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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Fueling Your Neurology For Work And Play


(The Africa articles have been difficult so I've decided instead to get back to writing with a random article. This is a personal piece and I hope you enjoy it. Stay tuned.)

In marketing there is a principle which states that...

"Most people, by the time they become adults, will lose their capacity for youthful abandonment. They will never lose the CRAVING for it but they become psychologically starved because they no longer have the ability."

This is pretty fascinating when you consider all the advertising with images of adults with big beaming smiles on their faces while using the product – but when you think about it, how many adults do YOU know who have the ability to have that much fun??

By my own personal estimation, fun is probably one of the least commonly experienced emotions among adults.

When an adult says “I’m having fun” it’s more often a vacuous jargon that means “I’m interested in what I’m doing” as opposed to the ecstatic abandonment they enjoyed when they were kids.

Of course, most folks would never admit it to themselves because fun is thought of as being the “light at the end” of the tunnel for achieving success.

You get to have fun during your leisure time, so if you want to have more fun, simply become successful so you can take time off. Right??

This is basically thought of as being a truism.

Probably because it WAS true at one point, but as you get older you don’t realize your neurology has changed.

(We’re using the word “neurology” pretty loosely in this article -– but you catch my drift).

The way it works is basically like this.

Your neurology adapts to whatever circumstances you’re most accustomed to.

So if you’re a little kid who’s used to playing around all day, you’re probably going to feel antsy and restless when you’re asked to focus on school.

And if you’re an adult who slaves furiously to meet deadlines for years on end, you’re probably going to feel trapped in your head when you’re out trying to have fun.

This has been a hot topic on my mind for the past several years.

Back when I used to go out and chase girls 7 nights a week my personality was basically a barrage of humour and jokes.

Then I sat down to write “The Blueprint” in 2004 and I found myself jittery and resentful for having to focus for hours at a time.

I remember getting up to walk around the back yard every few minutes, grudgingly buckling back down to write, and then getting up to scurry around again and again.

Later I adjusted to working an hour without distraction. Then two hours. Then maybe four or five.

Finally as I started adjusting to the extreme workload that came with RSD’s struggle in 2005 I found myself rolling out of bed, turning on the computer, and working straight through until it was time to go back to sleep.

There were periods of consecutive months between 2005 and 2007 where I worked 16 hour days. I simply adjusted and accepted it.

Around 2006 I noticed my personality had changed, both for the better and the worse.

On the positive side I found I could hold multiple concepts in my head at the same time and see how they came together without losing my train of thought. My attention span seemed to increase noticeably while my fluid problem solving skills and creativity became lightening fast relative to where they’d been before.

At the same time, I noticed everything I thought about, spoke about, or spent time on, was work.

Simple socializing like small talk and joking around became awkward. If it wasn’t about work I felt anxious like something bad was about to happen. As if I lost my momentum for even five minutes I’d go back to slacking off and spend another year struggling to get back on track.

The only exception was teaching bootcamp because I could rationalize to myself “This is for work”. Bootcamp was always the part of the week I looked forward to because I could have fun and let loose without feeling guilty about it.

(Funny enough I also came to understand why students often speak of being “exhausted” after each night of bootcamp. It’s because their neurology gets burnt out from several hours of fun in a row and they need to re-connect with their introverted comfort zones).

Anyway the pressure I was dealing with in my mid twenties was probably more than was reasonable for a person of my age and maturity at that time. So I’m proud of how I dealt with it overall.

Then as I came into 2007 I made the ambitious decision to make it the “most fun year of my life” – which I stated publically in the New Year’s Eve blog video as a way of committing myself to follow through.

Now you might think to yourself “Having fun?? Uhhh, that’s easy!!”

The difference is that when you’ve got a team who relies on you to produce results, or else they don’t eat and there’s no roof over their heads, having fun suddenly becomes a source of stress because it feels like a massive waste of time.

On top of that, and this is obviously a generalization, I’d noticed over the years that most of the folks who had a talent for being relaxed and having fun also tended to be flunkies and underachievers in their professional lives.

