Fun vs. Fulfillment Revisited

Back in Summer 2021, I wrote a piece on fun vs. fulfillment in my senior year of University:

Doing things that are fun and doing things that are fulfilling are two different things. But the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

Going to parties, playing video games, and having sex is fun. Generally speaking, fun is short term thinking; it feels good in the moment. But having fun with the high quality people is long term thinking. It strengthens our bonds, creates memories, and makes us feel good.

Fulfillment on the other hand takes work. It means making sacrifices now and doing what you love. Maybe it means volunteering time to mentor others, working on your first music album, or learning a new craft. Doing these things may not be as fun as partying or playing video games now, but it nourishes us in the long run.

Neither fun or fulfillment is better than the other, rather the two should be balanced. Whatever that balance looks like is for you to decide.

Now that I’m graduated, this piece resonates even more. After school, you gain autonomy over your time, especially if you work in the tech field; typically, the traditional path for new grads looks like this:

The traditional path after graduation defaults to fun” activities. Now, we have high-paying tech jobs and live in the big city. It feels as if the world is ours. Especially in a city as grand as New York. It’s tempting to follow this default path. There’s so much to do here and so many people to meet. If I wasn’t more intentional with my time and my priorities I can definitely see myself going down this path.

Fun activities can be fleeting, but embracing activities with deeper meaning brings fulfillment. Creating is one such activity that gives me fulfillment, allowing me to express myself in an authentic way. Currently, I do this through writing daily and organizing a writing club. Both activities bring me joy and renewed energy. Though I sometimes struggle to write and organizing events can be tiring, I’m always left feeling nourished afterward. Without either of these activities, I’d likely be depressed or angsty.

March 4, 2023

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