Saturday, January 28, 2017

Fun, but not funny

As I have shared regularly, I view John Wooden as an ideal of sorts. He was the sort of person who could come up with a plan, implement it diligently and consistently across a wide expanse of time, and continually improve in slow but real ways the entire time.  This is a sort of perfection.  Very, very, very few people are capable of following simple plans with enthusiasm and discipline for long periods of time.  It requires a psychological integration few ever achieve in this life.

He commented once that he liked his players to be "fun, but not funny", and I think I finally know what he meant.  People who reflexively use humor can make everyone laugh, but in most, perhaps all, cases, this is a psychological defense mechanism, which means that they are not fully present emotionally.  They are hiding, and he didn't want people who hid.  This is inherently a separation from the core self, and the core self is where true emotional strength is found.

I recently heard second hand that among some people I knew years ago I was considered "fucking funny".  And I did used to joke a lot.  I can be very witty at times, and very fast. But I am finding the more work I do, the less recourse to that I have.  I am not as funny as I used to be, but I am also finding myself sometimes capable of staying in the room when dealing with other people, which I was not when I was deflecting with humor.

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