This was an interesting dilemma because on a certain level these were the guys who I modelled and admired.

Usually they’d spend a lot of time laughing and hanging out with friends and taking life easy, which gave them a sort of care-free vibe that was attractive and contagious.

But later as I’d get to know them, I realized they were projecting an illusion of coolness, because their lives were mediocre at best (and a total train wreck at worst).

I’ve often suspected many of these guys were burdened by a delusion that someday they’d get paid just for being cool. Like a male version of Paris Hilton or Tila Tequila, I’m not sure.

The problem was that a part of their “cool factor” was they lacked an inviolable personal standard for the quality of their own lives.

Their “neurologies” were never burdened down with stress or compulsive analysis because if things weren’t going well they’d just laugh it off and rationalize. But years of living in this zone also left them with no ability to deal with friction, setbacks, or adversity because their higher priority was maintaining the flow and their happy vibe.

In my experience this was a form of weakness because their external circumstances often weren’t in alignment with the happiness of their internal world, which forced them deeper into personal denial.

Put them into a situation where avoidance and rationalization could no longer deal with their problems, and suddenly they’d be whining like young children with no ability to cope.

Again, this is a generalization of many people who I met over the course of my life. But I also feel it’s fairly on point in terms of the commonalities I saw in many people who on the surface seemed socially super successful.

In my early twenties I remember feeling somewhat nervous and approval-seeking around these types because they had something I wished that I had myself. But as I hit my late twenties I became more indifferent, if not sympathetic, because I realized they’d taken a route that would cause problems for them down the line.

I guess that’s what you’d call “coming into your own” – which really just means you don’t buy into other people’s values above your own. Funny enough it often makes people question themselves because you seem so confident in your own way of doing things.

Anyway over the years I discovered that there’s actually TWO ways of getting that carefree vibe...

The first is just to ignore reality and make having fun the higher priority.

But the second, which in my view is the more powerful way of doing it, is to continually challenge yourself in your professional life while learning the art of separating work from pleasure.

What they don’t teach you in school is that your neurology becomes ADDICTED to whatever emotional state you’re accessing most of the time.

So when you notice that most guys who party all the time seem mentally retarded in their professional lives, it might seem so sad and pathetic that it turns you off of letting loose.

But at the same time, you have to also realize if you sacrifice fun for the purpose of professional success for too long you are essentially FRYING your ability to enjoy life – which is equally short-sighted.

Doing this will lead you to a place where having fun becomes “going through the motions”.

You become so analytical and disconnected from the REAL EXPERIENCE of true enjoyment that you don’t even know what it is anymore.

As absurd as it sounds, you wind up analyzing it the same way you would a business proposal, with an objective criteria of what fun “should be” instead the emotions you’re actually experiencing.

"I’m doing something interesting (or that costs a lot of money). Therefore the conditions for having fun are now met, which means I must be having fun."

There’s no ACTUAL lighting up of the “happy centres” in your neurology. That part of your neurology has withered away.

It’s like if you lie in bed for a year and now all the muscles in your legs have atrophied and withered away. How much of a “work out” can you really do??

Maybe you can exercise lightly for a few minutes, but then after that the tissue has been worked and you’re forced to take a break.

Only after a few months of repetition have you gradually built back enough muscle tissue to work it without burning it in more than a few minutes.

This is the vicious cycle which so many adults wind up trapped in without their conscious knowledge.

You’re having “fun” but you’re not REALLY having fun.

You’re not detoxifying yourself from all the cortisone that builds up in your system at work, so there’s no renewal taking place.

You show up for a fun activity because you think you’re “supposed to” but the truth is you’d rather be back in your work-addicted comfort zone.

It’s just that if you stopped going out altogether then you’d have to admit to yourself that the way you’ve been living is wrong.

And that’s almost impossible because you have so much invested in it personally, let alone with your family and staff who depend on you to pay the bills.

So what do most adults do??

They use ALCOHOL as a crutch because it stimulates those emotional pleasure centres for them.

