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Are you beating the fun out of yourself?

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

Are you beating the fun out of yourself?

Would you like to have more fun? Are you waiting and waiting for it to happen? Most would say they’d like to have more fun. But most are also tyrants with themselves. Thoughts like “there’s no time to play”, “there’s too much to do” and “I’m too tired” rule the day. And too often, the belief is that the way to get things done is to just buckle down and do it. This is the opposite of the truth. Fun is one of the best (if not the best) motivator there is. Pause for a moment to consider this- someone invites you to an event and it sounds like a lot of fun. You’re likely to say yes immediately, or figure out how to move things in your schedule to get there. In a different scenario, the same person invites you to an event, but this time you think to yourself “I should go because _______”. It doesn’t matter what you fill in the blank with, as soon as you tell yourself you should go, you’re in trouble.

You have decreased the odds of attending substantially. You have taken a potentially fun activity and turned it into a “have to” activity. And this leads to resistance. When someone tells you what to do (even if it’s you), it creates internal rebellion. We don’t want to be told we have to do anything by anyone. This happens all the time. When using the words “I have to” as if they are true you are also sending yourself a subconscious message that something very bad will happen if you don’t. “I have to” by its very nature implies consequences, and we better “get to it or else”.  The internal tyrant has taken over and sucked away any opportunity for fun. The fix is relatively simple, but not easy (because of the habitual pattern). Change the words “I have to” and “I should” to “I want to” and notice what happens. Even when paying the bills; because, ultimately, even that is a choice. (Yes, there will be consequences if you don’t, but still, it’s a choice.) When you move anything from column A (have to and should) to column B (want to), you open the door to the possibility of enjoying what there is to do.

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