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The Happiness Project : 3 Categories of fun

image: theprospect.net
This is another interesting entry from Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project book. The content of this blogpost is originally from the book. I'm just itching to share this to everyone who stumbles upon my blog. Hope you have a nice day! :)

According to Gretchen, "fun" falls into three categories: (1) challenging fun, (2) accommodating fun, and (3) relaxing fun.

Challenging fun is the most rewarding but also the most demanding. It can create frustration, anxiety, and hard work. It often requires errands.
It takes time and energy. In the  end, however, it pays off with the most satisfying fun.

Usually less challenging, but still requiring a fair bit of effort, is accommodating fun. A family trip to the playground us accommodating fun. Yes, it's fun, but I'm really there because my children want to go. Was it Jerry Seinfeld who said, "There's no such thing as 'Fun for the whole family'"? Going to a family holiday dinner, even going to dinner and a movie with friends requires accommodation. It strengthens relationships, it builds memories, it's fun-but it takes a lot of effort, organization, coordination with other people, and well, accommodation.

Relaxing fun is easy. I don't have to hone skills or take action. There's very little coordination with other people or preparation involved. Watching TV-the largest consumer of the world's time after sleeping and work-is relaxing fun.

Research shows that challenging fun and accommodating fun, over the long term, bring more happiness, because they're sources of elements that make people happiest: strong personal bond, mastery, an atmosphere of growth. Relaxing fun tends to be passive-by design. So if relaxing fun is the least fun kind of fun, why is watching TV so popular? Because although we get more out of challenging fun and accommodating fun, we must also put more into it. It takes energy and forethought. 

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