“You can be childlike without being childish. A child always wants to have fun. Ask yourself, ‘Am I having fun?'” – Christopher Meloni
What a beautiful distinction: the difference between childlike and childish! I love it. I revel in being childlike as often as I can – playing games, being ridiculous, laughing, chasing seagulls, and always trying to have fun.
Although, I can honestly say that it doesn’t happen by itself.
I have a mortgage, like everyone else. I have bills to pay, I have work stress, and I have my own health and fitness challenges. I have two children, and though I love them more than I thought possible, they are a brilliant source of challenges. I have a wife, and my love for her knows no bounds, yet our relationship can also be trying sometimes.
Sometimes, all of this put together is simply no fun. So that’s where being childlike comes in.
It starts as a choice. An “I am going to have more fun right now” kind of choice. And once you’ve made the choice, then your brain will start to look at all the ways you can have fun right now.
Once you choose to have fun, your brain starts to act like a magnet for fun, seeking it out from all around you. Give it an unusual challenge, like “I want to have fun paying my invoices!”, and instantly it starts firing up the ol’ neurons and looking for connections between where you are and where you want to be. (It’s no coincidence that my wife calls that part of our business “paying the fun-voices”…)
So, why fun? WHY NOT? Fun is infectious, enjoyable, and light. When you’re having fun, I bet everything feels golden and the world seems like it’s on holidays.
Today, I worked my butt off, but also managed to sneak in a quick surf in the middle of the day. The weather was glorious, the sun was out, and the water temperature was a balmy 18.5 degrees C. (Yes, a tad frosty.)
I reflected, as I sat on my board in the water, about how much my day had been improved by the fun I was having. Truth be told, I surfed terribly. I fell off my board on takeoff for two absolutely brilliant waves, and lost my balance on a handful more. Each time, I fell head first into that balmy (i.e. freezing) water and received a jolt of cold water down the back of my wetsuit. Brrr.
But, every time it happened, I came up laughing. I was having so much FUN! It was a pure delight. I’d taken less than hour out from my work day, and managed to get some exercise, sunshine and laughter. Amazeballs!
Some days, I choose to be grumpy. It’s actually a default habit of mine from a LOOONG time ago. When I’m in that zone, everything is crap, nothing measures up, nothing is acceptable. I find fault with everyone and everything and pick fights for no good reason. It’s not one of my best qualities.
However, I am choosing more and more to be a beacon of positive energy and fun. My world is smiling back at me far more often as a result. The challenges are the same, but the outcomes – and the experience while I’m in the middle of it – are far more enjoyable.
My advice: CHOOSE to have fun. NOW. Please :)
Be childlike. Ask yourself “Am I having fun?” Even better, ask “How can I have fun RIGHT NOW?”