My friend Marcel called me last night. He and his wife, Kathryn, were working on their ‘fun calendar’ for the new year and wanted to pencil us in.
“How about a bike ride through the old rail trail followed by wine and pizza from our backyard oven?” he proposed.
Well … heck yes! I’m in! Not only was I in, but it also got me thinking about my own ‘fun calendar’ … or rather lack thereof! Why don’t I have a fun calendar? I wondered. Isn’t fun important enough to prioritize?
According to Catherine Price, who delivered one of the top 10 most popular TED Talks of 2022, fun is a secret to living a healthier life. It creates energy and helps us thrive. And when you thrive as an MSL, you help HCP’s and patients thrive!
Magic happens when we experience fun. Making sure that you have fun in your life will make you a better partner, parent and MSL! We all want to love life, feel joy, and experience happiness—and FUN is a key component.
While I believe that fun is vital for a meaningful life, I don’t always prioritize it. What about you? Do you make time for fun?
Maybe if we knew how to make fun, we could enjoy more of it in our lives. Knowing the importance of fun and the role it plays in our well-being, here are the four steps to creating fun adapted from Catherine Price’s TED talk:
Four key steps to fun
Even for introverts, connection involves other people. Marcel actually called me instead of texting—and I actually picked up! Not only did I enjoy receiving the invitation, but the call itself was fun because it was an opportunity to connect with Marcel and catch up.So, stop scrolling and start interacting. Need help connecting? Check out Catherine Price’s book How to Break Up with Your Phone.
- Be playful
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Let your guard down and find opportunities to rebel in playful deviance. Try to get a kick out of your own life.“But I deal with heavy stuff everyday – serious health concerns,” you say. I know. But my friend who is going through radiation for her cancer inspires me every day to be playful.“I put together a playlist for my drives to the hospital and was so into singing along that I almost missed my exit,” she told me once, laughing.
- Find flow
Reduce distractions to allow yourself to get into the zone. You know that feeling when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you lose track of time? That’s flow. You can’t have fun without flow.
- Prioritize it
Add fun to your schedule! Make your own ‘fun calendar’ and fill it with activities. You might even consider calling a friend to book a bike ride and pizza party!But most importantly, be open to fun, however it happens. When it appears, embrace it as an integral part of every day.
Life is serious. We have serious problems to manage. In your work as an MSL, you are helping doctors change lives. That’s serious business.
But perhaps—amidst the seriousness of what you do—fun can help. After all, it can help us become more present, united, and connected so we can work together better and solve healthcare challenges faster. Perhaps fun is the health intervention we all need to bring more energy to our lives. And perhaps fun should be added to our to-do list—to empower us to thrive and live our best lives!
Jill Donahue, MadEd, HBa has dedicated her life to empowering MSLs with the power of their purpose and seeing them love their work more and become even better at it. As a consultant, speaker, author, coach, and founder of Excellerate, she shares solutions and empowers them with the skills and confidence to serve HCPs—and ultimately, patients—more effectively.
Jill is living her purpose by helping MSLs live theirs through The Power of Purpose.