Research Paper By Yun Ju Ruby
(Life Coach, TAIWAN)
When you have fun, your brain releases dopamine. Without fun, peak performance is practically impossible. — The Leading Brain by Hans W. Hagemann
It’s a choice to approach any given moment playfully — with a joyful spirit.― Charlie Hoehn
Play is often talked about as if it were relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.― Fred Rogers
The Story Behind
When I was in University, I majored in Human Development and Family Studies. I got into this major simply due to my decent score. I only knew the school was famous and its less than 10 minutes walk from my home but I had no idea what an interesting path i was heading down. I have learned about how human beings developed as an individual ( hello biology class again ) how we develop through interactions with others and the society. ( yes there was some bits of sociology and psychology too ) I also was allowed to take cooking, sewing classes. ( what fun eh?!? )
I stepped into the realm of families, and was encouraged to look into mine own and learn about others’. Now as i acquired this new passion as a coach, I want more than anything to combine the two and help impact more families. In Taiwan, where i was born and raised, many problems in the society are a result of broken families. I realized that if more families are happy, healthy, united and strong, the whole society will hence benefit. There are already Family Education Center, but I have never heard about Family Coaching here. I did some research and discovered that, family coaching is already quite prosperous in the states and one institute alone had trained more than 4,500 life coaches, many in the area of families and marriages. ( https://erickson.edu/ )
I have personally went through a phase when I had too little fun and too much serious stuff to consider, may it be work or study and personal life. Let me tell me just how it didn’t work for me, then just as I started to sense the off balance state of my lifestyle, I came across different people promoting the importance of PLAY and FUN. I immediately connected with what they share when i reflected upon my own examples. Stress is reduced when we have fun, and when people have fun together, the bond and connection between them hence improves. I thought to myself “ how brilliant”, more families need to know this! We should promote fun for families in my coaching space. Any action plan needs to be fun-oriented first before it gets goal-oriented.
Hence I started my journey with my research paper, combining family education with coaching and using FUN as the leverage point. Here I come, creating a theory to bring families back to the peak performance state!
What Is Prosperity, and Why Is It Important to Families?
PROSPERITY, according to the Cambridge Online Dictionary, means the STATE of being SUCCESSFUL and having a lot of MONEY.
To me, I think prosperity means the abundant state in all areas. Abundance in health and social connections are just as important as abundance in finance or other material resources. Prosperity should be a combination of abundance in all areas. And the state of each one adds to the state of the other, one’s prosperous health adds to one’s prosperous career hence adds to one’s financial state and make it therefore prosperous too.
The importance of prosperity, lies in what it brings as a consequence to its owner. Take nature for example, though we are all merely the inhabitants here, when there is abundance in resources such as sunshine and oxygen and sunshine, the whole ecosystem functions well and all inhabitants benefit. My own experience has taught me, when we have more than we need, our state overflows and those around us can benefit too. On the contrary, when we have less than we need, other people’s resources need to flow in to support us. We are all inter-connected with one another.
When in the state of prosperity, there seems to be always more options. In a family setting, when prosperity is the constant, that could mean more health for all to learn, work, grow and be there for each other. That could mean more connections that can enrich everyone’s lives, whether is playmates for the children, the study group, the gatherings after work or the weekend sports’ buddies for all. We as humans need each other, we need each other in order to thrive. When people connect, information is shared, and when information is shared, more options occurred and better decisions can be made over different circumstances. Prosperity, either internally or externally, also leads to higher resilience when facing challenging situations.
Family is the foundation of each individual, therefore family is the foundation of the society that each individuals form. When each family prospers, financially or socially, sooner or later the community and later the society as a whole will too. With the support of coaching, every family can reconnect with the resources within. Once the internal resources are activated, the external resources will too.
May more families all over the world tap into their internal resources and hence activate their external ones, to lead a life of prosperity, bliss, and fun!
What is FUN?
