Life — Making Things Enjoyable

One thing I’ve noticed about Pokemon: Go is that one of the core aspects of it is how much it has brought gamers together socially, despite no direct social interaction being required in the game. Its success has changed those lives because exercise and going out in public for many of us has become a daily action.

Where I live, there is one specific park in the city that is simply the place to be. It has around eight Pokestops and three gyms, and the whole area is less than a thousand square feet. I go there almost every day, and the funny thing is that every time I go I’m actually a bit scared that I will recognize somebody. In fact, every time I’ve gone, I have recognized somebody, whether or not I approached them.

While I’ve become more sociable over the past three or four years, I still can’t stand small talk. I don’t want to hear about how an acquaintance’s job is going, because if I really cared I would talk to them without needing to bump into them. I don’t want to recognize somebody and feel the need to avoid them noticing me for fear of a conversation brewing, but unfortunately pretty much every time I do see somebody that’s what happens. It isn’t even as though I don’t like everybody, because I can hold conversation. I think the part that I hate about the situation isn’t spending time with that person, its talking about stuff that is essentially meaningless.

That being said, I do like seeing people that I haven’t seen in years, especially old friends. With those people we can have genuine conversations, as opposed to talking about how awful the Pokemon: Go servers are or how that one teacher in high school was awesome or awful. I like to talk to people and learn from conversations. (Here’s the part where I stop talking about me and justify this as a ‘General Life’ post. Get ready!)

I think many of us are actually interested in learning as a general rule. As children we all want to understand why and how things work, and I think that aspect of ourselves is siphoned out from forced education. Forcing things on people is a great way to make people hate those things. I didn’t let school take away my thirst for knowledge, and in fact I channel that thirst to make things I dislike more enjoyable.

When I find myself caught in a conversation with somebody I don’t know very well, I try to steer the conversation towards things they know about but I don’t. (I’ll write more on steering conversations another time.) People like talking about themselves, and everybody knows more about something than you do, so all I have to do is get them to talk about it. I’d love to know what a daily routine for a surgeon is like. Obviously they perform surgery, but how often do they do it in one day? What do they do outside that time frame? They’ll be happy to supply me with that information, just as I’ll be happy to learn it. Knowledge can be fun for its own sake.

So my challenge to you is to find something that you have to do a lot, and find a way to make it more enjoyable. I’d argue that we all, deep down in our hearts, do enjoy learning. But if you’re adamant on avoiding education at all costs, fine. There are ways to enjoy daily activities without turning it into learning. It could require a little creativity on your part, but its not hard if you put your mind to it.

If you hate shopping for groceries, maybe you can remedy that by picking up an audiobook and finally finishing that book you’ve always meant to read (biased example, I know). If you hate your day time job at Starbucks, one possible fix is to make a game of counting the number of people wearing read that day, or trying to predict the number of specific orders for that day. Maybe you can make a game with your coworkers and take bets. The person that gets the furthest prediction for that shift has to mop the bathroom that day. Make a game. If these ideas sound stupid, fine. Come up with something else. It’s your life, and you know what you enjoy. Find a way to put it into things you normally wouldn’t expect.

There are a million ways to make everything more fun (and some of them can even make you more productive, too!) So just try to do something different to have more fun.

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