(At least for an hour or two before they become belligerant and a pain in the ass).

To get past this you have to make a very deliberate effort to pump up your “happy” neurology on a regular basis, so it doesn’t lose its capacity to process those types of emotions.

That means continuing to dominate in the professional arena and producing the results that people expect from you, but at the same time, making a clear separation between work and play.

In my case I started out by going to the beach a few times a week. I hated every minute of and thought about getting back to work the entire time (which isn’t fun either but at least you get rid of that anxious feeling that nothing is getting done). But it was a start.

Then I started doing hiking and getting outside to add to that. I’d drone on about work to my poor buddy Olcay but over time I was able to recognize what I was doing and minimize it by putting myself in check.

Finally one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle was deliberately forcing myself to laugh and joke around.

I got this idea from the principle that “Changing your physiology will change your state”.

The idea was that I’d force myself to laugh in the places where “normal” people would – ie: at the points where I USED to laugh before I became a peak performer self-parody.

To do this I actually told my friends “I’m going try to joke around more and laugh more. It will probably seem insincere but I need to do this.”

This helped me to get past the internal resistance of appearing incongruent.

I’d noticed over the years that the fear of being perceived as incongruent was probably the biggest hurdle which held people back from reaching their potential with success with women. So I knew I had to get back to a space like when I was a pick-up newbie where I was pushing envelope in terms of testing out new behaviour and not caring what people thought.

This was tough around guys like Tim and Olcay who are super socially intuitive. These are guys who KNOW if I’m somewhat “faking” it, and because I know they know it, it’s even harder.

But these are also my real friends and genuinely supportive, so I didn’t let it hold me back.

The cool thing was that over about 6-10 months it became natural and internalized. I still felt my neurology being exhausted having too many hours of fun in a row, but the threshold where that would happen was a several hours more.

I’m probably at about 60% of where I know I could be (typical analyst – wooo!), but considering my work ethic is at about 200% I know I can eventually catch that up.

What I learned from all this is that work and pleasure need to be separated consciously and deliberately.

As a peak performer the temptation is to make work your entire life.

You’ll make vacuous statements like “You have to be well rounded” because you THINK you’re supposed to say things like this (or maybe that balance might make you a better performer).

But it’s as much of a rationalization as the flunky who talks about how he’s rejected the professional world because he’s above the fray of capitalist society, when in reality he couldn’t secure a decent job to save his life.

The key is to treat both fun and focus as different muscles that need to be worked and trained independently (even if you’re training them at the same time).

It’s cool to build your neurology to cut through ungodly loads of work like the mental equivalent of Jay Cutler.

More than just pride of being a true producer, there is something philosophical about being a person who can talk about their dreams and really achieve them (as opposed to telling yourself random lies).

But you ALSO have to force yourself to laugh and have fun throughout the day. Otherwise your dreams will probably turn out to be meaningless.

That’s because when you’ve lost your capacity for true abandonment, you wind up doing things just to do them. For no real reason at all.

I think Robert M. Pirsig hit the nail on the head when he said:

"Now the stream of our common consciousness seems to be obliterating its own banks, losing its central direction and purpose, flooding the lowlands, disconnecting and isolating the highlands and to no particular purpose other than the wasteful fulfillment of its own internal momentum."

And you know, once you’ve stepped into the mindsets and behaviours of a corporate “suit” it’s not going to go away over night.

You have to gradually nurse yourself back to a state of semi-normalcy. That means putting in the identical effort that you put into developing your professional skill-sets to discovering how to have fun again.

In the meantime, you don’t want to lose that ability to put in a week of 16 hour work days in the urgent situations when it’s called for. So you’ve got to maintain a balance where you don’t revert back to your old teenage-self who struggled to produce results.

Peak performance is the art of being fully engaged with “focused present energy” and then renewing your mind and spirit with total relaxation and being fully unplugged.

From my perspective I feel like I’m coming into a really good zone, because I’ve been cultivating that “carefree” side of my personality while I’m still enjoying the benefits that come from working hard.

