003: Childhood, Big Projects and The Different Types of Fun – A Talk with Ira Mowen


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Starting and finishing big projects is something I’ve struggled with for quite awhile. I wanted to talk with someone who seemingly doesn’t have any difficulty completing big projects and find out if it’s as easy as it looks. I sat down with my friend Ira to find out more.

Ira and I talk about his early life growing up in Santa Cruz, California. And how his parents’ approach gave him the space and support to explore his own interests.

Ira tells me about how his long-term project CITIZENSTAND begun and how he’s managed to make over a thousand videos for this project alone.

We also get into the process behind choosing a project you can commit to, and some of the things we can expect to encounter along the way – including two different types of fun.

Ira leaves me with some helpful advice on how to move through the tougher times in life with a simple change in perspective.

A special stand VIDEO (#1144) from Ira’s CITIZENSTAND project

Show Highlights and Takeaways

  • Early Childhood and Parents
    • Kids know what they like.
    • When parents listen to and support their child’s natural interests and abilities they help their child to live as themselves and enable them to feel confident in doing the things they enjoy doing.
  • Creating Art (and stuff in general.)
    • It doesn’t matter what other people think.
    • You’re making art for yourself. What other reason is there?
  • The Different Types of Fun
    • Type 1 fun is where you directly enjoying the experience you’re having in the moment (creating, listening, watching or swimming in a lake at night.)
    • Type 2 fun is fun that doesn’t feel so fun in the moment, but turns out to be the most satisfying and rewarding in the end when you’ve completed the project or come through the other side of a tough experience. –You grow the most from this type of fun.
  • Deciding on Starting a Big Project – some questions to ask yourself:
    • Is this something you really want to do?
    • Is it going to be fun?
    • Are you making it for yourself?
    • Are you prepared to go on a journey full of tough times and good times?
  • Committing to a Big Project
    • Get a clear idea of the project you’re thinking about committing to.
    • You can always change things along the way. Remember, it’s a journey.
  • Getting Through the Harder Times
    • When things feel really hard, it can be helpful to broaden your perspective of the situation and take a look at the bigger picture.
    • Reminding yourself that type 2 fun exists can help you keep going when times are tough.

Ira’s Work (just a slice.)

The Podcast

The B is for Being Podcast is a collection of conversations with friends, psychologists, and thought-leaders on the most effective tools for uncovering authentic expression and navigating the obstacles we may encounter on the way to discovering ourselves.

About Benjamin

Hi, I’m Benjamin. I podcast and blog about authentic expression and self-discovery. I also make slow-videos for rest and reflection. You can read more about me here.

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