Fun and Fulfillment
By Bryan Cohen
We live in a world of immediate gratification. There is an app foralmost anything you can think of. With the power of Netflix and other instantstreaming programs, we can watch TV or movies on practically every device weown. In fact, with a steady income, an average person could probably make itfrom womb to grave almost completely entertained. But is it enough?
I used to be the King of Wasting Time. I used instant messaging softwarelike it was going out of style; I played time-intensive video games; and I mademy breaks much, much longer than my time spent working. The time that I wastedthough was always a ton of fun. I was able to enjoy my time alone and my timein a group. I was content to waste this time because I figured if I was goingto do anything it might as well be something I enjoyed as much as possible.
When I started my writing website in an effort to make some money onthe side, I had trouble working on it unless I was stuck somewhere like a tempjob or the DMV. During my actual “free time” I only wanted to do things thatwere quick, easy, and fun. This started to change for me when I began to getkind and grateful responses from readers. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t likea thousand people, it was more like five. The messages told me how much my sitehad helped them to write or improve their lives. These responses made me happyin a way that random enjoyment couldn’t. I felt warm inside and proud ofmyself. This wasn’t fun; it had moved beyond that and info fulfillment.
I feel like we’re all given a choice on this planet of how we want tospend our time. You may not always believe that you have a choice but let’sface it, you do. You can choose to spend your free time in the pursuit of pureenjoyment. You can also choose to balance this time by leaving room for fun andfulfillment.
Don’t block out four hours straight of television. Leave two forwriting your dream book and two for your regularly scheduled programming. Don’tsneak a double feature at your local cinema. Instead, see one movie and thencall your little sister for some family time or volunteer for a local charityorganization. Try this balance on for size and a funny thing will happen. Youwill actually start to enjoy both fun and fulfillment more than you usually do.Your enjoyment will be deeper and it will reach a high point you never evendreamed of.
In conclusion, put away your app, turn off the phone, and unplug yourTV; at least for a little while. Find something that fulfills you and start toadd it into your life. Even a little bit of deeper meaning per day can make youfeel like you’re leading a richer existence.
Bryan Cohen is givingaway 100 personalized writing prompts to one giveaway entrant chosen at randomduring the blog tour. Personalized prompts are story starters that caterspecifically to a writer’s subject matter, strengths/weaknesses, etc. Cohen willcreate the prompts to cater exclusively to the winner. He is giving away freedigital copies of his book The Writing Sampler to everybodywho enters, which includes excerpts from each of his four books on writing. Thebook contains essays, writing prompts and tips and tricks to enhance yourwriting skills. In addition, for each of Cohen’s books that reach the Top 500on Amazon during his blog tour, he will add a $50 Amazon gift card to thedrawing (up to six $50 cards in total)!
To enter, simply posta comment to this blog post with your e-mail address. Entries will be countedthrough June 2nd, 2011.
Bryan Cohen is awriter, actor and comedian from Dresher, Pennsylvania. Since graduating fromthe University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill he has written four books(1,000Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories andMore, 500 Writing Prompts forKids: First Grade through Fifth Grade, Sharpening the Pencil:Essays on Writing, Motivation, and Enjoying your Life, andWriteron the Side: How to Write Your Book Around Your 9 to 5Job), several plays (Something fromNothing and ChekhovKegstand: A Dorm Room Dramedy in Two Acts) and he was the head writerfor an un-produced Web series (CovenantCoffee). His writing and motivation website Build CreativeWriting Ideas has had over 100,000 visitors since it was founded inDecember 2008. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Follow Bryan onTwitter @buildcwideas.