And the cool thing is that by combining hard work and having fun synergistically I finally HAVE been able to have the most fun year of my life.

The trips to Mexico and Africa this year never could have happened if I haven’t taken it to the next level in terms of my work ethic, but at the same time, I was actually able to enjoy them because I’d also taken the effort to make having fun a personal priority.

So in my opinion you CAN have your cake and eat it too.

You do NOT have to become another victim of the professional world any more than you have to become a victim of being a burnt out party-boy.

Moderation.

The Greeks have been talking about it for thousands of years and deep down you probably knew it was true.

My hope for my own career is that as I evolve and progress people can look at me and say “That guy is a really hard worker, but he also seems like a balanced, cool guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously.”

The whole cartoon character thing is OK in your twenties because you’re LEARNING and it’s about trial-and-error.

In your thirties it’s about as uncool as holding onto existential angst... Uhh, NO.

There’s a time and a place for everything, and I think that as you get older you really need to work all this stuff out.

Anyway that’s my goal, and hopefully this article has offered you insight if you’re in a similar position.

I’ll be back later with the details from my recent experience in Africa.

Thanks for reading!!

Tyler

63 comments:

Chaq Groove said...

Struck true, relates to working as a waiter, of course you MUST put out the utmost of service, but at the same time you MUST make it an experience for the guest, waiters are a part of the whole experience, not just some pass through human, that is there for the job, joking around with guests really bursts up my life.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

Fantastic article.

What I also believe is that the 'play/fun' part of the brain (basically the emotional brain) strengthens the logical part of the brain. You also have a primal/instinctive/physical brain which get trained by doing hardcore exercise and physical neuro-training.

The parts work synergistically, so if you renew yourself with physical exercise and emotional fun/play, you can work a lot harder (provided you also exercise that part of the brain).

I think one of the best things you can do for your life is to structure your day in a way that you always do something emotionally, always do something logically and always do something physically.

Timtent said...

Amazing article, Tyler!

I'm a law student and have to study in the library 10 hours straight a day, 7 days a week, in order to be prepared for exams in the winter. I'm combining this with a 60day newbie challenge right now, where I basically leave the library each night and hit the clubs for 2-4 hours. The weirdness I feel from having to make that shift in my head each night again because of the changed circumstances is amazingly described in your article!

Great work,

Tim

Anonymous said...

Tyler,
... But dont you think that a man should first have a massive amount of fun, than the same massive amount of work and than turn into moderation after he knows the edges of whats fun and work? I might be wrong but would like to see your point of view on that matter. Anyways, good they didnt kill you in Africa;))) see ya and stay tuned;))
P.s I would like to see your idea on the deepest truth of human exisatnce and God.
Bye
Regards
Jerzianno

Reg said...

Thanks Tyler. This has helped my get a bit of perspective on my own career. And it was a lot of fun reading it.

Verse said...

INCREDIBLE article Tyler. This one really made me read it a few times and let it sink in. We can all take something from this. Thanks bro.

Anarcoplayba said...

That's why I don't give a damn about PU anymore, but still follow your texts.

I've "lost" some years unbalanced trough my professional, Martial and PU life.

I'm REALLY trying to achieve balance now... but it has beeb being hard.

Anyway, thanks for the text: it's easier to work out your problems with a rational approach.

Victor said...

hee tyler,

great and important post man!

however I don't agree that “focused present energy” and renewing your mind and spirit can't both be achieved during work. if you have a job that you're very passionate about you can have that enjoyment in your work too. Or in the words of confucius (loosly qoute) : 'choose a job you like and have never to work again.'

stuff to think about:P

see ya.

Mark said...

Glad you posted this. This is one of those topics that i have thought about but had trouble putting into words.I find this balance can be difficult to find. It seems we eaither want to be the go getter or the party like a rock star type. It is important to have the ability to have both or else life is unbalanced. For me i ran my own business from 11 until 20. I got use to the 14 hour days and i had trouble just kickin the shit and having fun because i got obsessed with work. The last 2 years since really focusing on my social skills it has been the opposite.I am now coming to the realization i need both. Like Tim says when you go out it should be a celebration of your life. Hard to celebrate are life if its all work no fun or opposite all fun no work. We need both.
Awseome post Owen

phantom said...

