I went to a party last night. I know… CRAZY!!!
This might not seem like a big deal to you guys, but it actually was for me.
I don’t really go out much any more.
I used to go out a lot! Steven and I would be out 3 or 4 times a week.
We’d go to bars, clubs, and just hang out. We’d flirt with cute girls, meet new people, and generally have a great time.
But my life doesn’t really revolve around meeting new people any more.
Right now, what I enjoy more than anything is building AI. Building new websites, creating new training programs, and sitting here writing these blog posts for you.
That’s right… I’m a pretty exciting guy to be around at the moment…
The reason I’m mentioning this is that last night, I remembered something very important:
If you understand the basic mechanisms of how to enjoy yourself, you can have fun in ANY situation.
That’s right, have fun in ANY situation. I didn’t really want to be at this party but I was able to have a great time, all because I took it back to the basics.
Would you like to know what they are so you can have fun in any situation?
Well, here we go…
How to have fun in any situation: 4 simple steps.
First of all, I need to qualify the word ‘fun’. Fun is such an ambiguous term. It’s like happiness. Everyone has their own interpretation of what ‘fun’ is so here’s how I’m going to define it.
When I say ‘have fun in any situation’, I’m not talking about laughing till tears roll down your face, I’m simply talking about enjoying yourself.
I’m talking about being able to do what you need to do to have a good time. That’s going to vary for just about every person, but whatever that is for you, this post will help you find it.
Step 1: Write out a list of everything that you enjoy doing
Writing down everything you do to have fun is a great place to start. You’re going to use this list to investigate the core elements of that which are responsible for your enjoyment so you can apply them to the rest of your life.
Go on, write it out.
Stop reading now, get out a piece of paper, and write down what you enjoy doing. If you don’t, you’re really not going to get much out of this post other than empty information.
If you write this list out, you’re going to start the process of being able to enjoy any situation.
Step 2: Find the core elements of your enjoyment
It’s time to go one step deeper. Here’s something that might surprise you.
You don’t get satisfaction from those activities.
Yes, I know. You think I’m wrong. That’s fine. Most people do when I tell them this. But that’s because you’ve only heard half the sentence.
You don’t enjoy those activities, you enjoy what those activities allow you to experience.
What I mean by this is that it’s not the specific movements or actions that you’re taking in the specific environment or conditions you’re taking them in, it’s the experience you have from taking those movements or actions that you enjoy.
I’ll use my own life as an example.
I play American Football. I love it. Why? Because I enjoy challenge and the feeling of self-determination that comes from overcoming a challenge and American Football is one place I can do this.
I love coaching. Why? Because I enjoy challenge and the feeling of self-determination that comes from overcoming a challenge and coaching is one place I can do this.
Can you see a pattern here?
Want to know something else? I enjoy myself in any situation where I can find a challenge and work to overcome it.
So, what is the core experience that you love? Have a look through the list you created of activities you love doing and think back to your peak moment of that activity. What was it about that moment that was so great? What did you experience in that peak moment?
Go through your entire list. See what you can find.
What experience do you enjoy and how do these activities allow you to enjoy it?
Step 3: Notice how your enjoyment of those activities changes as how you feel changes
If you’re anything like most people, there was probably more than one feeling you enjoy on your list. My list has two: connection and power.
What were yours?
The other thing you would have realised is that you probably don’t want to experience the same thing all the time.
I know that there are times when what I really crave is connection. I just want to feel like I’m totally and deeply connected with another person.
What’s the difference? How I feel.
If I feel energetic and confident, then I usually want to go on an adventure.
If I feel calm and confident, then I usually just want to sit and get through some work.
If I feel isolated then I usually want to connect with people.
If you feel powerless, I usually want to do something that allows me to feel in control.
How I feel determines what I want to experience.
Step 4: Apply these concepts to any situation
Knowing the underlying experience that you’re searching for and the mechanism that you can use to experience it is the fundamental basis of being able to enjoy yourself in any moment.
When you can do it, any situation becomes a place where you can enjoy yourself.
You can turn even the most mundane task into an enjoyable experience.
This is what I did at this party.
I turned up feeling confident and energetic. I knew that to enjoy myself, I’d need to find an activity that was challenging but also allowed me to express myself.
So, I started battling people on the dance floor. I had a blast!
Why? Was it because I was dancing? No. It was because I was challenging myself and other people and expressing myself. Dancing was simply the specific vehicle that allowed me to find the two conditions I needed.
If there was another activity that met these two criteria, I could have enjoyed myself there as well.
Interestingly, this desire to overcome challenges is the reason I don’t enjoy going out any more.
When I used to go out, it was all about doing things. That ‘doing’ was flirting and connecting with incredible women. My ideal night was to move around, talking to whoever I wanted till I found an attractive woman, and then I’d play with her.
We’d flirt, we’d play, we’d get real and connect.
The enjoyment of my night was based around ‘doing’ flirting and connection.
I have a girlfriend now. That kind of action is not on the cards any more. I choose not to do that so if I’m going to enjoy myself, I need to find things to do.
There’s only so much I can ‘do’ at a bar or a party before I get over it and want to get back to writing books.
The reason that so many people struggle to enjoy themselves is that they’re trying to fit in and do what everyone else is doing and hope that will be rewarding.
For most guys, they think they need to stand around in the social group that they turned up in and talk about what everyone else is talking about.
To be honest, unless the conversation was about website optimisation and conversion rates (ie. A conversation that could help me be better at doing things), then I’m not going to be interested.
If you do what everyone else is doing, you’re only going to enjoy yourself as long as you enjoy what everyone else is doing. If you don’t enjoy what they’re doing, then you’re not going to enjoy yourself.
So, that’s how you enjoy yourself in any situation.
You find the underlying experience that you’re chasing, find your mechanism that will allow you to experience it, and then apply that to the situation.
When you can do this, even the most mundane activities can be truly rewarding.
So, what experience is enjoyable for you?
What mechanism allows you to experience it?
And how can you apply that to different areas of your life that currently aren’t enjoyable?
Share your answers below.