in recent times, the resurgence of young people playing with the idea of fun and creating for the sake of creating has made me very happy. ever since the obsession of play grabbed me by the balls, i’ve been in a state of fun beyond desire or fear.
two sides of the coin
whenever i get down to doing something, i’m driven by either fear or desire. when i was younger, desire was more likely to drive my decisions and actions. as i got older even if the decisions and actions were the same it would more likely be driven by fear.
case in point, getting high was born of the desire to explore but soon it was the fear of withdrawal pains that drove me to continue getting high. i’m sure you’ll have relatively less extreme examples from your own life to understand the binary motivations of fear and desire.
since they’re two sides of the same coin, i’m always oscillating between my fears and my desires. there seems to be no escaping this contrasting yet constant interplay of these two forces. detachment from the avarice associated with ambition always felt sterile and impotent to me. and i was always hunting for a way that reached out to me without engulfing me like my hedonic past.
playing on the edge
fun on the other hand is beyond both fear and desire. remember fear is based on that which is behind us while desire is based on that which is ahead of us. only fun is obsessed on where we are right here.
what are the odds that a flipped coin will land on it’s edge? well, as slim as it is, fun is that edge that we seek - that unlikely chance that we can dance on the edge instead of falling on either face. why, you ask? because the edge is where the magic lies.
fun is that active state of detachment to the outcome and the result. but it still feels playful and exciting rather than insipid and uninspiring. there’s the constant challenge of staying on that edge that is tantalisingly effective at focusing one’s attention in the moment and not away from it, either on the future or in the past.
two heads are better than one
i’m not talking about heads or tails of the coin in question. i’m referring to the people or playmates involved in the game. when driven by fear or desire, competition makes me self obsessed and more likely to only think of my own fear and desire, not the group’s or the team.
when fun is the focus, the spirit of competition is replaced by that of celebration. how can i maximise my fun by involving and engaging more playmates in the game i play? we don’t need to win in order to celebrate with others. fun is a celebration of the process of play.
the game is challenging and is designed to test one’s limits, to stretch those limits and take one beyond them as well. in the midst of such a journey of growth and development, the presence of playmates can make this not just effortless but also enjoyable.
are you having fun today?
we have all embraced the obsession to measure and quantify everything we do. money is certainly quantifiable but even fame is no longer just ‘world famous’. you have to count your followers before you’ve hatched. in such a world, i ask you again…
are you having fun; right here, right now?
when we think of all the achievements and accomplishments of all the men and women through history, we appreciate their struggles, trials and tribulations. but what about fun?
why aren’t we giving out a Nobel prize for the scientist who’s had the most fun while attempting to discover or invent something (even if he failed at it!). after all, my earliest memories of a scientist was always the stereotypical absent minded scientist, who was always challenging children with curious and mischievous experiments intended to inspire more than educate.
here’s an experiment for you. ditch your regular metrics and attempt to quantify the fun quotient in everything you do. tell me how you fare.