Work hard, Play hard!

Great article Tyler. Exactly what I needed.

phantom

Anonymous said...

Very insightful and definetely got a lot of value from this article.. I'm all geared up to go into my most "working year" ever, with school and a job while also trying to balance it out with genuine fun.. This gave me some thoughts on what to consider when going through every day life..!

- The Duck

Anonymous said...

One of your best articles yet Tyler.

It's what I've been telling my cousins who work 100 hr weeks on Wall street year round.

"Your brain circuitry is going to be incapable of having fun after a while."

They never believe me. Maybe if I show them this article, at least they'll know someone agrees with me!

Paul said...

Thank you for sharing that.
I got some awesome value from that.
paul 23

Crono said...

Awesome article. I've dealt with this a lot of my life, coming from the analytical mindset.

It's about using your mind as a tool when it's needed, i.e. during work, and turning it off when it's not.

The balance between science and art.

-Mark

African Nubian Fattie said...

Awesome essay TD!

I guess the reason you are struggling with the Africa articles is just thinking about all those African 10's surrounding you, with their vaginas sewn shut and boobs hanging out your head kept spinning Whoooooosh!

Anonymous said...

uhhh.............no words man. Brain's still recoveri.....i......i.......#¤¤#/()¤#/()¤#/()¤#.




:).

/Kak√°nr1.

anxious said...

Thank you. I needed this.

Doug Lance said...

kinda interesting, but you're starting to fall outside of 'the game'

maybe it was the trip to africa. maybe you just arent getting out enough, but something is different. Like it was in the past.

GreG said...

Oh my goodness!!

Good article Tyler as usual...

Go On, & Have Fun!

Artistik from Lyon

Dream said...

Super insightful, love it.

jsssi said...

keep writing. i think these articles give a great insight to living a healthy fulfilling life.

when i first came in to the community i had a bad impression of you and really didnt want to get into rsd, but your blog has opened my eyes. rsd has really changed and to a healthy direction. i think what you guys on rsd are doing is the real deal. nothing but appreciation.

Hugheski said...

These kind of articles I really like, thanks.

I've also noticed how like some of these professional successful people can't seem to have fun and are very serious.

Then there's these party guys who can really let go and know how to really have a good time but have trouble in their work life.

I know what I want.

Christophe said...

Thanks for sharing, you hit the nail on the head. Your journey from guru of social interactions to guru of life is inspiring. Keep up the amazing work.

hsedev said...

Great read.

Kees said...

Hey Tyler,

Great article, You're so right about the balance, balance is everything in my opinion. And seeing your balance and how you are is all about observing ego and controlling your own life with the knowledge that gives you. Thanks for the insight.

Zephyr.

Chris said...

Tyler, this post is genius, you've hit so many nails on the head with it.

I'm saving it, I know I'll want to go back and read it again when I start to forget what's important.

Mack Doms said...

Nice "deep" post. Your article sure makes sense. ^__^

Even better, it's helping me realise why it's so hard to study for my exams that i'll have in august.
Everytime I start studying, I just can't manage to stay focussed and end up doin some silly 'worthless' thing giving me instant satisfaction. Like reading this blog ;-)

My brain is so addicted to fun that it's not even funny anymore.

One month ago I had cultivated myself the 'discipline' to be studying 6 hours a day. This was done by suffering alot and depriving myself from a lot pleasure.

After my exams in june I fucked that nice mental state up by having really too much fun in the 3 weeks after them..

Realising is the first step in every process of self-improvement. It's not easy to take this journey, it's a constant struggle to achieve the balance which one aims for in life.
You gave me insight to why it's so difficult to "take right action".