………….The standard definition of fun suggests some overlap with the concept of play. In fact, these two words are often mentioned together (e.g. fun and games). However, play often appears to be the overarching term, where fun is more specific to experiencing enjoyment. For example, when defining play, play researcher Scott Eberle, Ph.D., writes that fun is one of the basic elements of play. He also observes that we play because the act of play promises fun. If there were no fun in play, we would likely not play (Eberle, 2014). This suggests a relationship between the concepts of fun and play, a possible causality perhaps: fun is a natural byproduct of play — fun is intrinsic to play. Eberle also argues that although there are many ways to develop knowledge, self-assurance and vigor, none of them are as fun as play…………..
Fun is the enjoyment of pleasure, particularly in leisure activities. Fun is an experience — short-term, often unexpected, informal, not cerebral and generally purposeless. It is an enjoyable distraction, diverting the mind and body from any serious task or contributing an extra dimension to it. Although particularly associated with recreation and play, fun may be encountered during work, social functions, and even seemingly mundane activities of daily living. It may often have little to no logical basis, and opinions on whether or not an activity is fun may differ. A distinction between enjoyment and fun is difficult but possible to articulate, fun being a more spontaneous, playful, or active event. There are psychological and physiological implications to the experience of fun.
fun is what recharges me with joy and laughter, whether subtle or obvious, it is the secret to my coping mechanism facing whatever life throws at me. Whether it is fun with the mind or the body; when I feel mentally occupied, doing something fun and challenging physically always helps and boosts my energy and joy level.
The PLAY Model by Michael Rucker
According to the PLAY model by Mr. Rucker, the level of fun involved in whatever we do DETERMINES what state we will be in. Ex. If we do something that is low in fun but high in its challenge level, it falls into the state of agonizing. On the other hand, if we turn on the fun within a highly challenging state, it falls into the state of LIVING.
The benefits of having fun, includes
1) stress reduction ( don’t all parents need this?!?! )
2) improvement on the ability to cope ( any new parents who need to cope better out there?)
3) improvement concerning memory and concentration( yes me! me!)
4) sounder sleep ( i don’t know who would say no to this ), just to name a few.
The more I dig into what fun can contribute to our lives, whether personal or professional, I realize this is definitely the key to stronger families. If I, as the coach, want to impact families become healthy and strong and prosperous, I need to support or even challenge them to have more fun.
More than many families have enough stress and day-to-day challenges as life goes on, and to set an intention to march gloriously forward as a family, to contribute back to our society with the talents and skills we are given/earned. Healthier families will not only support the parents to perform better professionally but also nourish the children to grow into healthy strong individuals who can stay strong and be beneficial to the society in the long run.
Fun that includes a sense of bliss (things that simply feel good and put a smile on your face) as well as deeper concepts like achievement, pride, satisfaction, growth and progress. Just like in the world of competitive sports, if we know what we cherish about our loved one( in this case our family) and we are willing to take the steps to improve upon it, we shall climb to the top and stay there. ( in the family scene maybe that means happily ever after?!?)
My goal as a coach is, coaching my clients back to having more fun and support them to be conscious towards what significance fun plays in also their family life as a positive element. Noticing how fun plays a role in supporting their families prosper. And choose mindfully how to incorporate fun into their daily routine as an important and essential element. We focus sometimes too hard on what we can and should do, but even with the peak performance experts, including in the competitive athletic industry, fun is acknowledged as essential.
Coaching is a tool that can shift our perspectives and support us to head towards our goal, whatever that goal may be, and overcome blocks and activate internal and external resources along the way. If more start to consciously have more fun, incorporating different events that can provide that fun on a regular and mindful basis, I strongly believe more shall as a consequence dwell in prosperity in more areas in life. Such blissful state will only empower all families. Empowered families will no doubt change the world for the better, and that is what i truly desire and hope to see.
Link : https://michaelrucker.com/having-fun/optimize-having-fun-play-model/
Book: The Leading Brain: Powerful Science-Based Strategies for Achieving Peak Performance by Hans W. Hagemann
- Enjoyment and The Serious Business of Keeping It Fun by Chris Pomfret
- 8 Health Benefits of Having Fun by Heel That Pain
- What is Fun Anyway? by Michael Rucker