Two types of fun

There are two types of fun: Type I Fun and Type II Fun.

Type I Fun is the fun we all know and love—time spent relaxing, playing, sleeping in. If it’s enjoyable in the moment, it’s Type I Fun.

Type II Fun is challenging in the moment but rewarding in retrospect. Here are some examples:

  • I had many long, frustrating days writing Do Better Work. I came to see the book as an ominous chore. To finish it, I had to learn a lot about myself. I look back on that time now and think, That was hard—a total pain!—but I am so glad it happened.


  • One time, my car broke down on a remote highway. There was no cellular service. A friendly truck driver stopped to help me. He spoke a little English, but not much. He used his radio to help me get a tow to my destination, which was 140 miles away. It was not relaxing at the time, but it was an adventure that I am now grateful for.


  • When I was a kid, my parents sent me to summer camp. I was miserable about it, because I was scared to be away from my family. Then camp ended, and I missed it! When I got home, all I could talk about was how excited I was to go back to camp.


Many experiences are frenzied or hard in the moment but formative and maybe even beautiful in hindsight. They are Type II Fun.

When I get a balanced diet of both types of fun, I am at my best. I need time without an agenda—freedom to sleep in or play with LEGO bricks or stare at the sky. I also need unpredictable challenges that rattle me but leave behind something special, like a lesson, a memory, or a new friend.

Some things aren’t fun at all. But with this expanded view, I find there’s a lot more fun in the world than I once thought.

Thanks for reading,

P.S. A special thank you to my friend Karlie Briggs for teaching me about Type I and Type II Fun. I am forever grateful, Karlie!

P.P.S. If you haven’t heard, today is the second-annual Better Work Day. Thanks to everyone who has helped us celebrate.

This is Max’s note—an every-so-often message from Lessonly’s CEO about learning, leadership, and Better Work. Sign up below to subscribe via email. No spam, we promise!

Two bosses
The divine middle