What's Fun Got to Do With It?

This past weekend I had the good fortune to attend an independently organized TED (Technology Entertainment Design) event in Manhattan Beach. TED is all about Ideas Worth Spreading; you can find more about this at TED.com. While I learned so much during this one day event, I’ve found myself talking about a particular presentation about play and fun and see how this ‘plays’ out in work – mine, my clients’, and my 13 year old son’s.

Michael Shore, VP of Worldwide Consumer Insights at Mattel Inc. presented valuable research about what fun means to a wide cross section of kids, summarizing this with 10 Expressions of Fun. I’ve been measuring my sense of fun against these. And, after presenting this list to my video playing obsessed son, understand more about what he gets from these games, and appreciate more what we’re all really after. In fact, fun is absolutely key to a satisfying career. Check yourself against these 10 Expressions of Fun. How much are these a part of your work and life?

1) Enjoying freedom and unstructured experience
2) The ability to dream and play with possibilities and imagination
3) Experience yourself as special and exceptional
4) Enjoy a sense of belonging and acceptance
5) Get to be and act WACKY
6) Enjoy a sense of knowing, and accomplishment
7) Get to relax, kick back — maybe this is a little chill time
8 ) Enjoy feeling proud — get to strut your stuff a bit
9) Get to Stand Out — express yourself with passion
10) Be mischievous or daring — get a little sense of breaking the rules

So, how does this sound? Want more of these in your life? With more of these expressions showing up on a daily basis I’ve no doubt more of us can make a bigger contribution to the world. Does work really need to be work? As we say, do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.