Jul 7, 2018

FUN is essential to mental health, too

1 comment

Edited: Jul 7, 2018


At a recent conference, I met more than sixty successful, driven, and super smart millennials. They included app developers, investors, startup company owners, real estate developers, consultants and more. And while they were knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and driven, they were also stressed, uncertain and cynical.


Our formal educations teach us to pursue careers that will pad our bank accounts and impress the heck out of our parents and peers. What we don't learn is how to manage difficult emotions, develop resilience, excavate our deepest desires, and engage the inner drivers that propel us toward meaningful action.


While at one time we thought that pursuit of a meaningful life could wait until retirement, we now know that that delay is a large contributor to the rise in mental distress being experienced across the board.


Technology is playing a role on both sides of that coin, as well. As a lover of technology, we need to remember that we are human--to put down our devices and engage in human pursuits: fun, hobbies, communal activities, art, outdoors activities (without our devices; way too many people hiking on nature trails with their phones on speakers, even listening to the news!)


The research is clear--people who pursue meaning over security are MORE financially successful than those who pursue a safe bet, banking on retirement to live a meaningful life.


I'm not advocating that you quit your job; I'm advocating that we add meaning to our lives, in whatever form that may take. What does fun look like? What takes your breath away? What puts you in a state of flow?


The 17th century educational reformer Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (whose principles were adopted by Albert Einstein) believed in "learning by head, hand and heart." What might you do to engage your heart and your hands, as well as your head?


This article, Hands On Experience, interviews high-achieving lawyers who use crafts to stay sane in stressful careers, relax, recharge and have fun.


Please share what uplifts and recharges you. You never know whom you might inspire!

Jul 8, 2018

This is so on point and something that as a young professional I've been really trying to manage in my own life. Its all about balance right? Its tough to find that balance and its an ever evolving scale as we push forward into new frontiers.


I've been really trying to be aware of what I'm taking on and becoming better at saying "no". It can be easy to just say yes to everything and then the pressure continues to mount and it can become overwhelming.


What I've been doing that really helps is going on walks with my wife and dog in our neighborhood. Finding time for the quiet, tranquility, and have appreciation for what we've been given in our lives. That continues to remind me how lucky I am and that everything I have to stress about is fine because of how grateful I am to have what I have.


I also think its important to really understand and define what success means in our own lives. Its different for each person. Success is more than just financial or career oriented. I think its important to take a look at the 360 perspective to success and that will help balance our own internal anxieties.

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