– set aside a certain time for having fun, goofing around and exploring like a child, actually like Google
Reading time: 5 minutes… or less. It’s mostly a lot of pictures.
Executive Summary: spend an hour each week actively trying new things, and, most importantly, having fun
Take away: double the time reserved for fun and experimenting
Call to action: Share this article (or the previous about life guidance) in order to make more people take advantage of my mistakes and particular shade of retarded wisdom.
Build a potato cannon
Google famously set aside one day a week for its employees to work on whatever pet project they liked. That’s 20% undirected R&D. In the hilarious TV series Silicon Valley one such project was a potato cannon…
You should do it too.
-Build a potato cannon.
Actually, don’t; it’s dangerous.
But you should devote some time to goofing around, experimenting, venturing outside your everyday box of obligations.
20% might be a bit much for most though. But why not start with 1% or just one hour a week for exploring new things? Just one. You can do it.
Actually you should build a potato cannon, or a steam engine or a bicycle from scratch, if it sounds like fun and a reasonable intellectual challenge. I promise you’ll feel much better about yourself, more relaxed and energized at the same time, than after an extra hour of news reruns, reality TV, keeping your house in showcase order, drinking (though you shouldn’t be a stranger to some mind alterations every now and then) or whatever you waste your time on, when not relaxing like you mean it.
When I was 3 years old my dad put me on a toboggan and let me slide out of sight on the lower slopes of Sweden’s highest mountain Kebnekajse. That’s experimenting 1975 style but wouldn’t do in 2016.
“Cock in a sock gate”, right after handing in my resignation in January 2014:
When I was 5-6 years old, I took a broken electric coil in one hand and used the other to push the respective cords into an electric socket. I got a massive shock, my hand cramped around the coil and I couldn’t let go. Rigid as a stiff I fell backward and the cords came out. Perhaps my curiosity got the better of me that time, or somebody should have stimulated me more to prevent activities like that.
Nevertheless, it was fun, and I have kept finding ways to get moderate electrical shocks. Like that time*… No, enough is enough. You get the point.
*However, that story of how I blacked out the entire building, short circuiting 200 Amps of power, melting the tool I held in my hand and becoming blind for a few minutes really is one for the ages.
How much fun should you have in a week?
The main objective here is not really the experimentation or learning per se. It’s to have fun, to smile, to laugh, to feel good, alive (pain can achieve that too…). How much of that do you have in your life on a weekly basis as it is?
When did you last laugh out loud until your abs hurt?
When did you at least have to stifle a bubbling laughter in a serious situation?
When did you involuntarily make a forceful nasal exhalation in place of a real laugh?
How long were those episodes of sheer lightheartedness and pleasure?
When did you last learn something truly new? Juggling? Snowboard? Dancing? Programming? Chinese? Lock-picking? Hot-wiring? Movie editing? How much time did you spend on new things a week during the last 12 months?
When did you last put on your favorite song(s) and just went with it, no matter if it’s Eminem, Guetta, Shania Twain, Stones, Britney Spears, Bach, Depeche, Bowie or Joey Alexander?
When were you last scared (in a not too dangerous way). When did you last get a bruise from trying something physical like climbing, skating, boxing, cliff diving..?
When did you last make a fool of yourself and laughed it off? Don’t tell me you were 5 years old.
How boring and full of obligations should your life be?
How many hours do you spend doing tedious, boring, unfulfilling or simply necessary (breadwinning) tasks a week?
Summary: double the fun
If you’re not even setting aside one single hour a week for fun and exploration; do it!
Whatever amount of fun and unboxed discovery and experimenting you currently engage in, try doubling it. I’m sure there is some stock market chart watching, coffee, news, weather, other TV, computer gaming, or over the top tidying at home, vacation suntanning, not to mention mindless arguing on the internet or discussing politics at home you can do without.
Start by doing what you have never done before:
Share this article as widely as possible in order to spread the happiness, to make more people break their shackles and enjoy life, even if for just one hour.