Fundamism: Connecting Work and Life Through F.U.N.

 Paul Long  |    October 14, 2020

What’s GOOD?! What is the best concert you ever attended? What is the best thing that has happened to you today? What do you do for fun? When was the last time you had a gut-busting laughter and what created it? If you could sit down with anyone in history and have a conversation, with whom would you choose?

While searching for the answers to the questions above, how did you feel? Let me be more specific. Did you smile? How many questions can one author place in the beginning of what is supposedly intended to be an informative article? 

My desired outcome in asking these questions is simple. The intent is to create an environment where you can think about things that lift you up at a time where there are a lot of things in society that can get you down. It is my belief that by focusing more on what’s working and what makes you smile, the things that create anxiety, negative thoughts or fear are mitigated. It is with this basic premise that we’ll begin our quest in connecting work and life through F.U.N. 

Being a REALTOR® or working in the real estate business certainly has its rewards. So too come the challenges. On the surface, business in our industry feels great with interest rates at all-time lows and demand being high. However, the lack of inventory may have you frustrated or feeling like you can’t meet the needs of your clients. Couple that with a public health crisis, concern over your child’s school situation, the political landscape and the current social divide, and you may be spending an excessive amount of time in your head worrying about things completely outside of your control. 

As all of these negative thoughts begin creeping into your mind, they impact all aspects of your life. Open houses on a Saturday become boring and cumbersome as the time drags. Prospecting becomes less than desirable to do. You may not be as present at home with your family or friends. You might even lose a sense of all the amazing things going on in your life, the beauty around you and the value you offer others. 

If you’ve ever experienced any of what I’ve outlined above, this article is for you. If you haven’t experienced any of what I’ve outlined above, congratulations. You’re currently living an existence of which many can only dream. However, that doesn’t mean this article isn’t for you too. Connecting work and life through F.U.N. will improve your overall quality of life regardless of where it currently stands. 

To maximize quality of life both at work and at home, there are two primary things that one must be deliberate in creating: strong mental health and quality relationships. Think about it. What differentiates you or your organization? Specifically, what do your family, friends and clients appreciate or value most in you? People like being around others who have a generally happy disposition and show a genuine interest in them. 

Want to know how you differentiate yourself in the real estate industry and create a life filled with joy, FUN and fulfillment at home? Create experiences that people value. Facilitating memorable client and family interactions is the key to mitigating stress, building brand loyalty, creating repeat business and improving your overall quality of life. In addition, genuinely connecting with others can challenge your own negative brain patterns and improve your own mental state. It’s easy at times to identify what can improve our experience in life. Now we’ll focus our attention on the part that’s a little more challenging, which is how to make it happen. 

In 2019, I had an opportunity to keynote a conference for Santa America, a national association of Santa Claus representatives and Santa helpers. Following the keynote, we did a brief Q&A session. One Santa helper stood up and emphatically asked the following:

“In a world filled with negativity, social injustice, racism, heartache and challenge, what advice would you give us … Santa Clauses, to turn society’s mindset from one of negativity to positivity?”

What a daunting task or goal! Could you imagine being burdened with the thought of how to change the mindset of all of society? How about changing the mindset of the community in which you operate? How overwhelming is it to think about shifting the culture or mindset of just your organization? Your family? 

My answer to this particular Santa’s helper was simple. One interaction at a time. If we can show a genuine interest in one person and connect at a deeper level by creating conversation about things that make them smile, that interaction may change the trajectory of their day. It may be exactly what is needed to move them past a challenging moment, stressful day or something that has been burdening them. If we can impact one individual, that person may then go on to inspire another who in turn would help lift up another. One interaction at a time could create the groundswell necessary to alter the mindset of a whole family, organization, community or society!

Although I provided an answer, I advised that I believed that we were asking the wrong question. Think about individuals going through challenging moments in life. Consider clients who have experienced a long day searching for the perfect place to live. Maybe they worked a full day before going out and touring homes. Balancing all that’s going on in life, looking at home after home and potentially even worrying about whether they can sell their own, that client could be both physically and mentally exhausted. Ponder your spouse, a family member, friend or peer struggling to balance a career while managing the at-home learning experience of their children. Where do all of these individuals spend the bulk of their time when faced with these troubling thoughts? The same place you do when trying to manage your own personal struggles and mitigating the challenges of being in business: IN YOUR HEAD.

How do you differentiate yourself based on the experience you provide? Challenge yourself to get out of your head and help your clients, family, friends, peers and others do the same. 