Thanks alot for this Owen. I really like your style of approaching life. I somewhat have the same view.. I hope. You don't like anything in your life to be controlled by coincidence, but you strive towards your ideal vision. Right?

I don't know if you respond to comments.. but what to do if someone is in a situation where he/she can't motivate for anything work-related?
Is it correct that there's no magic pill -> I should just ignore my (bad?) feelings and take right action and that gradually (in a few days) studying will get more bareable?

Greets from the rainy Belgium,

Mack DoMS

EA said...

It's almost scary how your posts always seems to relate to what is going on in my life. I'm definitely going to make an effort to balance fun and work.

When you have to work 16 hour shifts what do you do to stay awake late in the evening? In my current situation I have to work very long hours so if you or anyone have any good tips they would be much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Mega post!

Anonymous said...

Hey Tyler, Butter says... great article and yes work hard and play harder is the way to go. Never thought about it in a neurological way though. Quick question, as I have been to Africa (Tunisia) did you just go to SA or did you travel elsewhere? I'm asking because as both myself and my sister, she spent 3 years there, have been to different parts of the continent, we always find it interesting of the true diversity of all the countries there and everyones general idea of lumping Africa into one big category (the one they've seen on infomercials asking for money for the children and how the aid money doesn't get to them). Example being, the problems in Tunisia aren't the same in DRC. Hope you see what I mean for future articles.

Anyways, your articles rock my world and I'm looking forward to your future published book.

Anonymous said...

hey Tyler...

you are very smart and my primary source of head candy.

Thanks mate,

Alex~
www.alexattitude.com

murfster said...

Hey Tyler,

I'm glad you wrote this post, i've been dealing with this a lot in the last year. I'm an engineer, and I'm under a lot of pressure to dwell in that *logical headspace*.

I have a way I like to look at it. Consider that your mental *state* exists as a point along a line. Far to the right, is social *state*. Far to the left is logical *state*. When you are far to the right, you can socialize, have fun, and consequently pick up chicks EASY--you cannot operate logically however. On the left end of the spectrum, you can't talk to people very well (or at all) but you can figure shit out like a madman.

When I was in college, I was in pure logical state for about a year. I didn't have a date or a girl for 8 months! I was elite in my engineering program though. I never studied. I aced my classes, and graduated top of my class.

I discovered PU in about my last 6 months of college. Sunday-thursday I would FOCUS on school, and be stiff as a board. Thursday night i'd hit a bar/club and getting in state was TOUGH. Eventually, i've been learning to yank my state from the left to the right.

Most people live either on one side or the other. Moving your state is HARD. I've stayed in emotional state for weeks, getting back into work mode is tough. Something to think about.

Johan said...

Your writing is getting better and betting. Loving it... :)

Anonymous said...

This is probably one of the most important articles you've written in a long time. I noticed that in the Mastermind series you laugh a lot. It's good to hear and it shows that you're happy. As self employed I am pretty free to do what I want and I have much fun and am pretty care free. If anything it's probably good for business. Not to speak of pick up.

'Escalator'

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting that. puts things in perspective.

homejavi said...

Thanks for the articles. I really enjoy reading them!

Anonymous said...

Thanks man your insughts are always amazing.

Mojo said...

Hey Tyler,

First time I've commented on the blog, though I've been reading awhile. This is a seriously awesome article.

I'm fortunate enough to have some really awesome mentors in my life in terms of game. While I'm grateful for being friends with these guys and what I've learned from them, at the same time, if you look at their lives from a detached perspective, they're kind of a mess outside of the "social success/success with women" arena. Based on what I've seen, I think sometimes I've held back from committing wholeheartedly to the game, because of doubts about the negative effects it might have on my success in other areas.

At the same time, I've got some amazing opportunities that have opened up for me recently in the career area, where if I work hard over the next couple years I could be making a 6-figure income with lots of room for future growth. As I've learned about this new field of work I might be going into, I've also had some doubts come up. I'll need to work my ass off to get to that level, and I've questioned what kind of effect that's going to have on my social skills.

