When we were kids, life was all about fun. Making a fort out of a cardboard box, colouring, exploring, playing puppets. Whatever it was that we did, we did it until we got bored and moved on to something else. Then we started school where we were told to set aside fun. That we need to work if we want to make money, buy a house and go on vacation in 25 years. This is where the divide starts. That hobbies are meant for fun and work is something painful that must be done. Fun becomes a thing you set aside for nights and weekends. By the time we graduate, this concept is so ingrained in us that we are confused what to do with our life.
Instead of thinking about something that would be fun, we instinctively push it aside and figure we need to do something in-line with pain and work. Because that’s what we’ve been brainwashed to think. We spend 80% of our life working and are fine with it being boring and painful. We’ve associated painful work with safety. And fun with danger. But chasing pain doesn’t guarantee safety. In fact it’s the opposite, not only is it detrimental to our mental health but it leads to mediocre work.
In the new connection economy the people who get rewarded are those that provide imagination and dedication to their work. And this generally only happens when someone has fun doing their work. When we are intrinsically passionate about something we can compete globally because we will have the motivation to push through any obstacle.
Fun is not the opposite of work, it’s a key ingredient in success. I’ve never met a successful person that doesn’t enjoy their work. We need to think of our passion without the thought of money or reputation. And this goes against everything we’ve been taught. It takes extreme reflexion and insight to realize that we can best serve others and create change in the world when we bring our full imaginative and authentic self into our work. We owe it to ourselves, our hidden gems, Our genius and our passions to put ourselves first and follow our heart and choose fun over fear.