Friday 27 May 2016

Mundays 5k, Photos and making people Happy - May 2016

Off they go - the start of the Mundays 5k in Bushy Park
Wednesday Evening's run of the Mundays 5k is now live - which also has free photo downloads - The Mundays 5k -

I hope your week is going well so far, and apologies for the lateness of this weeks blog -  I hope you had a good run out at the weekend, sorry we didn't come out to see you though. A rare weekend off (which seemed reasonable after having had no race Sundays off since Christmas and having forgotten a bit what the kids look like), so I thought I'd wait until Wednesday evenings race and get that all posted together.

Having a weekend off these days is a bit special but I do remember when it wasn't, when every day was the commute into London, and the inevitable feeling that whilst I was a very good cog in the machine, life was somehow passing me by.
Nailing it at the finish

Looking back - one of the things you do when you eventually quit the job - the very secure, well paid, highly qualified 9-5 job with the wild and crazy vision of doing something else (aka "you're throwing it all away" and "don't be foolish you'll never succeed" and "wow - that's amazing (you're an idiot)" from your supportive friends), is to do something you care about, and something you're passionate about (I refer you to this video . But apart from trying to name your business (itself one of the hardest things to ever do) you do have to think quite a lot about what is your goal ? what is the point ? and what are you actually trying to do ?
What are you actually trying to do ?

Here at SSP, we decided to set the main goal (no matter what it was we did to earn a living) that the end result should be that "It makes people happy". This came from a variety of observations, readings and experiences where generally successful companies and their products or services all had one thing in common - they made people happy (or at least drugged them or gave them the impression it did - ref cigarettes, alcohol and mobile phones - three generically quite successful products).

We eventually decided to try to make people happy through the medium of race and event photography (and all the elements that go with that business), which might seem like a bit of a stretch I admit, but we can give it a go can't we ?! If the blog subscriptions (how did that get over 28,0000?) and results from our ongoing and current survey (here ) are anything to go by, then it is that you like looking at the photos and reading the silly captions and it does make you happier. If it didn't you would unsubscribe ! The interesting thing is if it makes you happier, we are motivated to do more of it. It's a simple feedback loop.

Make people Happy !
So it got me thinking what advice can I share with you to continue making you happy using or work and sports photography? What tools can I give you to use the work we have done to make yourselves even happier ? Sounds impossible ? possibly, and anyway we like a challenge... So lets go through some items below and then I'll check back at the end.

Firstly - here's last weeks galleries - we didn't cover anything last weekend - the changing position of the May bank holiday each year can cause organisers to avoid the last weekend in May to keep things consistent year on year.
Look how good you were last week ! Go and remind yourself.

Please have a look at your photos from last week (or at any of the galleries that are still live online here), and make sure you remind yourself just how well you did, and what a good achievement it was and importantly reflect on how well you did to have given it a go - at whatever level of athlete you are. This reminder and recall of your achievements will trigger those dopamine and seratonin levels in your brain and will make you happy [Dopamine and Seratonin are the two chemicals in the brain that literally are the measure of happiness - more on this later]. 

Date Recent race Direct Gallery Link
15/05/2016 Oxford 10k
15/05/2016 Bognor 10k
15/05/2016 Kelly's Cycle Challenge
15/05/2016 Godalming Run

Everyone likes a discount - Get your entries in before they close or fill up - otherwise you'll kick yourself later.
The view from the top of the Hurt out to Dunsfold park

Discount corner - some of these events are almost upon us so get in before they close
Date Race Event link Special SSP Discount code
SATURDAY 6th June The Hurt (5k, 10k, 20k)

Last call for discounted entries - over 200 clicks through from here and only 3 uses of the discount code !!! what is that all about ? Over 400 signed up so far, the limit is at 500 - don't miss out ! SSP10
Harry Hawkes 10 SSP10HH
The Winchester Half Marathon SSP10
Royal Borough of Kingston Half Marathon SSP10RBK

And here's the list of next events that we are going to cover over the coming weekends:

Upcoming events:

