Philosophical Café: Evolving versus Having Fun?

What makes us happier: evolving or having fun? Listening to an American coach recently sparked this question in me: should we strive to evolve or focus entirely on having fun and experiencing joy?

Of course, one doesn’t necessarily exclude the other… But what if? 

What if our constant pursuit of evolution prevented us from accessing the happiness and joy we so ardently seek? What if the pursuit of joy kept us from reaching a deeper happiness?

Mindfulness invites us to accept and embrace what is: 

where we are in our lives, our work, our health, etc. What I have observed is that this acceptance creates more space within us to evolve. If we put immense psychological and physical pressure on ourselves to change, it can create more stress, judgment, and criticism, thus undermining the physical and mental well-being of those seeking to evolve. Conversely, introducing habits or making changes with kindness and gentleness can facilitate change! 

Interesting, isn’t it?

Ultimately, the question isn’t about opposing our pursuit of evolution with that of happiness, but rather about questioning what can help us harmonize the two. With what intention and presence are we seeking to evolve?

After listening to this podcast, I observed the people around me (yes, it’s a serious scientific research ;)). Those who focus and concentrate solely on evolving, on becoming better, weren’t necessarily satisfied (and therefore not necessarily happy). The constant intention to evolve can block our ability to reap the rewards of our efforts because there’s always a new, farther, and more difficult goal to achieve. These individuals may hold the belief: “If I rest on my laurels, if I enjoy what I have, I’ll stagnate, no longer evolve.” 

In a society that continually pushes us to achieve more, it’s essential to learn, to practice the art of receiving, to feel gratitude for what already exists around and within you, and especially to know how to rest and relax between phases of evolution.

As nature does, after spring and summer, it rests in autumn and winter to regenerate. Thus, prioritizing our personal evolution can bring a sense of fulfillment, satisfaction, and self-confidence. However, it’s essential to accompany this growth with gratitude and relaxation. As ancestral traditions teach us, we dance with two types of energy: masculine and feminine, representing the action of giving (time and energy for our growth) and the act of receiving (the fruits, the feeling of the energy we’ve set in motion). Act (masculine) to evolve and feel (feminine) what’s happening within us at this present moment.

Perhaps the key lies in this balance. Seeking personal evolution while finding pleasure and joy in the process could nurture a lasting sense of accomplishment. This is what I’ve been experimenting with for several months: doing and acting towards what allows me to evolve, to grow, and not forgetting what brings me pleasure in the short or long term.

It’s important to find what works best for each of us because our needs and desires vary from person to person, and over time as we constantly change. This knowledge only comes through embarking on an inner journey. Ultimately, the pursuit of happiness is this delicate balance between personal growth and satisfaction in the present moment. Finding this balance is a personal and unique journey for each individual. And you, what do you prioritize? Are you team “I have fun” or team “evolution,” or have you found a balance between these two movements?

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