Just For Fun

Zen Habits

Hailing from Guam it's a pleasure to introduce Leo Babauta, who will be providing the Chelsey community with inspiration and tactics on setting and achieving your goals each and every week, check out his blog Zen Habits

Just about everything I do is just for fun.

While some people like to focus on being disciplined and achieving goals and sticking to their plans, I find this to be meaningless. What’s the point? You’ll fail about a third to half the time, and then feel like a failure for not being disciplined or sticking to a plan or goal.

just out for some fun

In contrast, if you do the exact same thing, but let go of the expectation you’ve set for yourself and just have fun doing it, it’s a complete success.

Let’s repeat that for emphasis: if you do the exact same thing, it’s a failure if you have expectations, but a complete and absolute success if you let go of the expectations and do it for fun.

Let’s take a few examples:

  • If you set out on a really tough 3-day hike through some mountains, and make it through the first day and night but get too tired in the middle of the second day, is that a failure? It is if you are mad at yourself for not getting to the end, for not being disciplined. It’s a success, though, if you decided at the beginning to do it “just for fun” and had a great time while you were doing it.
  • If you start writing a book but only get about halfway through, is that a success or failure? It’s a failure if you expected to get finished and are disappointed in yourself for not sticking it through to the goal. It’s a success if you decided to do it for fun and had a wonderful time writing.
  • If you start an online venture and it doesn’t take off and you have to call it quits after a year — is that a failure? Well, by now you know the answer. Have fun doing it, and it’s always a success.

If you go for a walk, a run, a hike, do it for fun, not for the benefits you might get. Do experiments in your life for fun, not for the results. Wake up each day and do something for fun, not to accomplish something. Every waking moment should be just for fun.

It shifts everything. It doesn’t only determine whether something’s a success or failure — it changes your attitude while you do anything, while you’re talking with someone or reading or watching something. Your mood lifts, you are kinder to others, you have a smile on your face.

Do handstands. Dance. Bound up a hill. Sing with your child. Write something with a light and lifted heart. Be love, and compassion, and joy. Live life just for fun.

Post inspired by my friend Suraj.

 
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  • Wice says
    With this attitude, it's a wonder humanity ever even reached the stone age. Sure there is a time for fun but imagine if the dentist stopped having fun half way through a filling, or the prison guards all went home at lunch time as it was no fun looking after the prisoners! What about the Mum giving birth or even the clerk serving at the bank!

    Come on. Who would pass exams? Who would cook dinner or do the washing? Who would stay married through thick and thin? We could zombie out and tell ourselves that everything we do is fun but face it, that's simply not true.

    Persistence in the face of adversity and hardship is why the human race survives, achieves and moves forward. Maybe Guam has never read Ecclasiastes 3 as well:

    1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

    2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

    3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

    4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

    5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

    6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

    7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

    8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

    Life is not all fun and if it were then it would be pretty dull. After all "All sunshine makes a desert."
  • Michelle says
    If I didn't have fun whilst doing exercise, I just wouldn't do it... I don't enjoy exercising for the sake of it or "to lose weight" as soon as I get in that mindset it seems like a chore. Playing netball with my girlfriends and chasing the kids on their bikes, or jumping on the tramp with them... Thats my kind of fun, my kind of "exercise". My new philosophy is "let go of the expectations and do it for fun", thank you Leo! An excellent way of looking at things, how can life be dull if it is all fun?! Doesn't make sense to me.... but that's just my opinion
  • Michelle says
    If I didn't have fun whilst doing exercise, I just wouldn't do it... I don't enjoy exercising for the sake of it or "to lose weight" as soon as I get in that mindset it seems like a chore. Playing netball with my girlfriends and chasing the kids on their bikes, or jumping on the tramp with them... Thats my kind of fun, my kind of "exercise". My new philosophy is "let go of the expectations and do it for fun", thank you Leo! An excellent way of looking at things, how can life be dull if it is all fun?! Doesn't make sense to me.... but that's just my opinion
  • Michelle says
    If I didn't have fun whilst doing exercise, I just wouldn't do it... I don't enjoy exercising for the sake of it or "to lose weight" as soon as I get in that mindset it seems like a chore. Playing netball with my girlfriends and chasing the kids on their bikes, or jumping on the tramp with them... Thats my kind of fun, my kind of "exercise". My new philosophy is "let go of the expectations and do it for fun", thank you Leo! An excellent way of looking at things, how can life be dull if it is all fun?! Doesn't make sense to me.... but that's just my opinion.
  • Gail says
    I can't comment on a wider social context, but I have always found doing something I love and is fun much easier than complete discipline. I ride horses and the mental/physical boost it gives me is extraordinary, I never think of it as exercise, but it is a demanding sport that keeps me trim - but more here than anything else it restores my calm, makes me relax, and taps me into a well-spring of good feelings that comes from being passionate about riding and my relationship with the horses (i.e. good in every way). If everyone knew a sport or activity that gives them inner calm/satisfaction/general good feelings I am sure there would be less depression, anxiety etc. I get the same sense of release from walking along a beach too - the fresh air and space I suppose!
  • kjwx says
    That's exactly why I geocache. It doesn't feel like stringent exercise, I can take friends/family/my puppy along whenever I am and there's the added bonus of finding treasure if successful.
  • Twitteratti says
    I love my exercise, feel crappy when I don't so make sure that I enjoy the things I do. When I tried a hideous-workout for better results, it became a chore and after a few months, lost interest. Walking, running, hiking, cycling, horse-riding, yoga - so many fun things to choose from!
  • New Member says
    I agree I have heaps of fun whilst going to my classes at the gym. They aren't a chore they are me time that provides an opportunity to just get away and have some fun. Its why getting up at 5.30am isnt hard
  • Rosie says
    Interesting discussion. For sure, loads of things can be more useful if we make them fun. But then, we need to accept that we do some things just cause they need to be done, even if they are fun-less.
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