Enjoy the Process

So I'm back to the old blog site, writing for Beach Major Series didn't pan out this season, but don't worry, that won't stop my word vomit from reaching the screen. Not sure if humans are even capable of reading lengthy articles these days with our attention spans dwindling the way they are. I'm already beyond 280 characters, so I could probably stop writing and no one would even notice. But I must be old fashioned because I still like to write them, even if they're just for me. And that's more than enough reason to keep doing so as far as I'm concerned.

The same can be said about most of life, for that matter. If it makes you happy, then it's worth doing, it's a very simple concept. So simple, that I've probably talked about it before, but I've written a lot of blogs now and senility (I'm almost 30 after all) is creeping in, so who knows. One of these days I'll go back and read them all again, but that's for another day. For today, I'm thinking about living that happiness life.

In theory, everyone should be happy all the time, no exceptions, but obviously that's not quite possible. If you make every decision based on immediate happiness, you'll have some good moments right away, but you're bound to go on an emotional roller coaster ride. On the other side of the coin, if you can only be happy once you hit a long term goal, then it could be quite the grind until you get there. Either way, there will be moments of happiness in your life, but once those moments have passed, then what? Then you start all over, and the hunt for the next happiness high is on.

There is no wrong way, that's not what I'm trying to say. Everyone can find those enjoyable moments in every kind of way, but in my opinion, the best way to make the happiness last from moment to moment, is to make the path that gets you there the most enjoyable part. Make any accolades the cherry on top, but let the process be the ice cream sundae (or sorbet, or whatever my lactose intolerant readers want to substitute). 

For me and blog writing, it's about putting my fingers on the keyboard and seeing where my words can take me. I don't go in with a plan, because I find it fascinating to see which direction my brain is flowing on any given day (it varies greatly between the dumbly humorous to the mildly inspirational), and that fascination brings me to repeat the process, regardless of whether the end product ends up being any good. Any kind words received after the fact are bonus.

In our modern age of information it's pretty easy to get caught up in chasing the cherry on top (I'm certainly guilty of it). It's so simple to put something out there with no thought behind it, specifically to for that feeling of instant gratification from a like or a thumbs up. But if you're willing to put in the time to share something you truly enjoyed creating, then it no longer matters how your followers react, because you've done it for the person who's opinion should matter the most. Your own.

And I'm not finished there. This doesn't have to end in cyberspace. In case you were worried I was going to go a whole blog without relating it to volleyball, then fear not! Here we go! Athletes always talk about being "Never satisfied", and again, that's one way to approach it. I'm a strong believer that there is no single right way to do anything. But what I will give you is a different mental angle to look at training and sport:
-It makes me happy to continue learning and improving at my sport.
-I really enjoy comparing my ability to learn and improve against opponents in competition.
-It thrills me to add a skill or technique to my game that other teams have yet to master.
-I'm excited each time I see my opponents improve, because it means that I get the opportunity to do the same.
-When I win, I look forward to how I can be even better the next time.
-When I lose, see above.
-When I play my sport, I am ALWAYS SATISFIED, because I love the process! The results and the praise are the cherry on top.

And if you don't enjoy it, then change it. The beauty of making the process the focal point of your happiness, is that there are so many ways to adjust, without having to alter the end goals. If you think training would be better in a warmer climate, go train in California (for example). Obviously, you should still keep your goals in mind when making alterations, however. Eating 5 Cheeseburgers a day might give you immediate pleasure, but it also might make your path a little less efficient. It's creating that perfect balance to make the best method for you where you'll find the most benefit as well as the most enjoyment. I prescribe to the Ben Saxton training regimen, feel free to emulate it, but it likely won't be as effective until you've made the tweaks that fit you.

Enjoying the process makes me happy. Whatever I do, I try to bring the same attitude, be it blogging, beach volleyball, relationships, snow sculpting, making pizza, eating pizza, the list goes on and on. No matter what I do, I want to do it well, and the best way for me to keep motivated, is to be just as interested in the ice cream sundae, as the cherry on top. 

Ben Jammin

PS: The Ft. Lauderdale Major Series event happens this week, and Grant and I are excited about it. It's a great venue, the Beach Major Series tournaments are always the highest quality. Hope to see many of you there!