Type One and Type Two Fun

1260 Relax and Succeed - By seeking pleasureI heard an astronaut on the radio yesterday. When asked if it was fun to do a spacewalk, he responded that it was Type Two Fun, meaning it’s not the kind of fun that you really feel while you’re doing it. The two are very different, but it’s often easier to look at the day around the fun to help determine whether it’s Type One or Type Two Fun.

Type One Fun days are often a lot easier. That’s stuff like going to the beach, or having a party, or going to a good show. Type Two Fun comes from experiences where our own attention needs to be highly focused and the experience is more demanding, like on a spacewalk, or during a big dance number in a show, or when I race my brother’s race car. It’ll be a fun memory when I think about it later, but at the time I need to stay present to keep a very fast car from hitting a wall.

Type One is fun at the time. Two is rewarding later. Rather than suffer for our whole life by trying to avoid Type Two days, we’re all better to understand that inactivity and a lack of motion or creation will lead to our worst suffering. Meanwhile the pain endured to acquire strength or skill ends up as stored energy that releases Type Two Fun when our own personal genius makes itself known through action.

1260 Relax and Succeed - Dwell in possibilityType One Fun is easy. But yin and yang means that there is no getting around certain kinds of suffering in life. Let me write that again: there is no getting around suffering in life. Not for anyone. Young people die, you can’t fight City Hall, and around the world the weak suffer. What makes existence holy is when we accept this fact and we begin turning an idle sadness about life into an action that converts difficult times into rewarding Type Two Fun. Med school is hard. Saving lives feels awesome.

The only help people ever need with Type One Fun is if they start to dose it with thin pleasure, from things like drug addictions etc. But for the most part Type One Fun is easy to enjoy, just possibly harder to find. Opportunities for Type Two Fun abound. They are plentiful all around us. Every complaint points to a potential Type Two Fun solution. Like with being a doctor, refugee camps are hard places to work. Saving lives there feels awesome.

When we’re urged to do what scares us it’s not the fear that has the value, it’s the discovery. Doing things outside our comfort zone increases the size of our comfort zone, and as that circle expands, its growing perimeter encounters increasingly more opportunities to do the sort of things we tend to look back on with pride and self-satisfaction. That’s credit we know we’re truly due, and it never feels better than when we rightfully give it to ourselves.

1260 Relax and Succeed - For most people their spiritual teacherIf most of us look at our lives, our suffering is caused by our resistance to things that are “hard.” That fact is a demonstration of how we all live in illusory worlds, because if we stopped to meditate on our own lives for just a while, we would suddenly make the genuine connection between our suffering and our avoidance of challenges, versus our joys and our overcoming of them.

You will make choices regarding your path every day. Some will be motivated by fear, others by fun, but for greater clarity we require a greater level of consciousness about those choices. Rather than perpetually seeking Type One Fun and torturing ourselves in that act, we are better to fully grasp the value and profound rewards that go with taking on Type Two Challenges.

Don’t hide from what scares you. Use the yin in your life to make room for the challenges that you can then convert into a wave of Type One Fun. It’s in you to do. Enjoy your day.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.

Other Perspectives #54

Winner: 2015’s Other Perspectives of the Year

616 OP Relax and Succeed Rebuttal - Parents need to fill a child's bucket

Here’s a great one for the world today. People are always talking about having self-esteem and humility, when in reality they are demonstrating ego and pride. Ego is when you think you’re important because you process the world through only your own perspective. And pride is a certainty that your own view is an objective truth. So from a mindset like that you don’t engage in empathy. You never even try to comprehend what the experience is like for another person, you just want them to accept your experience as theirs. Self-esteem and humility are nothing like that. Self-esteem is a kind of resilience. Self-esteem allows someone to comfortably hear an opposing opinion after which they can then make a choice in that moment to either maintain an existing belief or to create a new one based on the new information or understanding. But if we are not actually open to change then we are locked in ego. Self-esteem doesn’t need you to be anyone in particular—it’s more flexible than ego—but it does need you to fully and authentically be whoever it is you have chosen to be. And humility isn’t at the opposite end of the spectrum from pride. Pride is at one end and insecurity is at the other and humility is the fulcrum in between–you know what you know, but you know what you don’t know too. So you stay humble, then you’re fully aware that you’re always only seeing things from your perspective. So the idea isn’t that you tell your kid that they’re the greatest (which of course also means that they are separate and alone at the top), because that idea cannot accommodate sharing or genuine connection with others. Instead, our parents should encourage us to prioritize the development of those valuable and beautiful connections, rather than suggest that we are somehow better or more valuable than someone else. By helping us to feel that our perspectives are no less or no more valuable than anyone else’s, a parent helps to create a very fertile foundation for the growth and development of a very strong, generous, beautiful and very lovable adult.  Enjoy your day.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.00 Relax and Succeed - Other Perspectives Footer

Flaws and Self Esteem

Is the acknowledgement of one’s flaws a reflection of self-esteem, self-image, and wanting to be someone you are not? I need clarity on this Scott. Thanks and have a great day.