Wed-25/05/2016 Mundays 5k
Free Downloads
Sun-29/05/2016 REP Arundel Tri
Free Downloads
Sat-04/06/2016 The Hurt
Sun-05/06/2016 Dorking 10
Sun-12/06/2016 Mid Sussex Tri
Free Downloads
Sun-12/06/2016 ETL Polesden Lacey
Sat-18/06/2016 REP Arun Swim
Free Downloads
Sat-18/06/2016 Brutal Frith Hill
Sun-19/06/2016 Shrewsbury Half Marathon
Free Downloads
Sun-19/06/2016 Hampshire Hoppit
Sat-25/06/2016 Leeds Castle Sprint Tri
Sun-26/06/2016 Leeds Castle Standard Tri
Sun-26/06/2016 REP Arundel Castle Triathlon
Free Downloads
Sun-26/06/2016 Harry Hawkes 10
Sun-26/06/2016 Capital to Coast
Sun-03/07/2016 PP Spire Bushy Run
Sun-03/07/2016 Chichester Tri
Sun-03/07/2016 Bewl 15
Sun-10/07/2016 Wycombe 10K & Half Marathon
Sun-10/07/2016 Kelly's Summer Cycle - Free Downloads and Pic2Go
Sun-10/07/2016 ETL Badger Half
Wed-13/07/2016 RPAC Summer 10k

Happy Runners running !!

So, did you have a look at your last race photos ? how much happier are you feeling -  Did it make you feel a bit better about everything generally ? You can have a look at any of your 2015 race photos on our archive gallery here too 

Here's the theory - - basically the mere act of thinking of things that you are grateful for (i.e. things like your fitness, running, your health, having taken part in events, having time to do what you wanted to do) and recalling them (i.e. looking at your photos), and even the act of trying to think of these things - will make you Happier.

and the other little daily happiness habits does Shawn recommend? you already do these !!

  1. List the things you’re grateful for (i.e. remind yourself you can go for a run/have been for a run)
  2. Meditate (think about nothing much else when you run)
  3. Exercise (go for a run)
  4. Spread a bit of Happiness (take other people for a run? tell them how well their running is going ! tell them how you admire their training plan and are copying it)
Are you feeling Happier yet ?

Also according to this study the key to success is to be happy. Being Happy will bring success, but the opposite (i.e. believing that success will make you happy) is not true - so don't follow that road. Aim to be Happy - do not aim to be successful.
Have a read of the article, watch the video, all good stuff !

There's also some key thoughts on being Happy from the Dalai Lama here - which he summarised recently as - be happy and appreciate with what you have already and don't lust after what you want but don't have. (it's back to being grateful!) (and it all gets a bit Nannie McPhee to be honest)

Don't lust after what you don't have, appreciate what you have already. Apparently this includes bikes - clearly the Dalai Lama clearly isn't a cyclist.

What can detract from all this Happiness ? - the FOMO ! or the Fear of Missing out, or also known as The Fear of Regret, or what Facebook runs on. Never fear - you will never miss out - we have a list of events you can compete at (or if injured - volunteer at), which you can ignore if you want to, and then - there's no fear. See, we try to help...

And any thoughts on Happiness would be incomplete without mentioning this article by Harvard University which basically says its about relationships, love, friendship and challenges.
Revisiting Memories of achievements will make you happier. This guys going to get a whole heap of dopamine when he sees this again ! Remembering with photos - all the more effective.

So, if you're still asking, "how does race photography make me happier ?" - have a think they will bring back memories of achievements - and things you are grateful for. Even just the act of searching for your race photos after a race - makes you happy. You will see other peoples race photos and tell them how good they look or how much effort they are putting in (spread a bit of happiness), and you can share it with other people online to quell that fear that you didn't miss out. 

Finally -  There's also an app called TimeHop which automatically helps you to browse your old photos and achievements - and from that you will feel gratitude and a sense of achievement.

I've seen people use Timehop to post their photos to facebook - there's some information on that here - but be warned their first sentence sums it up - sometimes things are better off forgotten...
My only request for Timehop would be for it to be running about a month early - or an 11 month gap - that would give you enough time to remind your friends and get entered into a new race soon !

This time one year ago - The Lido at Arundel - very early in the morning !

So it's an early morning on Sunday for the Raw Energy Pursuits Arundel Triathlon, so see you there, but until next time
Remember - running makes you happy

Make sure you remember to look at your photos, relive the memory, feel happy about it, and then send a gallery link to a friend with their photos and a little positive comment, and spread a bit of happiness too !

Have a great Bank Holiday if you're not working, or indeed if you are working !
Steve is Happy, and get your entry in for his race - the Mid Sussex Tri - next weekend
Until Next time

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