Contrary to the opinion of many parents, it's OK to want to have fun in everything you do in life. It's not selfish, insensitive or self-centered. Wanting life to be fun is natural, normal and healthy.
Every aspect of life goes better with fun. Fun can lubricate even the most tedious chore. And fun can infuse even the most serious of situations with the lightness of love.
May I suggest a few actions to keep your day light:
1. Practice random acts of connection.
Really. It works. Wave to a firefighter. Smile at a cop. Salute a soldier. Hang with a kid. Have a friendly conversation with the cashier. Leave an outrageously generous tip. Drop in a shelter. Volunteer at a literacy program. Show up at a community fund-raising event.
Serve others. When you give, you feel more connected to other people.
And if you're not naturally motivated to reach out to others, think selfishly: any altruistic gesture -- from buying someone a coffee to letting another driver in front of you -- puts you on the fast track to feeling good.
2. Make at least one just-for-fun phone call a day.
Water your field of dreams -- your energy field! Call a friend who is consistently fun to talk to. Just for the heaven of it! -- not for business or to have any other need met. Simply ring someone up for a sociable hello without any agenda or expectation.
3. Look upon life as a Mystery School.
Welcome serendipity. Invite surprise. Cultivate spontaneity. Notice synchronicity. Know that the whole of your life -- events, situations and people -- has been secretly structured by your soul in order to bring you the experiences you want to have this lifetime. Approach life as if the whole of creation is conspiring to bring you goodness -- because it is! Realize that unpleasant people and situations are deliberately placed in your path as a challenge to help you grow big enough to embrace even them.
4. Have an exciting destination.
Seek wonder. Go toward joy, ease and adventure -- not simply away from boredom, pain, struggle and fear. Don't dwell on the old. Focus on your destination -- move towards a fun future.
5. Rejoice each step of the way.
To keep from being overwhelmed -- yet still make headway -- break your larger goals down into more manageable steps. It's easy to become discouraged if each step looms large and requires a major expenditure of time. Take at least one action a day -- no matter how minor. Then you can make some progress only if you have a few minutes. It may be something as little as gathering or setting out the materials for the next stage.
As you take small steps, check them off as achieved. Give yourself a pat on the back for your progress. Always focus on the advancement you've made as being just as important as the distance you have yet to go.
6. Strive for success -- not for perfection.
Give up perfectionism! Perfectionism goes hand in hand with fear of success and failure. We feel in order to succeed we must be perfect. As perfectionists, we insure that we will never be satisfied with who we are. Giving up perfectionism means seeing the good in our lives rather than the faults, focusing on what is working rather than what is not working.
Celebrate success in one aspect of your life each day. Look for the positive. Ask, "What did I do that was on the mark? Which parts of my day went well? What am I happy about?" This approach and attitude helps take the sting out of the aspects of your life that seem lacking.
7. Take a daily mini-vacation.
Take 15 minutes each day to do . . . nothing! Nothing of any significance whatsoever. We need time each day to not race against the clock or be productive. As we slow down, our spirit is free to be restored and creative. Go on a walk. Listen to music. Sit on the couch. Dance, run, jog, skip or stretch. Write, paint or sketch. Pet an animal or plant. Listen to the wind. Take yourself on a date. Do something that is alive and energizing for you.
The point is to relax. No multi-tasking. Don't live in your daily planner.
And take a break from technology for a while. Turn off your phone, fax and pager. Our modern conveniences have made us more accessible and vulnerable to other's agendas and demands.
8. Just say "No."
Consider everything you habitually say "Yes" to each day. Community involvement. Errands for family. Favors for friends. Daily calls. Regular visits. Take time to consult with your spirit. Ask, "Is this activity at this time, in this way, really serving me? Is this the wisest use of my time and energy for all concerned in the long run? Is this activity giving me more energy than it is ultimately taking?
If the answer to these questions is "No," then your answer to the activity should be "No."
In saying "No" to the people and events that aren't intuitively right for you, you are actually saying "Yes" to yourself -- and to the people and values that mean the most to you. If you allow yourself to be tied up with disharmonious, non-aligned situations, you can't be available to share your true gifts with your family, friends and the world at large.
9. Give yourself a place lift.
Do you long for more expanse, efficiency, easy flow and elbow room in your life? By intuitively re-arranging the elements of your daily life, you can create the space to nurture the fun, freedom, opportunities and effectiveness you desire. By clearing out the old, dead elements of your life, you create a natural vacuum and an unblocked channel for fresh, new energy and ideas to come into your private and professional life.
10. Share your life experience.
Keep in mind that not everyone knows what you know. Your personal experiences can be valuable to others. You might be surprised by what some people don't know about life! I always am.
We thrive when we feel we are valued and have left the world a better place at the end of each day. Leave a grand legacy.
Happiness comes from sharing happiness. There are few joys that are as complete as bringing joy to another human being.
Joy defies the laws of economics in that it's not something that we have less of when we give it away. Joy is something that grows greater for the giver as it is given. The more you give, the more you have.