Growing Soul

Dear Soul,

Thank you thank you thank you. This is a subject which can be beneficial to so many people. I 427 Relax and Succeed - We either make ourselves miserablereally do appreciate it. And these are such fun subjects to write about.

Okay, first I would like to evaporate the word flaws. People don’t really have flaws, they have aspects of themselves that don’t suit the situation they are in. It’s not a flaw to not know violin, or be bad at math, or struggle with anger issues. We are polyhedrons, and these are just some of our many sides, all of which emerge from our experiences in becoming who we believe we are today. (See: The Truman Show.) But there are times where one shape is required, and other times when other shapes work better. This is why someone can fail in one realm and be a huge success in another. Colin Munn was supposedly a failure at school. But it turns out that as Colin James he’s a genius at the audible mathematics that make up a guitar. He wasn’t flawed in the first instance, he was just out of his natural context.

Secondly, I would like to discuss this idea of a self. As Ram Dass says, “The game isn’t about becoming somebody, it’s about becoming nobody.” For you to have a self you need to judge the world and create separating language between you and others and you will use comparison to rank yourself and others. And that is such a weird idea when you see the world from an impersonal, open perspective.

Even wolves don’t rank each other. They’re not all huddled together thinking, okay, Jerry’s definitely above Steve, but I think Sara would rip Jerry’s throat out for a morsel of squirrel. The wolves don’t ruminate and create egos. They simply are themselves (and yes, sometimes that “areness” demands fighting in regards to knowing their “order”). But they aren’t striving to climb the ladder to pack CEO, they are just authentically living out who they truly are and their pack order is simply how they naturally shake out. The dominance chain isn’t decided, or strove 427 Relax and Succeed - Write injuries in sandfor, it naturally exists much like different weights of oils will layer naturally in a bottle. That’s not one oil being better than another. That’s just where it belongs. Do you see? If you give up wanting to be acceptable you instantly get to belong.

Remember, children feel self esteem. We don’t need to think some positive or strong narrative to have self esteem. Kids prove that, because they act that way before they know the words to tell themselves any egocentric narratives. Except in the most tragic situations with mitigating circumstances, kids just never doubt the fact that they belong. And in doing so they don’t need self esteem because until they can speak fairly fluently, they don’t yet create an identity to be proud of or offended for. There is just the experiences. Not a memory-storing ego replaying and judging those experiences like an armchair quarterback operating from an assumed perspective.

What I’m saying is, any thoughts about a you are ego-based. If you keep thinking them you are literally propelling yourself through a well-worn pattern in your mind and it will be much more difficult to fit the mental/emotional stick into the spokes of your narratives, if you get my cycling metaphor. And then if you really get spinning, you’re on a form of track in your brain and you’ll have to get really conscious to nudge yourself back to awareness of the present moment, rather than on your accelerating commentary about your present moment.

Be who you are. As I’ve written before, humility isn’t the opposite of hubris. Insecurity is the opposite of hubris. Humility is the fulcrum in the middle. It is where we know what we are not good at, and we know what we are good at. And so we stop analyzing situations relative to Scott, or Henry, or Sherry or Gurtap. Instead we just wonder if our skills apply and should they be expressed, or is this a weak area for us where we’re better to try not to do too much without quite a bit of consultation with trusted sources. If you’re doing that, then you’re primarily functioning where and when you make sense. It makes life much simpler.

427 Relax and Succeed - Do you want to know what my secret isYou don’t need to gain confidence. Confidence is natural. You just get in its way with your weak talk. (You might want to read How Strong Do You Think You Are? ) And what others think of you is largely irrelevant to you enjoying your own life. People will always have opinions. Just think of some of the cruel people you’ve seen. A lot of them have kids. So if a kid hears that all day, they think that’s how you act, just like you walk a lot like one of your parents. And so this innocent but terrible behaviour is all we’re running into. It’s got nothing to do with us. It has everything to do with them. Everyone sees their own reality. Trying to reconcile them is futile. Surrender. Your anger isn’t with them. It’s the monotony of constantly asking an unanswerable question. There’s no value in asking why people do things any more than there is in asking something like, what does the letter F taste like? We would have to witness every moment of their life to hope to know.

You want to stop failing? You want people to like you? You want to develop differently than you have? Easy: stop thinking a you into existence, then there is no one to fail, no one to like, and no wrong direction to go in life. And do that because it makes sense. Because everyone only sees their thoughts about you anyway, and there’s no way for you to manage that. You have no idea what other people might have said about you behind your back or how people might have misinterpreted this or that. But that is the bliss of enlightenment. Just Be yourself. Because no matter what, things are always okay just the way they are. Even if they aren’t 😉

peace. s