The funny thing is, this can put you in a position where you are aiming for mediocrity. You don't want to overdo it on career cause it can fuck up your game, and you don't want to overdo it on game cause it can fuck up your career.

That's why I really appreciate this article, as it shows how to work both sides of the WORK HARD/PLAY HARD equation and balance things out. This was a personally helpful article for me to read. Thanks for writing it up :)

Mojo

Anonymous said...

good article!
but i disagree in one aspect with you.
sometimes it isn't your 'mind focuses on work' that is prohibiting your ability to have fun.
sometimes it's your character as well. i'm having some anxiety-problems lately, but they aren't caused by having too much stress. some people around me became ill and died. that frightens me like hell. you wonder: will i be next?

questions like 'what will i do with my life', 'am i doing well?' turn up and take away a lot of fun. even though i see my friends a lot, am quite succesful professionaly and go out regularly.

how would you deal with fun-killing fear?

TellMeMore said...

Your articles make me think critically. they are enjoyable and you inspire me to improve myself. i recently watched your segment in dd's Approaching Women and your vocal projection, public speaking ability and confidence is even better than in Transformations.

Keep up the blog. I love it.

kyle said...

Man I've been struggling with this concept for over a year now. I've posted everywhere and asked everyone about it looking for answers. You answered it in the simplest terms. Great work and thank you so much tyler!

Anonymous said...

great stuff.

coke bottle in the picture of you at the cape of good hope.

Interesting read. Time for everything.

- Red Leader

Anonymous said...

Very nice article. It's scary tho, I'm following RSD for some while now and this is the first time I've read your BLOG. But this article is exactly what I've talked about for hours with a friend of mine yesterday.

We both come to the conclusion, that most ppl needs some sort of balance in life to become happy in life.

Props for you Tyler!

Halffull said...

Hey tyler, what about the idea of approaching work as play?

Having fun because you decide what fun is.

Curios as to your thoughts on this approach.

Stefan said...

Tyler,
I really think you are becoming an inspiration for many people, and you offer a lot of value. thanks for that and keep up the great work with RSD, you guys are truly great.

Charles said...

Wowzers! Dude, this is what's happening to me. I'm in a transitional period where I'm super foucused on my work and real child-like fun seems taboo. I have to regress and pick up my "inner" child where I left him.

Abower said...

Bang on, Tyler.

I'm curious, how long did this take you to write?

MD said...

What you might want to to is go past analysis.

Come up with solutions.

Like a "How to have fun" Product, with only examples. No "Concepts" and analysis. Just examples.

As the Talking Heads David Byrne Said, "Stop Making Sense"

Go to youtube and watch their tune,
"Once in a lifetime" that tune, relates strongly to this, plus, it's fun.

Anonymous said...

you articulate all the thoughts in my head that sometimes I cant quite tie together on my own. awesome article

work hard. play harder.

many thanks
Adam

Will said...

what cartoon character thing?

love your take on work and play

FindingLove said...

hey man, i don't really post much on here, and neither on rsdnation. But I just wanna say I love this blog. I'm going through a bit of a difficult time right now, everything seems to be chaotic, and my life is in a bit of a mess.

But whenever I read your blog it's gives me this calm energy, I get a bit of perspective on things, and seems to hit the 'reset' button in my mind.

Thanks for doing this, really appreciate the effort.

Jason said...

My dad does this.
Thank you for this article I learned-Balance, Have more fun time!, laugh more muahah, and seriously live your own style of life aka integrity.
peace Tyler, i give u much love

Anonymous said...

Hey nice article. However why not just choose a work that's fun ?

I'm not a fan of this "scizophrenia" that makes us have two different personnalities : one at work and one outside work.
We're just one person, so making this kind of separation is just not natural to me. It's not "flowing" in my opinion.

Most people use what professor Dan Ariely calls "market norms" when they're at work and "social norms" when they're with friends, and they're unable to mix the two behaviours.
For instance if you make a thanksgiving dinner to your family, and at the end of it, you ask for being paid, that's mixing the two kind of norms...And people would react negatively to that. Also, if you help a customer for free, your boss isn't going to be happy with that, so that's another way of mixing the two norms.

