Enjoyment is much more meaningful and powerful than simply having a good time. But it’s a term that is glossed over and rarely considered in detail – we simply decide we either enjoyed something or we didn’t. This post aims to explore a little more deeply the effects and benefits of enjoyable experiences and why the benefits of enjoyment should be considered more seriously (pun intended).
Suppose you are asked to undertake two tasks. The first you thoroughly enjoy. You find yourself leaping into it with gusto, allowing all of your creativity and skills to come to the fore. Your feelings are positive. Your productivity level is high. You produce a great outcome. The boss is so impressed he/she gives you a second task. One that you really dislike. Your enthusiasm drops, you do what’s necessary but you give it luke-warm attention. There’s not much positive thinking going into the task. Your productivity level is much lower than for the first task.
The difference is found in what I call the enjoyment factor.
While you were enjoying the (hypothetical) first task,a number of experiences would have been taking place:
- there would be a sense of mental and emotional energy driving your thinking, so that your mind processed information with purpose, focus and direction
- you would have been working with enthusiasm, keeping an open mind, receptive to new approaches and ideas, thinking positively about the potential and possibilities of the project
- the experience would heighten your self-esteem, self-belief, self-confidence and sense of self-worth
- you would be using your time effectively and efficiently
- you would learn much from the project, and
- the energy you display may well be infectious to others involved or working around you
…..to outline just a few of the effects!
Any enjoyable experience
- makes you feel good about yourself, impacting positively on your thinking, actions, hopes and expectations
- generates a ripple effect beyond the experience, positively impacting on everything else you do
- is something deeper and more pervasive in your psyche than simply humour, fun, pleasure, or laughter, though they may all add to the experience
- is something unique to the natural you. No one else can tell you what you should enjoy. It becomes an experience over which you have total control – a rare experience in this day and age of feeling you have to meet the expectations of others. Lack of control is a major factor in negative stress and stress-related illnesses
- creatively expresses your natural-born talents, skills, passionate interests and desires
- is life-expanding and life-enriching by virtue of the opportunity to positively do something you know you are good at doing.
- The more often you experience enjoyment, the more resilient you become in your ability to cope with the difficult times in your job and your life
- makes no distinction between work and leisure
When you lose yourself in any experience that you greatly enjoy, you find yourself. The real you comes to life in ways that maximize your potential through work, home and play. It’s nature’s way of enabling you to blossom into the person you know you were always capable of becoming.
And yes, I did enjoy writing this!