The Fun Theory

Why is it that most of the things in our lives that we should do feel like chores?  Eating healthy, exercising, recycling, keeping an organized household, doing yard work, maintaining the car . . . the list goes on and on, but I think you get the picture.  As children, simple tasks like unloading the dishwasher were exciting endeavors because we hadn’t done them 8 million times before and they were filled with interesting colors, shapes, textures, and ideas.  The simple act of stacking plastic cups as high as they would go and then watching them tumble before putting them away provided endless entertainment.  Perhaps this is exactly the point.  We as “grown-ups” are too sophisticated to do such silly things as make cup towers before putting them away.  We are much to busy to waste our time on such frivolities.  We have crammed our lives so full we no longer have time to make simple tasks FUN.  And because we don’t take the time to add the ridiculous to the mundane, we find ourselves should-ing our way through life rather than enjoying it.  I was pondering this idea while watching my son pretend to be a ghost as he put away his blanket, when I remembered an ad campaign by Volkswagen that I had seen some time ago which centered around this very concept.  It was called “The Fun Theory”  and its goal was to coax people out of their boxes by taking everyday tasks, injecting them with a healthy dose of fun and seeing how dramatically it improved people’s participation in those activities as well as the quality of their work while doing them.  The results were often remarkable.  Demonstrating that it’s not that people don’t want to do the things they should, it’s just that most of us are bored and under-stimulated.  If we could expand on this idea and start seeking out ways to make ordinary tasks enjoyable, I believe we would all lead much more productive and fulfilling lives.  So lets stop should-ing all over ourselves and start looking for ways to make life more interesting and everyday things more FUN!

Piano Stairs - 66% more people than normal chose the stairs over the escalator!


Bottle Bank Arcade - in one evening, this was used by over 100 people, as opposed to the normal 2 or 3


Speed Camera Lottery - caused a reduction of speed of 22% in three days!


3 thoughts on “The Fun Theory

  1. I am frequently guilty of not having enough “fun” with my day-to-day responsibilities. Except for eating right and exercising…I love those two “have to’s” so I go out of my way to find new ways to enjoy them. That’s why I started P90X- I was getting bored and I needed something to make workouts exciting again!

  2. I agree with what you say here and I try to do this myself. I get joy out of making other people smile so no matter if I’m at work or doing whatever I always try to joke around and have fun. Even when I’m alone I still try and entertain myself with silly little games or challenges just for the heck of it. If you have made yourself or somebody else smile in a day then you have done good and hopefully they take that smile and pass it on. By the way and you know me well enough by now to know I’m just razzing you when I point this out but you used the word are when it should have been our and then turned around and spelled frivolities correct.

    • You know, you’re right. This is SO you. You do a good job at making life fun. Thanks for reading, Dougy – and for correcting my mistake :-)

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