finding pleasure in the process - even when the process isn't pleasurable

What happens when the process isn’t enjoyable anymore?

Perhaps you are in the middle of a project,
or maybe simply an exercise of exploration,
and you get stuck.

It happens to all of us.

Perhaps you hit a difficult spot,
or found a mistake and must backtrack.
All of a sudden, the process has become unenjoyable.

It’s possible to simply push through;
I’ve done so many times,
gritting my teeth and deciding,
"Well, this is how it has to be
if I’m going to finish the project."

But is this really the best way to handle such a circumstance?

It’s hard to push through something and find pleasure in it

I remember certain times
when I grit my teeth and pushed through.
To this day, when I look at the finished project,
those moments of displeasure
come to mind.

I don’t like having those negative associations,
so I decided to change something.

I began to look for ways to find pleasure
in pushing through the difficult bits of a project.

Perhaps letting myself feel free to be frustrated
and take it out on the stitches I was ripping.

But honestly,
that didn’t do much to encourage good feelings.
It simply validated the bad ones.

There had to be a better way.

When I’m stuck, I like to turn things around.

If it’s a literal thing, I might flip it inside out
or invert it some other way.
And if it’s not so literal
I manage to find some other way to upend it.

In this case, I turn the phrase around.

Instead of asking,
“How can I push through this and find pleasure in that process?”
I ask, “How can I find pleasure in the process and push through this?”

That is a completely different question!
I begin with the pleasure, pull in the persistence,
and the energy becomes positive.

So, how can I find pleasure in the process?

By bringing in pleasure from an outside source.

Maybe I listen to something I enjoy - an audiobook, podcast, or music.
Something that I only listen to while I’m working on this project
regardless of whether this point in the process is pleasurable or not.

Or maybe I take my project with me
to a place I love
or among people I love.

A tedious hand-sewing project
goes by much faster and is more enjoyable
when stitched after dinner with the family
or among friends at a book club.
There’s a reason sewing bees and sewing circles
were common in our great-grandparents’ era.

In any case,
find the answer to this question
that fits you and your circumstances.

Once you discover how to find pleasure
regardless of the difficulty you find yourself having to face,
you can use that positive energy to push through the difficult bits.

Make a decision to bring pleasure into your process

Decide what that means for you -
will you treat yourself to an audiobook?
Or surround yourself with certain people?

Find a way to harness positive energy
and pour that into your work.
That way, when you hit a rough spot,
that negative energy won’t affect you as much.

No need to wait for a difficult spot to do this sort of thing.

In fact, I suggest you begin now,
when the process is more enjoyable.

Gather up positive momentum
and encourage the buildup of positive energy.
That way, when you do come to a more negatively charged point in the process,
it won’t have much power against all the positivity you’ve stored up.

You may not even realize you’ve hit a snag until you’re past it
because you breeze through so easily!

Build up this habit:
Focus on the positive first,
so that you see the process through rose colored glasses.
Far from setting you up with a deceptive idea of reality,
it allows you to see the beauty.

There is beauty everywhere, if you only set out to find it.