My Mt. Everest | July 2006 Newsletter

My Mount Everest: July, 2006
Merle M. Singer, Founder

My Play Mt. Everest

I think that I should rename my e-letter and site. It should be “My Fun Mt. Everest” or “My Play Mt. Everest” or “My Practice Mt. Everest” – something that doesn’t evoke the painful life challenges that we all must endure.

Instead, I want to summons up happy childhood images. Children play tag, they run track, they play baseball. As they play, they learn and practice skills — physical endurance, trust, leadership, coordination. These are physical, mental and spiritual qualities – all learned while having such a good time that they don’t want to stop playing. They don’t analyze it, they just have fun without appreciating the value of their games. But we are adults; we should analyze and appreciate the value of play – for children and adults.

Pushing to the Edge, But Not Over

Appearing at The Comedy Store or Hwd Improv is definitely not important for me. I’m not trying to be a comedian. I am doing it for fun, to practice. “Practice what’, you ask? I answer, “To practice stretching my skills beyond their comfort zone’. In the same way that yoga welcomes your body to find the edge of your comfort and push the edge without going over it into injury. It requires great attention to your body. If you play a game that pushes you to the edge of your comfort yet always remaining fun, it’s just the same as becoming a kid again.

I sure don’t need practice at being serious; I do need practice at having fun. Can you relate?

Creating Muscle Memory of Your Courage

It is no accident that corporate presidents and major entertainers and athletes play golf. It is their Mt. Everest. Nobody else besides them cares how well they do. But meeting that challenge is practice. It is creating muscle memory for your body/mind/spirit.

Successful people can afford to take vacations, and it can be a wonderful Mt. Everest experience. They can learn to parasail. They can go to a country in conflict. It’s fun; it’s challenging; it’s a learning experience. It’s a different venue to practice life/business skills.

People of lesser means can find vacations that they can afford. When I was a child, my vacation was a week at my aunt and uncle’s with my two cousins. I met new kids; walked s different neighborhood, had great ice cream cones after dinner. The change of everything was fun and a learning experience. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

Puritan Work Ethic vs. Learning Through Fun

But if we are playing and having fun, it can hit up against the puritan work ethic. Having fun is almost as bad as finding things easy to do. That was last month’s topic and it seemed to set off some bells in people. Apparently the conflict of working easy, as opposed to hard (Meaning with great effort), evoked a response in several of you. One side-stepped the issue of our discomfort with ease of doing things in favor of word games with the homonyms hard vs. easy and hard vs. soft.

Bored with Easy

Boredom is often a Halloween Mask hiding other emotions i.e. guilt, overwhelm

Another person dismissed the comedian’s dilemma as boredom from the ease of finding his material. Exactly. If it’s not difficult, we are “bored’ or guilty for our ease of accomplishment. It’s as if we are addicted to difficulty like some are addicted to gambling? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying everyone is like this, but a lot of us are or at least still in process of liberating ourselves from our unnecessary angst.

Maybe we should pay special attention to our children and nieces and nephews and neighbors’ children. They have something to teach us.

“Success leaves traces.”

Armand Morin,