Okay, so maybe you’re one of those rare folks who already is having so much fun that you can’t stand another joyful moment. If so, this isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you suspect that having fun may be the real key to making money (and enjoying the ride), read on.
° Stop saying yes when you want to say no. Give yourself the gift of more time and less stress by refusing to accept invitations or fill requests that you don’t want to participate in. Decide that you’re done entering popularity contests and, instead, learn to decline unwanted invitations without excuse, apology or explanation. A simple, “No, thank you,” is just fine. You’ll find this easier to do if you are clear about your priorities and determined to spend your time in ways that support and enhance what you value most.
° Create a personal trademark. Larry King is known for his suspenders; United Parcel Service does everything in brown. A trademark can be a color, an item of clothing or jewelry, a slogan or, even a passion that others associate with you. What might you do to make yourself memorable?
° Turn a shortcoming into an asset. No, I’m not talking about concealing a major flaw, but you can use this exercise for learning to see positives that others may have overlooked—then flaunt it. A great example of this was the ad campaign run by Lenscrafters which had the slogan, “Are you lucky enough to need glasses?” Every time I heard it, I found myself standing a little taller and thinking, “Lucky me!”
° Specialize in success. Really learn about the traits that characterize successful people. How do they think? Spend their time? Recharge their batteries? Too often we run our own lives on failure thinking that we’ve learned from people whose lives were not at all what we want. Pick a favorite guru and read what they have to say about optimal living. We are fortunate to have vastly better tools for living well than any previous generation. Not using them is just cheating ourselves out of the best possible life.
° Make a hobby of getting paid to have fun. Of course, people who have created a business of blissful activity already have this mastered. You can incorporate this idea in small ways, too. Want to dine out more often? Sign up with a mystery shopping agency that sends people out to scout the food and service at local eateries. Another variation of this is to give yourself a small amount of money (say $10 or $20) and challenge yourself to have maximum fun with minimum expense. Don’t ever make lack of cash an excuse for not having fun!
° Know who makes you laugh. Humor is a funny thing. We don’t all respond to the same things.Make a mental list of all the people who make you laugh and stay in touch with them. I also have a Make Me Laugh folder where I put cartoons and articles that amuse me so I know where to get a laugh in a hurry. And I keep Prairie Home Companion’s Pretty Good Joke Book nearby for a never-fail giggle.
Make this your year to lighten up and bring more fun into your life. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly find that fun seeks you out, too. Like attracts like, after all.
$100 Hour: During my 8 month sabbatical a few years back, I discovered how much I enjoyed housesitting. I took over a London flat, a cute cottage in Minnesota and helped out vacationing friends. A good source for long-term situations is the Caretaker Gazette.
Explore More: If you haven’t already done so, get yourself a copy of Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind. It’s a travel guide for succeeding in the Idea Age.
All the really good ideas I ever had came to me while I was milking a cow. ~ Grant Wood