As we grow into our lives, into the people we are, there are a few qualities we gain: maturity, patience, independence, all those traits that we perceive as being ‘adult’. But there is one quality that doesn’t get nearly enough attention; whimsy. Mike Burns of The Other Side of Complexity shares 8 ways you can hold on to and embrace your inner playful, quirky, happiness:
I have some good friends who told me they prioritize “whimsy” in their relationships and life pursuits. Whimsy is defined as, “playfully quaint or fanciful behaviour or humour.” It’s not just a future goal for these two. It shows in their daily behaviour, now.
And I love it. I want this characteristic to be true of me, as well. I want to take life seriously. I want to be sober and make a difference. But, I want to have fun in the process! I don’t want the tougher parts of life to choke the happy out of me.
Here are a few ideas on how to maintain your whimsy:
Laugh at yourself.
We can’t take ourselves so seriously. We have to learn to giggle at the goofy things we do each day. Don’t get upset when someone else laughs at something you say or do. You’ll be much better off if you learn to join them! Mock your own missteps. Imitate your own strange voices. You’ll be WAY more fun than if you were uptight about it.
Laugh by yourself.
Yes. By yourself. When nobody else is looking. When nobody else would benefit. When you’re wondering if you’ve gone mad because you just said something in a crazy voice for-your-ears-only. There’s something very healthy about that. Try it.
You can’t work all the time. It’s good that you love to create things. You love to bring things into existence. But you have to have healthy rhythms. You’ve got to figure out when you can say,“I’m not going to produce right now.” Maybe for a day. Maybe for a few hours. Get some rest. Don’t get so busy driving that you forget to stop for gas.
Get a hobby.
Find something that you love to do, and make time for it. You might not be able to do it as much as you’d prefer, but you can do it on occasion! There are as many different possibilities for hobbies as there are people reading this post. Discover yours.
Find fun in your daily rhythms.
It’s possible to take our repetitive, everyday tasks and make them enjoyable! Our attitude and approach can make all the difference. Admittedly, some tasks are easier to “funify” than others. Whatever the case, be creative and see how you can turn your tasks into some kind of play. You might use a different accent. Perhaps you can count how many times you hear a particular sound. Maybe you can shout, “Well, thar she blows!” every time you fold a towel. I hesitated even making suggestions because what’s funny to one person may be ridiculous to another. Do what works for you.
Look for the good in things.
I get it. Life can be crappy. But good happens, too. Look for that! Make sure you continuously expose yourself to stories of the beautiful parts of humanity. I’m not asking you to be naive, just intentional. Make sure you don’t allow the negative to have complete domination in your mind. Look for the good in people and situations.
Make people smile.
Seeing people smile as a result of your efforts is very rewarding. There is enough bad stuff going on that makes people sad. Find ways to bring a moment of joy to the people around you. You can tell jokes or make faces or open a door for someone or compliment them. Make your community a better place to be. Leave the people you meet better off than they were when you found them.
It’s a lot easier to be positive and playful when your relationships are healthy. Give your best effort to the people in your closest circles. Love deeply. Love well. Make time for them and let them know you care. Say it and show it.
Those are the few suggestions that came to mind today when I was thinking about “whimsy.”
What thoughts did these trigger in your mind?
What suggestions would you add to the list?
Mike Burns blogs about Living Well and Focusing on What’s Most Important at theothersideofcomplexity.com. He has also written books about decluttering. You can connect with him on Twitter (@mikemikeburns) and Facebook (facebook.com/theothersideofcomplexity).
How To Keep Your Whimsy | The Other Side Of Complexity