Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.
What is 'type two fun' and why should we care?
I wish I could claim authorship of the idea of 'type two fun'. The fun scale which categorizes types of fun was created in 1985 by geology professor and mountaineer Rainer Newberry, and has since taken root in the outdoor enthusiasts circle.
Type One Fun
Fun every step of the way. It is simply just fun and doesn't require much effort or challenge. Think..
Great meal with friends
Perfect beach day
Type Two Fun
Fun mostly in hindsight. We do it willingly and deliberately, knowing it will be challenging and with discomfort involved. This fun makes us more resilient, centered, and capable. More of who you are when you are at your best. Think..
Running a marathon
Writing a book
Learning a new skill
It's August 1986, I’m two days into a three-day solo. The solo is a critical part of the Outward Bound experience, and I’m enjoying it as much as a visit to the dentist office or a sharp stick in the eye.
Outward Bound provides young people the opportunity to explore their personal potential through experiences in the great outdoors. This trip is taking place in the spectacular Sawatch Range of the Colorado Rockies. Over 28 days, we are backpacking, rock climbing, and mountaineering our way through this backcountry wilderness, carrying everything on our backs, never seeing a car or a Starbucks let alone a flush toilet or shower. I’m one of eleven young men, 15-18 years old who have chosen to ‘explore our personal potential’ on this trip.
The solo is the portion of the trip when the group members are carefully scattered in a specific area, provided with a bare minimum of food and shelter, and expected to reflect on themselves and their experiences. Sometimes the solo is 24 hours, sometimes it's three days. During this period there is no contact from the trip leaders or the other participants, you are totally alone (save for a daily safety check-in from the trip leaders which consists of a wave from afar). Alone, with only your thoughts and in my case, adolescent nutritional needs horribly served by the meager food supply provided to each of us. A small bag of peanuts and raisins, nine crackers, three powdered Gatorade packets, two apples, and a spartan chunk of cheese, all of which I devoured within the first 36 hours.
Alone, with only your thoughts and in my case, adolescent nutritional needs horribly served by the meager food supply provided to each of us.
Sixteen or so days into the trip and my caloric needs haven’t been getting any less—after hiking eight or so hours each day, gaining thousands of feet of elevation and carrying close to 60 lbs on my back—my thoughts are focused on what I am going to eat when I get back to civilization. I write to my parents—“I will never, EVER go camping or backpacking again.” And then I eat a small squeeze of toothpaste because I’m so hungry.
Flash forward to fall of 1997—I’m on 25th and Park Avenue in NYC, on top of a van, cinching down backpacks of my students who will be backpacking with me through Harriman State Park for the next three days. I’m an instructor with Outward Bound, working with the NYC school system to bring the philosophy of ‘exploring personal potential’ to high school kids who may have never slept outside a day in their lives.
The years in between then and now have been filled with experiences I engaged in deliberately, intentionally and fully knowing that they were going to be difficult and challenging: graduate school, corporate jobs where I had to learn everything on the job, backpacking trips, having children, running a marathon, starting a business—the list includes things you may have done and others you may aspire to doing one day. The commonality in all of them is that while doing them the same thought arises at some point: “is this worth it?” and when done with the activity another thought is always there: “boy that was hard but absolutely worth the effort.”
In business, keeping a mindset of 'type two fun' is all about overcoming the fear of taking the step into the ‘unknown’ because you see the value in both the journey as well as the destination.
Type one fun is awesome, but I still continue to deliberately engage in type two fun and feel most satisfaction from those experiences. I apply the 'type two fun' philosophy to all aspects of my life and love helping others embrace this mindset to accomplish their personal and professional goals. In business, keeping a mindset of 'type two fun' is all about overcoming the fear of taking the step into the ‘unknown’ because you see the value in both the journey as well as the destination.