Getting to Yes, And

Scott Barry Kaufman and Jordyn Feingold: Choose Growth


Scott Barry Kaufman and Jordyn Feingold

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Kelly spends Valentine's Day with Scott Barry Kaufman and Jordyn Feingold to talk about their amazing new book "Choose Growth: A Workbook for Transcending Trauma, Fear, and Self-Doubt."

This quote in the book from Irvin Yalom floored me: “Sooner or later [you have] to give up the hope for a better past.”

“This quote also penetrated my soul when I came across it, because so many humans have existential suffering, wishing that time could move in the backwards direction. A lot of the criticism of post-traumatic growth as a concept is this assumption that we need traumatic experiences in order to grow. And, of course, that's not true. We can grow from deeply positive experiences as well. We talk about the research on post-ecstatic growth. The idea is not that we should go seek out opportunities to be traumatized. The idea is that these things happen. They are part of the human experience. Suffering is an inevitable part of what it means to be human. Time moves in one direction as we perceive it, and it would behoove us to recognize that we have a choice to move with it.”

All this requires change, which is hard.

“I hear this all the time: ‘I can't, I can't.’ There's so much resistance to the notion of changing, and I think another yes, and that is so baked into our work and into our philosophy is this idea of acceptance: that we can accept ourselves where we are for our imperfections and our stubbornness, and we can commit to change - that these things are not mutually exclusive. That is, accepting where we are does not mean that we cannot open ourselves to growth.”

Scott, we have talked a lot about improvisation but one thing I know about you is that you have a deep love for comedy. Do you know why?

“What a fascinating question! Why do I love comedy so much? I wonder, am I seeking that feeling of laughter? Um, it could be, you know. I've never reflected on that before, but it could be. We all have our traumas, and we all have - like you, I've had it, and I still have it, So I get in my box and feel bad in my body. But yeah, there's something about taking very upsetting things and laughing about like I just did and know that I did something that lifts my soul up.”

Photo credits: Scott Barry Kaufamn by Chris Descano, Jordyn Feingold by Lou Puliti

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