Just play. have fun. Enjoy the game.
Michael Jordan

It’s summer! This is the time where Americans are out enjoying some vacation, grilling, fireworks and the outdoor events and concerts. Some people for many various reasons forget to have fun along the way and pay a price for it in ways that we don’t often realize. Let’s look at some ways to ensure we are enjoying those fun moments and what the benefits are. 
Be intentional about having fun
You may run into a fun moment, but they are likely going to be rare unless someone else is being intentional about it or you are out exploring during one of your adventures  Intentionality in your personal life may look like a hobby, exercise, culinary or cultural experience. Intentionality in your work or personal life may look like lunch excursions, milestone celebrations, game nights etc. The point is that you have to be intentional about creating those moments for yourself and others. Set time to make art for arts sake. No goal, just to have fun. Set a game night with friends once or twice a month. Have a date night monthly. Whatever the activity is, make time for it. Scheduling fun sounds odd, but it’s important to ensure that it stays a part of your life both in and out of work. 

How am I going to have fun today? I’m heading out with my running partner and 60,000 of our closet friends as we run the worlds largest 10k today in Atlanta GA. It’s a 6.2 mile party! We booked the day back in March to make sure that we got in. 
Having fun helps your mind and body
Ready for more science and medicine from last week? Having fun is a major fighter against stress and anxiety. Both smiling and laughing increase your pain threshold and decrease stress levels. Laughing also releases Serotonin into your body which creates a natural high and makes you feel good. Other benefits include lower blood pressure, regulated heartbeats and better breathing. Having fun also lends itself to positive thinking and studies show positive thinkers have a longer lifespan. 

Those fun moments you have with friends, family, and co-workers also increase your energy levels and makes you more productive in each of those parts of your life. 
The fun moments help you keep things in perspective
Having fun is the equalizer in the crazy world that we live in. It’s easy to get bogged down in all the negativity on the news, in your social feeds, and at work. Before you know it, you are not in a healthy place physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.  Enjoying light-hearted moments alone and with others helps put things in the proper perspective.  Despite the hypocrisy, drama, scandals and naysayers, there is still good in the world and good people to enjoy life with. Remember that, and when you feel the pull of negativity to seek out some fun to balance yourself out. 
Have fun with your team and family
Now that you know the benefits of having fun and you are intentional in seeking it out, be sure to include your team and family. I have led many special projects all over the country where I have built teams to come in and help me during those times. Honestly, they are always hard work and long hours. Not exactly the thing that would encourage you to jump on a 3-hour flight to go do! I have always sought out at least one fun outing to do with the team while they are working on the project. It raises their morale during the tough work and just like an adventure, they hold on to and remember the fun we had rather than all the hard work that we put in. I’ve taken teams to the start of the Mississippi River to walk across it, to the end of the Mississippi River where you can find plenty of alligators, Disneyland, Hershey Park, multiple beaches and other great spots. 

Just as you invest in your team, remember to invest in your family and friends as well. I love all the fun I have with my family from the big things to the small, and the fun moments we have with our best friends in Atlanta. 

Seek out and enjoy the fun in your life. Your body, mind, and relationships will thank you. 
Make a better tomorrow.