Tuesday, April 1, 2008

"Fun" and "Happiness"

It's getting to that time of year again when many high school and college seniors, who have put in a lot of work to get where they are, start doing stupid things and leave those around shaking their heads wondering what the hell went wrong. Every year on the last day of class, I give my seniors the following speech before they run off for their keggers and hedonistic pursuits:

There is a difference between "happiness" and "fun". Fun is fleeting. Happiness is enduring. Fun is the moment and can leave you feeling empty when it ends. Happiness fills you and stays with you even after the moment is gone. Fun requires little or no effort. Happiness requires work to build and maintain, and no drug, car, or amount of money can make you happy. Money makes things easier, but happiness comes from pride, respect, and a sense of accomplishment.

*Keep yourself busy – boredom will foster self-contempt.
*Make yourself proud – be the kind of person you would like to be friends with.
*Be curious – sometimes it’s easy to sit back and be cynical but a curious mind will be an open and happier mind.

If you seek fun, you will NOT find happiness. If you seek happiness, very likely you will find fun along the way.


Snizshizzle said...

Wow, great words of wisdom right there.

Boris said...

Thanks Shizzle.

Taikei Matsushita said...

Kids hear that from you, and 20 years later some of them will look back on you.

Boris said...

Thanks Taikei - I hope so.

Dr. Mark Cheng said...

I'll add another dimension to that whole fun vs. happiness discussion...

A few years ago, a then 16-year old student of mine decided to clue me in on the profundities of life in the fast lane. "Sifu," he said. "You know that it's an undeniable truth that no matter how sizzling hot a chick is, there's some dude out there who's tired of sleeping with her."

How's that for an LA zen moment???

Rannoch Donald RKC said...


Great post. Worth repeating on a regular basis. It's only when we really engage that things start to happen.



Boris said...

HAHAHA! I think I've heard that one Doc! There's a Japanese saying that my boss used to say frequently, it goes something like "[you'll] get tired of hot in 3 months, and [you'll] get used to ugly in 3 weeks"... or something like that - I might have switched around the weeks and months. Interesting phrase - I liked it. Probably not the best to repeat in mixed company though (my boss was NOT the most sensitive dude exactly).

Thanks Rannoch! And thanks again for the Arthur Boorman post at the forums.