by Anu Karthik
[box]Chill. Yes, that’s perhaps the watch word for this generation, which is living a life that is stuck in a perpetual, (well almost), cycle of existence. Where has ‘fun’ sneaked away in this chaotic life? It’s time to bring the zing back in our lives and mind you, it’s not rocket science, as Anu Karthik tells us. Here are ten ways that she recommends to win fun back into the contours of our lives – all tried and tested![/box]
Having fun is generally associated with being and staying happy. In a world where we are striving to be successful, where most families have both parents working, sometimes it can be a challenge to even think how one can have fun amidst all this. Well, In fact, I would say it is easier than one can imagine. And crucial too, so that one can excel in all other aspects of one’s life.
Here are some things you can do to raise the fun quotient in your lives – guaranteed because they are tried and tested. Pick the ones that suit your lifestyle and your mindset and you’ll be surprised how much can change with how little effort. Here we go!
Lose Control – Well, I don’t mean literally but in some sense, yes. I think the generation we belong to is convinced that we control a lot about our existence, about how things happen, about how to procure that ideal house or snag that promotion or even lose those 10 pounds. As a result we set unrealistic expectations and beat ourselves to death trying to meet it. I feel a much simpler and easier approach to life is to perhaps just step back and realise that we don’t control many things in our lives.. After all, who can be in control say, when you are walking on the road as the pedestrian light is green but a truck rams into you without stopping at the red light? Or you could win the lottery on the positive side. A bit dramatic but you get the picture. Each of us has our own belief systems – some believe in karma, some in fate, and some in God. Whatever it is that you believe in, remember, our universe, the solar system, our galaxy and everything in it work like a well-oiled cog. We are just miniscule pieces of this humungous puzzle. How can it be that just our lives don’t have any predetermined path? So don’t worry about what you cannot control or change and that will automatically add a spring to your step and keep you happy.
Set Goals, Work towards them – Quite the opposite of what we said in the first point, but there are many things that you do control in your life and nothing gives more satisfaction than actually setting a goal and working towards it. It can be as simple as ticking things off your to-do list or buying a home. The magnitude does not matter, the regularity does. I deliberately say ‘Set Goals’, ‘work towards them’ and NOT ‘meet them’ because it is the adrenaline rush from the change in attitude when working towards a concrete goal that matters. And if you work hard enough you will eventually meet it no matter how hard the goal!
Know your priorities – Very often we are unhappy or not having fun every day because we don’t sit down to think what is important to us. We are ca ught in the everyday cycle doing something because that is what we are qualified for or because we think we are meant to do it. If you are someone who is happy spending a lot of time with your kids or needing time for your hobbies you are not going to be thrilled in a job that offers no flexibility. At the same time if you are a go-getter and achieve great satisfaction from working competitively then staying at home is not going to cut it for you. So know what makes you tick and try to do more of that.
Enjoy your work – Reality check: there are very few of us who have the luxury of doing what we truly love. For most others it is a way to pay the bills or something we are ok doing but not totally thrilled about. So, how does one add some zing to such a life? Find something you love to do in your frame of work responsibilities and try doing more of it – it can be interacting with your co-workers, working more on presentations or talks maybe, or on technical projects, or even an exercise class or gym session that your workplace may provide. Something that motivates you to want to come to work every day. If you can find absolutely nothing that you love about your job/co-workers/team maybe then, it’s time to think of a change!
Find your Passion – OK your job sucks, you hate it and can’t change due to so many reasons. So how can you still have fun and be happy? That is where your passion comes in. I think each of us as an individual is so unique and have so many talents and personal interests. Find what you love doing and make some time to do it regularly. You will be amazed how much that can change your mood. Love to read – take out 10 minutes before you hit the bed daily or in the loo even! Love to travel – how about travelling once a month or even once a year? Love to watch a movie – how about watching one when you are eating dinner or while folding clothes? Believe me if you love it enough, you will find a way. More so when you see the positive impact it has on you.
Quality time with loved ones – It’s also important to make time for people your care about and spend it with them – it can be your kids, friends, family, pets anyone. But consciously make time for those phone calls or e-mails and stay connected. You will be happy and you will make another person also happy.
Play a sport/Join a Class/Happy Club – Have you ever realized why kids are happy –because they play a lot without worrying too much. So a lesson from them – for the few hours you play a sport or take a class, immerse yourself in what you are doing, enjoy it. Consciously surround yourself with people who have a positive upbeat attitude whenever possible, or better still if you can be that person no matter where you are, how much more wonderful!
Give – Easier said than done you say, but I don’t mean just monetarily. Give to others what you can – your time, your talent or your skill also. Volunteer when you can and as often as you can. At work, at your kid’s school or in the community. At your local library or even to so many websites online. Use your talent to contribute in a way only you can. There are more ways to give than we realise. And this is another situation where the giver gains much more than the receiver any time.
Smile – Always and at everyone. Well, if you are taken to be a little crazy, that’s OK. Let’s face it who isn’t? J Not only will you cheer someone else up, you might just make a new friend. A smile opens the door to so many opportunities. Nothing adds more beauty positively than a full smile. And it costs nothing, zilch. Some of my close friends today have been made from a smile shared in the gym locker room, at the grocery store and in the elevator. You’ll be surprised how many people remember a smiling face and how many favours you can get!
Live every day as if it were your last, then some day you will be right – What a better time to quote this and live by it than now, when we have a great example in Steve Jobs. This does not literally mean that you stop going to work, take the day off and just lie in bed all day but it means that you need to NOT put away things that matter to you and you really want to do. Things that you have been evading with the excuse that you don’t have the right time, or the right opportunity. Just give in to your instinct and truly live each day of yours to your fullest potential, without holding back and you’ll see that even YOU can’t hold back the fun and happiness that is bound to flow spontaneously.
Anu Karthik is a passionate person with a strong sense of will. She blogs at http://anu4karthik.blogspot.com
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