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The Dark Playground

The Dark Playground

This weeks Seed was mostly inspired by this podcast episode:

Tim Urban: Elon Musk, Neuralink, AI, Aliens, and the Future of Humanity | Lex Fridman Podcast #264

It’s one of my favorite podcast episodes and wish everyone would listen to it.

Specifically, the last 20 or so minutes where they talk about procrastination, creative work, energy management, and “The Dark Playground.”

I’ve never heard it put so well…

The Dark Playground is a place every procrastinator knows well. It’s a place where leisure activities happen at times when leisure activities are not supposed to be happening.

The fun you have in the Dark Playground isn’t actually fun because it’s completely unearned and the air is filled with guilt, anxiety, self-hatred, and dread.

Sometimes the Rational Decision-Maker puts his foot down and refuses to let you waste time doing normal leisure things, and since the Instant Gratification Monkey sure as hell isn’t gonna let you work, you find yourself in a bizarre purgatory of weird activities where everyone loses. – Tim Urban from this article.

Also mentioned..

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Welcome to seeds and happy day. Deep breath Yeah, stretch out that spine. Spine is like it’s like the heavily correlated with age, if you can keep your spine flexible, and healthy and strong, then your age slower and better. Anyway, there’s your, your doctor, Dr. Miles tip. So today’s see don’t want to keep it really short. I have a bunch of different things that I want to talk about. But the main thing that’s that’s really exciting for me is this podcast that I listened to shared it on my Instagram, but I’m going to share it here as well and kind of talk about a few of the points. It’s with. It’s on this podcast called I think it’s called Lex frame, Lex Friedman podcast. Let’s see. And, yes, Lex Friedman podcasts. He’s like friends with Elon Musk, I think, really smart, dude, very chill. I love his cadence. His energy seems like a very chill. But he’s really smart. And he has on Tim urban, who is the creator of wait, but why which is like one of the most interesting blogs ever. I’ve known that for a long time. It’s great. I love it. He kind of just does like really deep dives into really interesting topics. Like, you know, neuro link, which is Elon Musk’s biggest exploration into like, you know, planting something in our brain so we can communicate brain to brain instead of anyway, it’s a it’s a whole thing. It’s very interesting. It’s really cool. And a lot of different topics like that. And they talk about a lot on this episode. I highly, if I could pick one podcast, for everyone on this planet to listen to this would definitely be up there. You know, maybe there’s better ones. But this is, I wish everyone would just listen to this. Because they go through a lot of different interesting topics, some of which are just, they’re not super applicable, but they’re so fascinating, like aliens. Big in the small of the universe, how, you know, small can get incredibly small, and they can get unfathomably big. And what does that mean? You know, and what, where are we in that, and it’s just really interesting stuff. But at the end, probably the last, like 1520 minutes was the most interesting and applicable to me, in my immediate life around procrastination, which he has a TED talk around that he’s he dissects procrastinate procrastination, better than anyone I’ve seen. And he’s a true procrastinator, like to this day, he procrastinates. And it kind of works for him. And he explores that like he procrastinated, creating his TED talk, he did it at the last second. And so this stuff might apply to you or not, but for me, it hit me.

It hit home hit home. That’s the phrase I’m looking for. And, specifically, we’ll get my notes app because I wrote some stuff down.