Fundamism can be defined as the FUNdamentals of a F.U.N. and optimistic lifestyle. Simply put, whatever you do that gives you strength or find FUN is a FUNdamental and falls under the fundamism philosophy. It is my belief that you can’t be in your head about something that makes you anxious, sad or apathetic, while at the same exact time doing something that makes you smile. Shouldn’t our goal then be to gravitate more toward the things that lift us up as opposed to those that don’t? That’s fundamism.

So, what was the best concert you ever attended? What memories come to mind from the experience? When you are thinking about this FUN time in your life, you know what you aren’t thinking about? Drama. The fact that you are showing houses in the evening while your family is home and the only place you want to be is relaxing on the couch. That’s the power of someone showing a genuine interest in you and asking questions that force you to think about things that make you smile. These are what I call your FUNdamentals.

In my experience, I’ve found that three topics come up in nearly every conversation. We ask about these topics to those we love, friends, co-workers, clients and complete strangers. These topics are work, family and weather. Think about how you engage with those around you. How often do you hear questions like, “what do you do for work?” “How are the kids?” Or, “it sure is cold out there, isn’t it?” These questions are so common that we don’t even have to think about the answers. In addition, sometimes these innocent questions we ask to spark up a conversation or connect with others can actually bring up thoughts of things that are currently stressing out those with whom we interact. 

I’m guessing a very common question that you ask your clients, peers or friends is, “how is your day going?” What if their day isn’t going well? What if they just got into an argument with their spouse, found out some terrible news or have been doing things all day that they don’t enjoy? Your question could send them right back to the negative place that they so desperately want to escape, their head. 

“What’s the best thing that happened to you today?” This question is asking how your day is going with a twist. It forces people to think about something good! Do you know what happens when you create an environment that makes people smile? They remember you. People want to work, shop and interact with people who make them feel good. Showing a genuine interest in others and asking more meaningful questions could be a differentiator that makes your personal brand stand out. Your questions could get them out of their head and challenge them to think about things that give them joy, their FUNdamentals.

Creating a culture of experience based on the philosophy of fundamism will improve your success in the real estate industry and most importantly, your overall quality of life. Remember that fundamism is defined as the FUNdamentals of a F.U.N. and optimistic lifestyle. Tony Robbins once said that, “energy flows where attention goes.” If your attention is focused on making others feel valued, optimism, things that make people smile and F.U.N., an energy will be created within your organization that attracts the energy you desire.

Let fundamism and F.U.N. be the guiding principles to moving yourself and your organization forward. F.U.N. is not just a word that creates a sense of joy and fulfillment; it also is an acronym that provides direction on what to do next.

F – Foundation
U – Understanding Others’ Perspective
N – Next Steps

The F stands for foundation and is everything in which you or your organization is built upon. What is your personal mission statement, core values, value offering and what makes you, you? Build a foundation rooted in placing others first and creating an experience that brings them joy, FUN and fulfillment. In doing so, you’ll find that challenges are mitigated while the right clients find YOU.

The U is understanding others’ perspective. You have an idea of what a world-class service experience looks like. What do your clients, loved ones or friends value in an experience? Understanding others’ perspective allows you to find what others value by asking more meaningful questions, showing a genuine interest, altering your communication style to meet others where they are, and appreciating the differences in our personalities.

The N is next steps because without the N in F.U.N., it’s just F.U.! Next steps are where you identify your implementation strategy to creating the culture of experience that will drive the desired outcomes you seek. How do you showcase your foundational strengths and understand others’ perspective while mitigating your areas of opportunity as they are being developed? 

I can’t provide all the answers in this 2000-word article, so I guess identifying your next steps will take some self-reflection and individual thought. If you’re really ready to dive in, want to learn more and are ready to commit to growth, you can check out my bestselling book, Fundamism: Connecting to Life Through F.U.N., which can be found on Amazon, Audible or

Challenge yourself to find ways to get out of your head and help others do the same. It could be the very strategy necessary to differentiate yourself while moving forward in the creation of your very own culture of experience. One that you enjoy working for, clients enjoy working with, and an added bonus? You are reinvigorated by the energy of an environment overflowing with joy, F.U.N. and fulfillment!

Want to learn more about Fundamism and founder (me), Paul J Long? Visit to find information on speaking engagements, the Fundamism Podcast (available on all streaming platforms) and more. 

Life is finite. Enjoy every moment. Get out of your head, be safe, smile often and have FUN!

Paul J. Long


Paul Long is a motivational speaker and consultant who has challenged the corporate landscape for over a decade while engaging audiences around the globe. Paul was featured as the keynote speaker at the WRA’s 2020 annual convention in September 2020. Through his concept of “FUNdamism,” infectious spirit and unique take on FUN in the workplace, Paul has provided memorable experiences at hundreds of events while championing pediatric cancer research. Paul’s thought-provoking presentations are full of laughter and tears. 

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