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Fun is a Journey, Not a Destination

Well, it’s official. 2024 is fully underway.

And I don’t know about you, but for me, there was no gentle easing into the new year. I went right from a week lounging in the woods (mostly in my pajamas, thankyouverymuch) with family in central New York to packed and stacked days of facilitation and business development. We did a whole lot of not much, and it was a blast! It struck me how just being in a beautiful setting with people you love creates the conditions for a good time, even without set plans. 

One article I read over the holidays explores this idea: In her Washington Post article entitled “Fun is dead,” writer Karen Heller described how having fun is often, actually, a lot of work. 

Fun is often emphatic, exhausting, scheduled, pigeonholed, hyped, forced and performative. Adults assiduously record themselves appearing to have something masquerading as “fun,” a fusillade of Coachellic micro social aggressions unleashed on multiple social media platforms. Look at me having so much FUN!

Like so many aspects of our life in this day and age, there is so much pressure to make sure that we maximize the ROI on every second and penny spent on the act of “fun.” This pressure is only made more intense by the existence of infinite websites, podcasts, influencers, books, articles, etc. (did you know that there is such a thing as a party coach????) to help you plan and prepare for your “fun.”

As appealing as it is to think we can adequately prepare for an experience to be “fun,” the truth is that the mere existence of this pressure makes it harder to truly enjoy the moment.

The difference between “fun” and fun is the emotional experience. The opportunity to feel something that is specific to the situation and cements the moment as meaningful and memorable. The serendipity of it all, to use my father’s favorite word. That can’t happen when every moment is prescribed.

The key to real fun, to having truly meaningful moments, is not in the prescriptive planning of the event itself, but in cultivating the right environment, whether that’s being in a place that holds meaning for you or surrounding yourself with people who bring out your best.

That’s the core of what Barometer XP is all about. 

For us, games and play are not about having one SUPER-SPECIAL-BEST-EVER-FUN experience.


Games and play help us cultivate curiosity, safety, and trust among teams, creating the conditions for positive serendipity at work. They are tools by which we can build the foundation that enables work to be meaningful. 

Fun is not a destination, but rather a condition that can make the journey more memorable, meaningful, and more likely to end up in success. 2024 will be a big year for Barometer XP, with both the services and product sides of the company fully up and running and dedicated to advancing our core mission: 

To bring play-based facilitation into the workplace to better engage leaders and teams in pursuit of a thriving, inclusive, and high-performing culture.

How can we be part of your team’s 2024 journey?


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