My answer is however, mixing the two : find a work that's fun, motivating, challenging, and start putting more and more fun in it.
Find some relations that are fun, motivating, challenging, and keep on with the fun after work.

Anonymous said...

Fake it till you make it!

Really, this article just opened my eyes. I've really never had a lot of fun since I was a small kid, ten years or so. I do have some fun, but it's not very often, and I need to "warm up" first (get into state as many says, I really don't like thinking of it that way because then it is almost like desperately trying to find a key into the holy room, through a door which is already open).

So I think I'll just stick to the old fashion way, fake it till you make it! Maybe I'll enjoy silly girl "fake emotions" humour someday...

Childish power!

Dr Hex said...

One that reckons accounts all the day passes not a happy moment. One that gladdens his heart all the day provides not for his house. The bowman hits the mark, as the steersman reaches land, by diversity of aim. He that obeys his heart shall command.

Egyptian sage Ptahhotep wrote this in 2400 B.C.

;)

Nice article. I'm considering my top job, and perhaps that's not the best solution after all. Took me 4 years at the Univ and 5 year in Grad School and 8 years of work experience to catch it.

Bobby Rio said...

funny cuz im going through this right now... i cant sit through a movie anymore without getting anxious and going to the computer to get some writing done...

although, at this point, i kind of feel like i´ve had my share of fun and now work is fun... or is it? Have i just lost my ability to get lost in the moment.

right now im traveling in medellin colombia and im still hitting the computer labs to post on my site... or taking notes of stories to post... or photos that would be good for the site..

i kind of feel im missing a bit of the experience..

Anonymous said...

damn man that is so true, this article really makes me consider how i have to live my life. im going to put these in practice

Anonymous said...

I have to literally remind myself to have fun and "self amuse" because i find myself caught up introspective states all the time.

I find, intelligent people have less fun than less intelligent people, because they are always THINKING and trying to figure stuff out, and trying to find meaning and understanding.

I read somewhere that children laugh like 300 times in one day. Adults? 7.

I honestly dont laugh as much as alot of my natural buddies, and FORCING myself to laugh and joke around and have fun could definetly condition a more useful habit for me.

There is also the sublety between FUN and FEELING GOOD.

You can feel good doing work, or working out, or reading a book, but its not exactly "fun" in the carefree childlike sense where you are playing in the schoolyard and laughing and joking with your friends.

Great article man, probably one of the best ones you've written.


Cheers,
Vish

Lee~ said...

It's funny because the "all work and no play" concept creates a very negative set of emotions for most people, which usually is the main cause for procrastination.

Procrastination is basically a symptom (or a reaction) of fear. Fear of taking on large sums of work and the idea that we'll never be able to have fun in the process or until we're finished. So we delay to aid us in temporary relief.

It's ALL about balance of work and play to find your peak peformance.

Been reading up on this a LOT lately, literally because I procrastinate... A lot. And need to get it handled.

I got a lot out of your post, great stuff!

Lee!

Anonymous said...

Owen, I feel like you wrote the words in my soul.

You struck a chord that's disturbingly painful and true that resonates with me, as a young hard-charging proprietor/business owner in an unstable ecosystem supporting many people with my own output, just like you.

I appreciate your words. You're gifted and needed.

You know how they say once you're enlightened in a certain way, there's no going back?

Thanks.

and Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Much appreciation to Tyler. I read this article right when I really needed it. Push yourself to do the right thing.

Zach said...

Excellent post Tyler. Every article I read from your blog changes my life perspectives. I am constantly evolving and learning how to be a better person by feeding off your expert knowledge. You are an extremely knowledgeable person, but you are incredibly humble as well. That is a rare and unique combination, and I am ever so grateful to have access to your thoughts. You are my role model, and I am constantly trying to evolve into a better person - just like you are very successfully doing. Thanks bro.

Moss said...

just came across this again. fantastic