When I was about fourteen, I distinctly remember thinking that my goal should be to have as much fun as possible in this life. I held on to this belief for quite some time. Even today I’d say that it isn’t a bad philosophy to live by. You need a rational plan for maximising the fun in your life. You can’t just quit your job today and then spend all your money travelling in the name of having fun because after that you’ll be broke and unemployed and then over a longer period of time you’re not having that much fun after all.

By now I’ve come to learn that there’s two distinctly different kinds of fun. One is the kind that’s strictly temporary and leaves you with just a hangover and the regret of time wasted when it’s over. The other kind leaves you happy, with a warm afterglow of contentment. This is the kind of fun you want to have more of. This is what keeps you motivated, inspired and going. I heard someone say that happy people make the best activists. I think happy people make the best anything. Nobody’s as good at what they do as when they’re happy doing it.

It’s not easy though, to pick activities that are more the lasting kind of fun (lasting-fun for short) over ones that are more temporary-fun. The same things that used to be lasting-fun can quickly turn temporary-fun if done too much, at the wrong time or with the wrong people. You’ve got to make habits out of activities which make you consistently happy, and keep switching around the ones that keep you happy for a while. You’ve got to make sure you have enough time to do nothing. And sometimes you have to make your peace with the fact that the lasting kind of fun is just not going to be found. We can call them bad months.

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