I’m not much for video games, but I think I still have quite a bit of “fun” – it’s just a different type of fun.
It’s called type 2 fun. You might be familiar – you might not.
Here’s what I mean.
Type 1 vs Type 2 Fun
In the endurance and outdoor world, people often use the phrase “type II” fun to distinguish between “fun” and “fun.”
Type I Fun
Type I fun is what you think of with fun. Easygoing, laughs, relatively care-free “fun.” Some of these memories are significantly memorable but some of them just blend into the background of life without making a significant dent. You might have some pleasant memories here, but you usually don’t have any transformative experiences.
Type 2 Fun
Type 2 fun is not actually fun. Or at least it’s not actually fun in the moment. Type II fun is hard, challenging, difficult, or even seemingly impossible. Type II fun is the things you do that you’re not sure if you can get through alive – and when you do – you look back on later as “fun.” Are they always pleasant? No. Are they an adventure? Usually. Do they end up as a good story? Almost always.
Examples of Type 2 Fun
Type 2 fun ranges all over the place – but usually involves pushing yourself – physically.
Type II fun is hard. Type II fun creates stories. Type II fun changes you.
Why Type 2 Fun Is The Best Type of Fun
The thing about type II fun is that it exists on the edge of your comfort zone by definition.
Type I fun is fun because you’re just existing. Nothing is going wrong. You have enough of a buffer that you’re cruising – relatively carefree.
Type II is when you’re pushing up against the edges of your capabilities. The confidence that you can complete it drops to sub-70%. You go from certainty in competition to a more cautious confidence in your skills. But there’s always an element of failure hanging in the background.
The thing about Type 2 fun is that you’re not just “having fun” but you’re pushing growth. You’re creating an an adaption. You’re hatching the cocoon from the inside out.
Type 2 fun is the fun you’re having when your goals are so big that you’re becoming someone different to achieve them. The pay off isn’t solely from the activity itself, but who you have to become in order to complete the task.
When you tell a story, if everything goes right – there’s no story. In fact, it’s slightly annoying. It’s too perfect. Reality isn’t like that. It contains imperfect artifacts that mess up the picture – but that also make it unique, interesting and memorable.
- When your entire foot turns into a blister mid-race.
- When you get lost on a cross-country adventure.
- When you get halfway through a workout and you think you’re going to lose your lunch.
- When you get crushed in your business and you’re not sure what to do.
- When it feels impossible, and you’re not sure if you’re going to make it.
Type 2 fun happens on the edge.
That’s where the story happen. That’s where you find out what you’re made of. That’s where you have the fun that you’re happy you had – even if you’re not happy you had to have it.
Type II fun is the best fun.
You might not think it now, but you will someday ?