Listening to a Ted Talk on a recent road trip, I discovered FUN expert Catherine Price. Her Ted Talk “Why having fun is the secret to a healthier life” addressed both my fun goal for the holiday and one of my new year’s resolutions – leading a healthier life. So, I listened and discovered a few fun facts.
My interest was piqued because I had just had a lot of fun at work in a meeting with a client. Yes, that does happen! Before I tell my meeting story, let’s look at what defines fun according to Catherine Price. Three simple words: playfulness, connection and flow.
Playfulness is defined as finding a way to get a kick out of life, being lively, or to repeat the topic, having fun. Puppies often display it, but the first human who comes to mind when I think of playfulness is Jimmy Fallon. As a talk show host/comedian he avoids sarcasm and dry wit to just be playful and succeeds at it. There are no hidden (or blatant) political agendas. He has fun with every guest on the show and his work colleagues. He’s playful!
The second criteria for fun, according to Price, is connection. And not just any connection but one that yields a sense of shared experience, feels safe and, as a result, encourages us to let our guard down. I’ve connected in both long-term friendships and unexpected exchanges with total strangers on flights.
And the third element of fun, again according to Price, is flow. Yes, there is a book entitled “Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a book that probes deeply into that zone where we blissfully find ourselves losing all track of time as the activity, conversation or thinking is just so darn engaging.
Let’s get back to that client meeting, scheduled to take an hour and a half. Solutions to business challenges mingled with fun conversations until, 3 hours later, the meeting ended. (We didn’t charge for the fun!). We playfully shared memorable (even frightening) boating stories; connected over favorite cooking strategies, recipes and TV chefs; and at the 3-hour mark looked at each other in shock. Yes, we were in the flow!
So, my wish for all of you in this holiday season is that you find moments of fun—with friends, family or even new acquaintances. That you playfully connect and lose track of time. And in 2023 continue to make fun happen, both at work and at play. You might even try what Catherine Price suggests during her Ted Talk, “Get rid of distractions. Ditch the smart phone and find more ways to get a kick out of life.” Hm-m-m. There’s a New Year’s resolution worth considering.