The Fun Habit by Mike Rucker

  • The Fun Habit
    Discover the latest compelling scientific evidence for the potent and revitalizing value of fun and how to make having fun a habitual and authentic...

    Just started listening to the audiobook and it strikes me as eminently Epicurean!!

    Starting this thread to record thoughts of mine or others as my listening continues...

  • The basic premise of Rucker's book is that focusing on happiness (as it is often discussed in relation to the popular conversation in light of positive psychology) is that it emphasizes the gap between how we feel now and how we're *supposed* to feel. Why aren't we happy? Why are they happier than me? We try to - are encouraged to - quantify our level of happiness, then *work* on being happier.

    What Rucker recommends is prioritizing "fun" - I'd paraphrase him by saying "prioritize taking pleasure in your life and your experiences." Of we prioritize "fun" , happiness becomes a welcome by-product. I'd rephrase saying "if we prioritize finding the pleasure in both our everyday experience and in the extravagant pleasures we occasionally experience, well-being / eudaimonia / happiness will be a welcome by-product of living that way."

    Research shows that fun, play, pleasure-filled activities have real benefits to our physical and mental well-being.

    Also: Dopamine is more important to anticipation (anticipatory pleasure) than the pleasurable act itself. Dopamine is possibly evolutionarily beneficial as a motivator to action than as a reward, so to speak. (Anna Lembke talked about this in Dopamine Nation, too)

  • Only on chapter 3 listening, but lots of good stuff. I have yet to hear anything un-Epicurean from my perspective.

    It's hard to take notes from the audiobook while driving so I'll try to go back and relisten at some point.

    So far, :thumbup: :thumbup:

  • I am really thinking I need to get my own copy of this book.

    As I'm listening to the library's audiobook in my car, I keep thinking "yep, yep, that's good, oh, that's straight out of Epicurus... Good...." and so on. I can't take notes and I don't really want to go through the aggravation of doing it with the audiobook.

    I'm currently 27% of the way through and really haven't heard anything off-putting or even much if anything outside what Epicurus would be writing in the 21st century. Granted, Rucker doesn't get into epistemology or physics, but the book isn't designed that way.

    So, review so far continues to be :thumbup: :thumbup:

  • Okay, I cheated and was finally able to download the ebook from my library. Epicurus is not mentioned in Rucker's book, although I find his text even more Epicurean then "The Art of Frugal Hedonism." I'll give Rucker the benefit of the doubt and say he wasn't aware of the parallels.

    Should we make him aware (after more of us read it... All the way through)?

  • Epicurus is not mentioned in Rucker's book, although I find his text even more Epicurean then "The Art of Frugal Hedonism."

    Am reminded of the early post-apostolic Christian Justin Martyr: "Those, therefore, who lived according to reason (logos) were really Christians, even though they were thought to be atheists, such as, among the Greeks, Socrates, Heraclitus and others like them."

    Well, I wouldn't want to push that too far, but still:

    “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

    By any other name would smell as sweet.”

    (William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)

  • Speaking of Shakespeare, in a recent dive into DRN, I discovered quite a few occasions where Shakespeare shamelessly appropriates Lucretian imagery. Also, the same for Chaucer, Spenser, and Wordsworth.

    Outside of Shakespeare, I'm finding explicit instances of DRN being a source of inspiration (or the target of theft) from, at least, Rousseau, Deleuze, Nietzsche, Bergson, Santayana, Gassendi, Machiavelli, Holbach, Descartes, Galileo, Locke, Hobbes, Spinoza, Freud, Horace, Dryden, Diderot, Voltaire, Frederick II, La Mettrie, Marx, Pope, Botticelli, Virgil, Jefferson, Erasmus Darwin, Shelley, Lord Byron, Newton, Halley, Tennyson, Hume, Kant, Milton, Goethe, and Bacon. (I'm currently getting high on the idea that Lucretius is the most significant individual poet of all.)