So he says, Okay, so this is one point, the dark playground, he calls this, the dark playground, it’s that place where you’re playing, you’re doing something that’s not productive, but you aren’t enjoying it fully, because you feel like it hasn’t been earned. Or you shouldn’t be playing right now you should be working or doing something else. And I experienced this often to various degrees. And it’s the best description for it I’ve ever heard. And that gives it a label. When you can label something you have power over in a way right you can understand it and you can do with it what you want, right so if it’s called the Dark playground, then you can notice it when it’s happening. And then maybe change your action. So for me, it’s like you know, if I feel this, then I know that I’m not going to be able to enjoy the near future. Something that I tried to do is like really earned my weekend so If I have certain things that I know need to get done, and I don’t get them done, it’s just gonna feel like crap on the weekend. So, I think for us as if you’re anything like me, you’re a procrastinator, you’re a creative person, you can go really, really deep, but, you know, being productive and finishing tasks and stuff. Project management, you know, it’s, it’s challenging for everyone. But some people have, I would say, like, neural pathways, that kind of bypass the procrastination part. Like they talk about how Elon has talked about how he doesn’t have that, in his programming as a human, like, he just doesn’t really have that. So he’s able to do a lot. And there’s things, there’s benefits to that, of course, also, you know, I don’t know how happy he really is, I think he’s probably pretty happy. But I know that he’s, you know, he’s mentioned that he doesn’t sleep that much. He’s constantly working, I can’t imagine the amount of stress and pressure that’s on him. So, and that’s because he just does so much. And we’re not all built that way. And I think it would make a very miserable life for a lot of us. So I think dancing with procrastination is actually really cool. And almost using it a little bit. At the end of the day, we all need some pressure, we all need something like a reason to finish something. And if you look at the way our brain is structured, I’m, you know, I don’t know how much you know about me, but I am extremely fascinated by the brain, I have a whole brand built around the brain, brain thrive. And so I’m always exploring it, I’ll link to an article that if you’re anything like me, you will binge read this article around neural link in the brain. And it’s just super fascinating. Anyway, if you look at the way the brain is structured, we almost need like a reason to finish something. Our primitive brain can’t just do it. Like we need to have some structure some reward, right? We needed a reward. And so how can we create that reward? Well, maybe even not just reward but like, a negative emotion, almost like building shame around something. I know, that sounds kind of like, dark. But he talks about this, like, how can we build shame into something to be reason enough for us to finish it. So for me, I’m like connecting this all to my work and to the box, which we’ve created and are launching soon. And it’s that shame but pressure of someone else, knowing what you need to finish accountability, basically. But knowing that so and so is expecting you to show up to a call and say I finished my work is pressure enough for most of us. And without that, when we’re sitting there with ourselves and our own, like discipline, I mean, oftentimes, the reward just isn’t good enough. So that’s what the box is for. And I’m really excited about that. And I want you to listen to this, this episode. So that we can create less, less dark playgrounds. So we can we can be on the dark playground less and less, and instead just be on the playground, playing life, living life. guilt free, because we’ve done our work because we’re moving forward making progress because it’s so fulfilling when you when you finish work.

He also talks about how like when you are able to get into that rhythm. This actually was the biggest thing in the podcast that resonated with me, because I’ve felt this so intimately. When you’re able to kind of get into this back and forth healthy relationship between the two parts of your brain, the one that’s like, Okay, we got to get to work, we got to finish this because we know that we don’t want to be in the dark playground, we want to be able to play guilt free. So let’s get this done. takes an hour, two hours, three hours, whatever. And then you’re done. You take breaks, and you play. And you go back and you do your work throughout the week throughout the months. And you play in this back and forth healthy relationship. Almost like parent child relationship. Where it’s like the parent, the executive function. The executive part of the brain is like telling the other part of the brain I know we want to play let’s get this done for an hour so that you can it’s so much more enjoyable when we do play. And ultimately, where do we want to go in life and what’s going to get us there? doing this work is going to get us there not doing this work is going to get us somewhere we don’t want to be. So let’s just do this. It’s like, it’s so simple and obvious. But we got to remember where our brain comes from. And evolution has made it such an interesting part of the human body. That function functions really well in certain scenarios and really, really poorly in others. So we’re going to aim for that healthy back and forth rhythm, getting into that momentum, so that we can live our lives. And that also to me is a lot of the yin and yang energy. That’s really cool. And I just did a podcast recorded the podcast with a new friend Evan shank, who is also in the marketing world, specifically kind of email automation and stuff. And we had a really cool conversation. I’m excited for it to come out. It should be out soon. So I’ll let you know. But a lot of the conversation was around yin and yang energy and energy management in in the creative space and entrepreneurial space. So I’ll show you that when that comes out. And check out the links that I share below. I would love to hear what you think about the the podcast. Amazing, we’ll talk to you soon.