(continued from last month – see The Ten Practices of a Happy and Successful Life – Part III)

Practice #7 – “Have Fun Each Day”

If this sounds frivolous or unrealistic, believe me it’s not. Having fun daily is one of the most life-affirming practices we can ever adopt. It takes a real conscious effort to make time for fun in our busy lives, but if you’re looking for a successful AND happy life, you’ll see the wisdom of making the time. Sometimes it means breaking long-entrenched workaholic practices born of the foolish and erroneous belief that “the harder I work the more successful and productive I’ll be.” Perhaps in the short term, but over an extended period of time, all work and no play wear us down spiritually, emotionally and physically. Be diligent in honoring this practice and welcoming it into your life, and not only will you be happier but more effective too.

48853015 - young blonde laughing near the seasideLet me quote from my book, The Practice of Happiness. Not only has this point been made very clearly in the chapter, “Fun, Joy and Nonsense,” but by quoting it here I can also introduce you to a little jewel of a book that is often overlooked by my Mind Power students. Enjoy reading this next segment:

I am facilitating a weekend retreat with thirty-five participants, and while the mood is generally upbeat, sometimes things can get serious and heavy. Like right now.

A woman has just finished sharing a very traumatic experience, and our hearts and minds are all with her. It has been talked out and there is nothing more to say. Everyone is silent and reflective.

I’ve been in this situation often enough to know that right now the very best remedy available is an ample dose of fun and nonsense. I saunter over to a box where various items are kept, pull out a court jester’s hat my wife has made for just such occasions, and put it on. The bells on each tri-corner ring softly as everyone in the group looks on in disbelief. I look ridiculous.

We are at a small resort town in New Zealand which overlooks the ocean. There is a lovely grassy field just outside, and I tell them that they are all now to follow me out to that area.

Once outside, I inform them that I am now the “Master of Nonsense,” and that we are going to play a game. “It begins with one person who is the amoeba. The amoeba then captures another person; they capture a third and then a fourth. Then…” I say in mock horror, eyes wide for emphasis, “once there are four amoebas, they split into two groups each, who each capture two more, and now there’re four groups of amoebas on the loose!” Boundaries are d