Seriously..what are you waiting for? Happiness is a decision. You can choose to make the most of each day or you can choose to wait for happiness once you have won the lottery, found ‘the one’ or come first in the egg-and-spoon race. Whatever it is – why are you holding off? Why can’t you enjoy life right now? Yes – right this minute. Shoulders back, deep breath and a big smile.
Back in 1988, Strack et al. conducted research on facial expressions and perception. Participants were asked to rate the degree of humour in cartoons while holding a pencil between their teeth. The pencil, placed across the mouth from left to right, in the teeth forced the participants to smile. Another group of participants were asked to hold the pencil between their lips without touching the pencil with their teeth and this forced the muscles to contract resulting in a frown. The researchers hypothesized that the group that had to smile would judge the cartoons as funnier than the group forced to frown. This is exactly what happened.
We are conditioned from a young age to hold off on pleasure. Why are we taught that we can only have the fun stuff once we have completed all the yuck stuff? It’s almost as if we now need permission to be allowed to have fun.
And if we do have fun, not too much of it because then guilt might set in!
Decondition yourself. Have fun in life. Don’t be irresponsible with it but try to incorporate fun into everything you do. We don’t have to continue to believe that fun and hard work are mutually exclusive.
If you believe life will be a struggle it will be. Simple. Savour life and find pleasure in everything you do. Slow down and be in the moment.
Be a bit silly, set your own rules and remember that you have your own tests to pass during your life. You set the exam paper and you find the answers. You can make it fun while you learn or you can haul the big stick out and write 1000 times on the blackboard “fun is for the future” as punishment.
Don’t take yourself or life too seriously. Make time to play and get that pencil between your teeth!