{Blog Series} The Happiness Project: Be Serious About Play

For the month of May, Gretchen writes about having fun and making time for play. She defines it as an activity that’s very satisfying, has no economic significance, doesn’t create social harm, and doesn’t necessarily lead to praise or recognition. Gretchen had two goals in the month of May: have more fun and cultivate her creativity.

Find more fun

Gretchen realizes that she doesn’t have a real grasp on what is “fun” for her. She struggles with the fact that just because something is fun for someone else, doesn’t mean it’s fun for her, and vice versa. She ultimately focuses on “being Gretchen” and focuses on the things she actually likes, not the things she wishes she liked. She says that if something is actually fun it would pass two tests: She looks forward to it, found it energizing and didn’t feel guilty about it later. She talks of her love for children’s literature and how she’s always been somewhat embarrassed of it. Then she meets a friend who has the same interest and they start a book club together, which Gretchen finds to be a huge source of fun. Studies show that common interests between people boosts the chance of a lasting friendship and brings an increase in life satisfaction. Also, group membership brings a boost in confidence and happiness.

Cultivate creativity

While talking to a friend about her goal to have more fun, her friend asks her what she did as a child and suggests taking up similar hobbies. Gretchen recalls “blank books” from her childhood that she loved. She filled her book with magazine clippings, memorabilia, jokes and memories from school, things that interested her. She decides to give this another try. This experiment makes her look at everything differently, things that maybe wouldn’t typically call to her, may have had a place in her blank book. This kind of fun is energizing for her.

Gretchen categorizes fun into three categories. Challenging fun is the most demanding but most rewarding, It requires work and energy but it the end, has the biggest reward. Accommodating fun is something still challenging, as it requires work, it’s something you do because someone else wants to, you still enjoy the activity but it takes organization. Relaxing fun is something that doesn’t take any skill, such as watching TV

In conclusion, fun is different for everyone. Gretchen spends a lot of time thinking of all the things she wishes she would find fun in life but concludes that it’s okay to be who you are and embrace the things that YOU enjoy.


Coming Soon..

  • Make Time for Friends
  • Buy Some Happiness
  • Contemplate the Heavens
  • Pursue a Passion
  • Pay Attention
  • Keep a Contented Heart
  • Boot Camp Perfect

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