Fun in Life and Work

Ron Macklin and Deb Dendy

Fun in Life and Work

Welcome to "The Story in Your Head" podcast with Ron Macklin and Deb Dendy.

In this episode of “The Story in Your Head,” Ron and Deb discover a new perspective on “fun”, not just as a source of amusement, but as a fully immersive, creative process where you lose track of time.

“The Story in Your Head” podcast is about sharing stories through host interactions and interviews with guests so listeners will create space to learn about themselves, build authentic connections, produce opportunities to gain knowledge and get out of their own story to make space for others – no matter someone’s background and experiences.

Ep. 68: Fun in Life and Work

Ron and Deb dive into a thoughtful discussion about the definition and experience of fun. They challenge the conventional understanding of fun as just "enjoyment, amusement or lighthearted pleasure", a definition they find on the internet. Deb, is immediately intrigued by the term "lighthearted", pointing out that some of the most fun experiences she's had were anything but lighthearted.

For her, fun is being completely engaged and focused on something, immersing herself in learning, creating, and putting her whole body and mind into it. She highlights how this experience of fun can distort one's perception of time. When she is having fun, she loses track of time, completely engrossed in what she's doing. She shares a recent example of this when she was working on some content and found herself so engrossed that time seemed to pass very quickly.

The conversation then turns back to Ron, who agrees with Deb's perspective. He also emphasizes the importance of unpredictability and the process of overcoming challenges in making an experience fun. The journey through laughter, sadness, new experiments, successes, and failures is what makes the process enjoyable and memorable for him. He adds that when things are fun, they never turn out the way you predicted, highlighting the element of surprise and unpredictability in fun experiences.

Overcoming Setbacks, Finding Joy in Work

Ron and Deb then take a deeper dive into the reality of overcoming setbacks in the world of startups and finding joy in the process. They debunk the common perception of fun as just a source of amusement, redefining it as a state of flow, a deep engagement, and a personal journey of creativity.

Deb shares her experiences with overcoming challenges, recalling situations such as losing a crucial customer or dealing with resource scarcity in a startup. She emphasizes that these difficulties are not only part of the startup journey but are also vital elements that lead to learning and growth.

Through these thoughts, Deb uncovers for herself how finding joy in work is often intertwined with the people you work with. She states that working with people she enjoyed being around fostered an environment of creativity, engagement, and fun. It's about finding joy in the collective efforts, in building something together from the ground up, and in overcoming challenges as a team.

She also mentions that fun is not always about things being easy. The thrill comes from the challenge, from having to think outside the box, and from overcoming hurdles. The real joy in work, according to her, is about being fully engaged, embracing challenges, and being creative. It's about the process of turning a challenge into a triumph.

Discovering Fun Through Challenges and Creativity

Ron takes his turn, arguing that the traditional notion of fun, as a mere frivolous and lighthearted pastime, does not encompass the entire spectrum of joyous experiences. He shares his experiences and personal revelations on how challenging situations have often led him to unexpected, yet fulfilling paths of fun and enjoyment. 

Together they explore how challenges often act as a catalyst for creativity. They realize that when faced with a problem that seems insurmountable, the brain shifts into a creative mode, seeking unique and innovative solutions. This process of creative problem-solving not only brings satisfaction but also a sense of fun and engagement.

They reflect how such experiences can foster a positive and joyful working environment. They believe that facing and overcoming challenges as a team can foster camaraderie, enhance mutual respect, and create a shared sense of achievement, which in turn contributes to an enjoyable work culture.

Additionally, the hosts also emphasize the joy of helping others learn and discover. Ron shares his experience of designing programs and conducting experiments, and the joy derived from seeing others benefit from these.

Discovering Hidden Talents

Ron says that he firmly believes every person has a unique talent that may not always be apparent or even recognized by the individual themselves. He then tells the poignant story of a millwright who also happened to be a poet. Ron underscores the significance of this narrative, pointing out that his poetic talent was only discovered after his passing, which serves as a reminder of the potential for undiscovered talents around us.

Ron urges the listeners to create an environment that encourages individuals to share their hidden talents and gifts. He says that by recognizing and celebrating these talents, a group or team can not only bring joy and fulfillment but also enhance the collective creativity and productivity. They emphasize that discovering hidden talents often require an open, supportive, and non-judgmental environment.

Join us to hear how understanding the idea of “self-talk” — and what you can do about it — could change your relationships and life for the better.

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Episode Summary

Fun in Life and Work

In this episode of “The Story in Your Head,” Ron and Deb discover a new perspective on “fun”, not just as a source of amusement, but as a fully immersive, creative process where you lose track of time.