Business and FUN Don’t Mix

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Part Two

Happiness is great – just don’t make it too FUN

Who took the FUN out of happiness

The idea that we as adults need to tap back into the mindset of a child is an extremely valid point. Imagine how powerful people, and our workforce, could be if we were fearless, creative, imaginative, and passionate about what we do! Fun is important yet I have been getting resistance from businesses about it for years. The problem is business and fun don’t mix. My thought-provoking lessons and powerful stories have very helpful messages but my apparently my presention is simply too fun for business. Then don’t like the word Grown-up. Adult seem to fit better. I get resistance from the phrase child-like thinking, but the mindset of a child is acceptable. 

You can imagine my excitement when I learned that in 2012 the United Nations established the International Day of Happiness. Yeah! Happiness is becoming a popular subject and businesses are beginning to focus on the value of good feelings and joy and not just money! Companies are creating programs focused on employee well-being, productivity, and employee engagement. There are endless scientific studies on the benefits of happiness, and businesses now even employ chief happiness officers.

Did you know there is something called
the World Happiness Report?

Oh and let’s not forget Dan Price – he is the boss who cut his salary 93% to give his employees a substantial increase in pay. All of this proves that there is a movement towards happiness, and it is a very positive thing indeed. Finally! We are making progress. Then suddenly I had one of those light bulb moments.

All this happiness stuff is indeed popular, however when did happiness become so serious? Happiness is something that is supposed to be full of laughter, smiles and joy? Who took all of the fun out of happiness! Happiness should be FUN! I understand that responsible adults and businesses need productivity, employee engagement, and return on investment to succeed but when you turn happiness into a chore, a task, or another dreaded assignment, the entire focus gets lost. Forcing happiness on people and making it serious business is simply not fun!

A newspaper reporter once called me the queen of clean fun and I have been focusing on happiness and the power of child-like thinking for years. I am always creating fun events, writing humorous content, and getting my friends to smile. Most of my adult life I have been “encouraging” people to have participate, be a little silly, and feel the spirit of that carefree child within! Yet as soon as my FUN material is presented to anything business related, the fun immediately gets tossed out, the project is re-written and the joyful moments are pushed aside. 

Why fun and business don’t mix

Fun is not funny. I truly do not understand why fun and business don’t mix. Fun is a strong positive force so business should embrace it, not reject it. Maybe one of the reasons fun gets pushed aside is because the corporate world confuses fun with being funny. Humor and laughter have countless positive qualities yet not everyone has the same sense of humor. People laugh at different things and one movie or joke may be funny to one person yet offensive to the next. You have to be cautious with humor so maybe businesses don’t want to take the risk of offending someone so they resist humor in the workplace. However those precautions shouldn’t apply to fun because fun is not funny. It’s not humor. Fun is about the joy and the smiles, not the laughter.

People may resist participating in a good time, but fun is unlikely to offend. Fun is about engagement, participation, and finding a common bond. Find those feel good moments and share them with others. Hey, that sounds like teamwork to me, and business love to promote team building. Just don’t go over board and get too excited, otherwise you might get in trouble because if you appear to be enjoying yourself too much then you must not be getting any work done.

“When did happiness
become so serious?”

Businesses prefer entertainment. Another reason that may explain why happiness has become serious business is because executives view fun more like entertainment. What I mean by that is that fun is active and requires energy effort and participation, whereas entertainment is passive. It is easier for management to say sit there quietly and follow these rules. Let me show you how to do it, that is the business way of doing things. If happiness was treated as fun, then there would be questions, answers, suggestions, and true interaction and that just takes way to much time and energy. Businesses simply don’t have time for everyone to have an opinion so employees are expected to sit quietly and listen to what management has to say. Corporate presentations may also be educational and even quite entertaining, but they tend to take most of the fun out of happiness lessons.

I thought things started to change when I was introduced to another company who loved the ideas in my book but still rejected the project. “It is a great concept, but not business material,” they said yet again. That was when I decided that instead of trying to re-write my first book, why not simply write a second book? I based the new book on the same basic child-like thinking philosophy as Grown-ups Don’t Skip, only this time I removed a lot of the fun material. And guess what happened. Indigo River Publishing accepted the manuscript for my upcoming book “A White Hat and Rose Colored Glasses – Unlocking your power though clarity and action” on the first draft! Yippee, that is totally exciting… yet sad at the same time. In order to be accepted into the business world, I had to take out the best part out of my book. I removed the FUN and I achieved success.

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Did you miss PART ONE -
Who took the fun out of Happiness


Susan Sherbert is author of “Grown-ups Don’t Skip have FUN Be Happy Enjoy Life” and her passion is helping adults get back in touch with their fun of youth. If you can shift your awareness and re-connect with your passion, imagination, and fearless child-like thinking you just may end up with a life you love. FunHappyEnjoy.com

 

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