While some people like to focus on being disciplined and achieving goals and sticking to their plans, I find this to be meaningless. What’s the point? You’ll fail about a third to half the time, and then feel like a failure for not being disciplined or sticking to a plan or goal.
In contrast, if you do the exact same thing, but let go of the expectation you’ve set for yourself and just have fun doing it, it’s a complete success.
Let’s repeat that for emphasis: if you do the exact same thing, it’s a failure if you have expectations, but a complete and absolute success if you let go of the expectations and do it for fun.
Let’s take a few examples:
- If you set out on a really tough 3-day hike through some mountains, and make it through the first day and night but get too tired in the middle of the second day, is that a failure? It is if you are mad at yourself for not getting to the end, for not being disciplined. It’s a success, though, if you decided at the beginning to do it “just for fun” and had a great time while you were doing it.
- If you start writing a book but only get about halfway through, is that a success or failure? It’s a failure if you expected to get finished and are disappointed in yourself for not sticking it through to the goal. It’s a success if you decided to do it for fun and had a wonderful time writing.
- If you start an online venture and it doesn’t take off and you have to call it quits after a year — is that a failure? Well, by now you know the answer. Have fun doing it, and it’s always a success.
If you go for a walk, a run, a hike, do it for fun, not for the benefits you might get. Do experiments in your life for fun, not for the results. Wake up each day and do something for fun, not to accomplish something. Every waking moment should be just for fun.
It shifts everything. It doesn’t only determine whether something’s a success or failure — it changes your attitude while you do anything, while you’re talking with someone or reading or watching something. Your mood lifts, you are kinder to others, you have a smile on your face.
Do handstands. Dance. Bound up a hill. Sing with your child. Write something with a light and lifted heart. Be love, and compassion, and joy. Live life just for fun.
Written by L. Babauta