David Allen starts his speech off with a story of mooring a small boat at a rocky island in a violent storm. Yet upon looking up at a gorgeous, full moon, Allen and his boaters come to peace amidst the turmoil. He draws this portrait of the storm as an analogy for the audience, saying that whatever you label as your “storm”, had you taken the chance to step back, you may have had the pleasure of feeling “present”. I associate his analogy with the IMT theory of The Event. In that these conditions of the storm were unique and already present, and that the outcome of the storm is determined already, so the best course of action is to be in the present, and look up and appreciate the moon. (Time stamp 0:00-2:30). Allen elaborates on this idea of “being in the present” by saying ‘Getting things done isn’t about getting things done; it’s about being appropriately engaged with what’s going on’. The focus is not about completion, but production. It’s not the measure of what you will accomplish, but what you are currently accomplishing. The idea that you can only control how you act in the present is what ties this back to The Event. (Time stamp 3:25-3:37). Allen’s main ideas in these selections of his video demonstrate Type A thinking by his ability to relax in an event and find a stress free option, despite the literal whirlwind around him.
Kelly McGonigal is a health psychologist, who for the past 10 years has been helping her clients decrease their stress, claiming stress is the “enemy”. McGonigal goes on to describe a high stress test (timestamp 3:25-5:10). She continues to reveal the secret of making stress your friend, which is to take the physical resultants of stress not as anxiety, but as your body preparing you for the challenge. Later in her presentation, McGonigal explains that ‘the harmful effects of stress are not inevitable…how you think and how you act can transform your experience of stress…” (time stamp 12:00-12:20) While what she is saying sounds good in theory, IMT teaches us to eliminate stress by accepting the situation as purposed and meant-to-be. McGonigal is claiming to change our outlook on stress, but IMT teaches us that we can’t change our attributes. I believe that McGonigal is simply remapping stress as adrenaline, which doesn’t make stress your friend, but rather mask the enemy. Her understanding of stress is evident of a Type C personality because it focuses her inwardly: rather than looking at the causes of stress, she accepts that stress is inevitable, and looks for a solution to a symptom, but not the larger disease, so to speak.