Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week’s message finds you living life to the fullest. This week we consider:
Why get done type-two fun?
I first met Matt Walker back in 2015, he was giving a speech on adventure learning, and I was very fortunate to be in his audience. His presentation peaked my curiosity. He said there are things you will learn through adventure that cannot be learned in any other way. Since he has spoken those words into my life, I have followed him up cliffs in Red Rocks Canyon, up Glaciers in the Cascades and even to the Summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.
On a recent climb in Washington’s Cascade Mountains, east of Seattle, Matt shared with me his interesting idea of what fun is; he lives two types of fun: type-one and type-two.
Type-one fun most everyone knows: hanging out with friends, being on a boat, sitting around a campfire with a cold beverage; most everyone agrees on this type of fun: Type-one.
And then there is Type-two fun.
Matt says type-two fun is the type of fun you have as a result of choosing challenge, difficulty, and suffering.
Challenges can be fun?
Yes, but it depends on your attitude while striving for positive results.
People without type-two awareness, are often completely miffed as to why someone would choose to do something so hard and then to actually say they do it because it’s fun. Take mountain climbing for example; this kind of fun sure doesn’t sound like type-one fun, and that’s because it isn’t. It’s Type-two fun, meaning it’s not just pleasurable, it’s also rewarding!
Type-two fun is the kind of fun that is tied to getting something difficult done; overcoming obstacles from without and from within. Consider your work, it’s not always fun, but it can be very rewarding.
Hmm, fun that is rewarding?!
Some work is just work, some fun is just amusement - but there is a path to higher quality work and higher quality fun that is absolute rocket fuel for a more abundant life.
I am completely hooked on type-two fun, but its reward requires hardship and even suffering. While many of us might naturally want to find a short-cut to Heaven by going around Hell, could Heaven actually require us to go through Hell?
Have not our lives thus-far revealed this to be true? How many of us have survived difficulties, both physical and psychological only to be better for having lived through them? Isn’t this how we build and develop our character; really come to know ourselves? Doesn’t the wind strengthen the tree? Maybe the easier path doesn’t turn out to be so easy after all.
I think it’s no wonder we use what is found in nature to describe so many of life’s experiences:
“He was in the valley of despair,” “She had a mountain top experience,” “He felt he had fallen into an abyss,” “If the mountain was smooth you couldn’t climb it.”
These life metaphors become even more powerful when you literally face them in nature.
What Matt says about adventure learning is so true. I have come to know myself in ways that only adventure could uncover, and I have discovered a type of fun that apparently can only be enjoyed by voluntarily paying the price of suffering. It is, of course, not an easy price to pay, especially when there are no guarantees that you will get something worth the price. Just as in life, there is a leap of faith, but when I consider my own adventure experiences, and what they have taught me, I will gladly choose the hardship again and again for the life-giving, life-lifting experiences; during and on the other side of type-two fun.
I have not just seen the amazing but have been privileged to be in the picture.
And there is something about total commitment to an objective, and developing the will, to persevere despite the anxious thoughts that arise in our head; and isn’t this often our experience even in the safest of surroundings?
My latest climb, up Mt. Daniel, started with us climbing the most direct route only to realize, almost two hours later, that we’re on an impossible-to-climb track and have to start again. Back-tracking to go up another route and starting again from where we started almost two hours earlier was just what often happens in life. How we think about life’s challenges, what we do with them, is entirely up to us. Hitting restart in our mind and getting after it with the attitude: “I can do this" is a developed strength that will serve anyone in life. Oh, and then to discover that the new route was practically straight up for over four hours?! Well if we want to expand our view of the world and of our own life, we must sometimes push through all that might keep us from going higher.
Many times I questioned whether my legs could make another step, but I responded to the question simply by taking another step, focusing on the next step and the next. Few actions are more paralyzing than to look way off into the distance and see a summit that looks impossibly high and far away. How easily we can be intimidated, when all we have to do with this present moment is put one foot in front of the other. This lesson, above all, has been the most important on every climb I have done. What seemed impossible was made possible one step at a time. And the type-two fun, on the other side of getting it done, is the kind of fun that has no equal.
Ask not that life gets easier, but that you become stronger to be able to savor the rewards of life.
You are far more capable than your mind gives you credit.
This week and beyond, consider all-the-more what lies outside of your current comfort zone - consider pushing more against your own self-imposed limits with the awareness of type-two fun. Choose the wind, choose the struggle, choose the suffering and you will come to more enthusiastically choose whatever life may bring you - knowing that your experience of life, and your unique role within it, will be all-the-more amazing and beneficial, to you and to others, on the other side.
Make it a great week!