"What do you do for fun?"
Recently I was asked that by a new acquaintance. The question took me by surprise. For starters, usually I am the one who asks others loads of questions because I am curious and interested in people.
One time we were staying at a bed and breakfast. During the complimentary wine and cheese get-together we were mingling with the other guests. I was asking this one couple different questions based on their previous responses. Finally the husband turned to me and asked, "What do you do? Are you a news reporter?" He wasn't upset but rather was amazed that someone would ask in-depth questions to get to know another without the ulterior motive of "getting a story".
So, when this new acquaintance asked my about my fun, I first thought, "That's one of my questions for you". Then I had to really think about it for myself.
What determines fun? A fun activity for one might not be that much fun for another. My sister likes skiing. I do not. The thought of choosing to be in the cold weather, hurling down a snowy slope with out any brakes or form of control does not excite me. I know that there is a "just relax and go with it" attitude but that doesn't happen with me.
Part of what makes something fun for me is an activity that helps me "get in the zone". An activity in which time doesn't have any part: I have no recollection if I am spending ten minutes or ten hours doing the activity.
I also find things fun that enlighten me or provides physical activity (just as long as I don't have to be too cold and give up control- like skiing!). It is also enjoyable to complete creative projects, like my recent re-painting of the guest room.
Recently I just heard someone talking about the word, "amuse". In Latin, "a" means non or not. For example, amoral- no morals, complete lack of morals. "Muse" is to think, to ponder. So "a" +
"muse" is to not think. In the strict sense of the word, to be amused is to not think at all. To turn off the brain. Which is what we sometimes want to do when we are entertained via movies, books, or videos. ( I wasn't thinking Latin etymon when I would get annoyed at our boys that, after watching television, they would seem so dulled. "Huh" would be the common refrain to any question asked after the show.)
So, for me something that which is fun doesn't have to be amusing. Although at times it can be.
What we do for fun can mean, "What do we do outside of our work?" The implication is that our work isn't fun. Generally most people see work and fun as polar opposites. Certainly that can be true. Some work isn't fun although there might be aspects that can be fun. We can be serious about what we do but still have a sense of fun.
I think the word "play" should be asked when thinking about fun. Children have a wonderful sense of play even if they are doing a task. This past weekend our next door neighbor's five-year-old was helping raking the leaves. He was having a great time, balancing one leaf on the back of his rake and flipping it over onto the pile. Of course, not many leaves were raked but he sure had fun.
What about you? What do you do for fun? For amusement? For work? Can you bring in a sense of play to your work?
It reminds me of the Fish! Philosophy. The employee practices at the Pikes Peak Fish Market. click here to see a video. When I was working with employers to implement wellness programs, the Fish!Philosophy is a great employee management style for having work/life balance. It is more than just for employers/employees. It is a way of viewing life.
The four foundations of the Fish! Philosophy:
#1-- Be There
Be there mentally and physically, so you can seize opportunities and maximize your performance.
#2-- Make Their Day
Genuinely connect with customers and colleagues alike. Daily create an engaging work environment or delightful customer experience -- the kind that builds loyalty and repeat business.
Embrace a playful state of mind that makes you more energetic, enthusiastic and creative. Result: enhanced customer relations and elevated productivity.
#4-- Choose Your Attitude
Cultivate self-sufficiency and control in consistently making smarter business decisions. A mental state optimized to "be there" with an attitude that ignites success.