Ok, ready or not, I’d like to plant a tune and possibly even an image in your head: do you remember Cyndi Lauper’s hit "Girls Just Want to Have Fun!" from the early 1980s? The song is so upbeat and infectious that you can’t help but feel better while listening to it. The video for the song shows Cyndi and her friends dancing in the streets, having a party, and generally having a great time. Got the picture? That looks like a lot of fun doesn’t it? And who doesn’t love to have fun (would you admit it if you don’t)? But, the key question is: are you having enough fun?
We all contend with plenty of stressors every day, which can make it difficult to relax and really enjoy ourselves on a regular basis. I like this definition of stress: any factor that threatens the health of the body or has an adverse effect on its functioning. To get a better handle on your current situation, it is helpful to become more aware of what causes you stress. Ask yourself questions, such as:
- What is stressful to me?
- How does stress affect me?
- When am I most vulnerable to stress?
- When is stress good for me?
It’s been said that "awareness causes that space where choice exists." So, as you become more aware about the specifics of stress in your life, you can make better decisions about how to minimize it and its effects. Stress often comes from focusing on what makes you feel BAD; your fears and limiting beliefs. Understanding this, why not focus on what makes you feel GOOD? Fun is a great counter-balance to stress…for both your mental and physical well-being.
In his The Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun video, Michael Bungay Stanier lays forth some wonderful ideas for having more fun in your life.
1. Get focused: Stop hiding who you really are. It’s important to understand who you are and what you’re all about. Then, let is shine!
2. Get focused: Start being intensely selfish. Don’t waste your time on anything other than what is most important to you.
3. Be creative: Stop following the rules. It’s no longer about what you can’t do; it’s about what you can do.
4. Be creative: Start scaring yourself. Explore the edges; seek out and have adventures.
5. Use your wisdom: Stop taking it all so damn seriously. Lighten up – this too will pass.
6. Use your wisdom: Start getting rid of the crap. What’s holding you down and getting in your way?
7. Take action: Stop being busy. Just because you’re going flat out, doesn’t mean you’re on the right track.
8. Take action: Get creative and start something. Lou Holtz said "When all is said and done, a lot more is said than done." Don’t let that be you.
So let’s all get busy and start having more fun. I’m not implying that you should run outside and dance around with your friends like Cyndi Lauper did. But, on the other hand, if it works for you…go for it! What is fun is an individual thing: fun for one person may not be for another. Know what works for you…and take the time to have fun as often as possible!
Now, I challenge you to get Cyndi’s catchy tune out your head ("Girls just wanna, they just wanna have fun…").