The gulf between fun and happiness is gigantic.
The problem is that most people seek out experiences that are fun not ones that will bring happiness.
Getting drunk. Watching TV. Eating fast food. Doing nothing all day.
But it doesn’t bring happiness, which is what is ultimately satisfying and enduring.
What’s the difference between fun and happiness?
Fun is what you experience in the moment. Happiness is the feeling after the fact.
Eating dessert after every meal is fun, but most people would be happier if they were 15lbs lighter.
Learning an instrument isn’t fun. Every kid who quit piano knows that. I regrettably quit piano lessons. I didn’t like learning how to play guitar. I still don’t enjoy learning scales or difficult songs, but I’m happy after I’ve learned it.
Look at the videos that I made below. Stop-motion isn’t exactly fun to shoot. It’s extremely tedious – making the tinniest of changes, snapping a picture. Repeat 400 times.
But I had to make the videos. I knew that after all the effort I put into it, that it would be something I would be happy that I made. And I was right.
So what? Make the tedious work that leads to happiness fun. Focus on the end result, not just the feelings during the process which are fleeting. Do what you can do make the boring things that lead to happiness fun.
Connect with me on Twitter: @BenNesvig
Joanna Wiebe says
Seriously, Ben, did you make those videos???? I feel totally gullible right now. They look totally professional! Did you make them???
Ben Nesvig says
Thanks! I wrote/shot/edited/played backing guitar on both of them. My wife also helped with all artsy stuff. The voice over talent was provided by an adorable four year old. The full recording and outtake of the voice over is hilarious.
Madame Marie says
Ben, I really enjoy reading your blog. Thank you for the encouraging words you put out there.
I think this post ties in with the saying: “Anything worth doing isn’t easy.” At least to a certain extent. 🙂 Hard work and perseverance often produces fruits which lead to happiness, for me anyway. Thanks.