they make a bunch of money that they are having fun, but really it's because they can kick off and disconnect quite easily. If that's not the case, it’s because they found their actual work fun.
If you are lackluster and anxious, do what you have to do to chuck it in the f*ck it bucket. Depression and depressive effects are signs that your body is tired of playing the role that it is playing and you need to switch it up.
George B. Shaw said “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”
You need fun like you need oxygen. Depriving yourself is like suffocating yourself.