Remember when you were a child? Life was real fun. You used to drive your parents crazy making every chore a reason for wonder and laugher. The toothbrush sometimes became a boat. Your bunkbed, a cubby-house. The couch, a train station. All that was needed to get you to do stuff happily was to turn it into a game. Kids are masters in having a good time. They simply can not understand why adults aren't running around skipping and hopping happily like they do.
Even though we may not remember much about our childhood and how it used to feel, we were all children one day and we sure knew how to turn experiences into adventures. Life was a big world of possibilities and playing was the only way to live.
Somewhere along our later teenage years however, things start to change. Perhaps because of the way we are organised as a society or perhaps it's just how the mind evolves. Regardless the reason, at some point in life we become outcome-oriented. A lot is expected of us when we start maturing and we end up putting all our energy into getting good grades, performing well in sports, fitting in with peers, getting into University and so on. This pattern only intensifies in adulthood. We focus so much on the results that we struggle to get to where we want to be. We withhold happiness from ourselves until we check that goal off our list. And then we get onto the next goal - hung up on the idea that joy comes from achievements.
As consequence, in our desire to create success, we make the process a lot more difficult and heavy – it may even turn into suffering. We take the game out of it and it becomes mechanical. What could be light and fun is stressful instead. And the amount of workload appear much bigger and much more arduous than it actually is. Now, I'm not saying here your desk should become a galaxy and your laptop a rocket-ship – at least not while you're working! What I'm saying is we can all access a level of lightness that already exists inside of us. We just need to rediscover what makes us laugh and what is the attitude necessary to look at our responsibilities from a different perspective.
The ideal environment for success, in any area of our lives, is one where we can feel centred, focused and calm. The more stressed we feel, the less able we are to deal with the challenges that come. High stress end up contributing to many conditions like anxiety, insomnia, digestive issues, depression and more. Yes, there are very demanding jobs out there, it's not about everything being easy. It's more about not letting stressful situations rule every other part of your life and messing up with your ability to find joy in the present moment despite having challenging things to deal with.
No matter what you do or where you live, there are always plenty of ways to make life lighter. Search and you will find. Below are some reflections to get you in the right mindset to create change:
First of all, have an attitude check.
If you tend to find everything boring, hard and annoying chances are you need an attitude check. Fair enough, life does present us with real reasons why to feel stressed. However, we need to make sure we aren't making it ten times harder than it should be by playing the victim, complaining about everything, blaming others or looking at the negative side of everything all the time. Attitude is key. In fact, just by improving the way you think and behave you will notice plenty more opportunities for fun and joy in your days.
For each role, a different you!
Even though we are just one person, we play many different roles in life. Parent, spouse, manager, business owner, colleague. Each of them requires us to be a certain way. It is not always easy to detach ourselves from these roles but it is possible. You had a stressful day at work? Tomorrow is another day and today you still have time to be present with your child and have a good time playing a family game or reading together. Don't let the stresses of one role ruin the lightness of the other. Who we choose to be and how we react to life goes beyond all the roles we play. Reflect on this and think of things you can do to help you switch from one role to the other more smoothly. Activities like yoga, a walk, deep breaths, even a shower can help your brain and emotions switch to a more suitable mood for the next part of your day.
Give yourself permission and please have fun!
It's amazing the amount of people I speak to on a daily basis that are so stressed and bored with what they do that they no longer create time for the things that make them happy. Often there is a feeling of guilt involved, as if having fun means they are not busy with their responsibilities. Being unhappy at work is one of the main reasons why people lack the energy and passion to pursue what makes them happy – hence the increasing number of individuals turning to home-based business solutions! But regardless if you are happy with where you are at the moment, there are always things you can incorporate in your day to day that will remind you of the fun that can be had if only you allow it. Only you know what truly makes you smile. Having fun doesn't need to cost anything either, it doesn't need to be a fancy day out. With the right attitude you will find the simplest of things can be fun.
One very important thing to keep in mind is: every human being in this planet has problems to deal with. I'm not sure about you but I haven't met a single person with a challenge-free life. It's nearly like we were made for this. For overcoming, for conquering. For breakthroughs. So we might as well stop hoping life was easy and start having a good time while finding solutions.