Who’s behind all of this, and what’s the grand plan?
I’m alex haapamäki
I like a lot of things, when growing up I used to skateboard, snowboard and snowskate (yep that’s a hybrid one!) I have also done a fair amount of music in my life, and plan to do more of that later in life when I’m less busy with all this beach volleyball stuff. I’ll put some links to some snowboarding videos of me and music I’ve done further down the page if anyone would be interested for any reason.
Anyway. I also like beach volleyball, playing it, “hacking” it, teaching it and thinking it. You might have understood that from this project already, no need to go further down that path here.
But there’s also another thing that I like. Maybe even more than any of the above, and that’s what I want to talk about here.
I’ve for years now (about 10 years or so) been really really curious about human happiness, and making most out of your life. Some people call it personal development, some call it lifehacking, I don’t really care.
In a way I think we are all “real life happiness researchers” to one degree or another. We all have personal experience, we know what we like, what we don’t like etc, and I think this is great. There were some things that happened to me in my late teens that put me on a path of doing this type of “research” maybe more intensively than the average person, and I learned a lot because of this.
However, one day in the beginning of my explorations in beach volleyball (when I was 24 or so and already thought I knew happiness much better than the average person), something happened. I read my first sports psychology book.
This book explained to me how my thoughts worked, and gave me tools to control my psychology (and happiness) in ways I had never dreamed of. If you know what I mean with a “why has nobody told me this before?!” -moment, this was one of those. Here I had been maybe the most curious person I knew around figuring happiness out, and I had already done it for a solid 5 years or so, and in about 2 hours of reading a sports psychology book, I felt like I had learned almost as much as in a few years before.
The book I read changed my life, not only by what it taught me directly, but maybe even more so by what it did for me indirectly. It showed me how insanely powerful it can be to “learn life” from people who have spent their whole lives into “figuring life out” by mastering the best lifehacks, using them, and later in their lives documenting them in books, videos, courses, seminars etc to pass them on to more people.
For the most part, people think it makes sense to learn certain skills from people who have figured out the skills before. It’s not so unnatural for someone to find a beach volleyball coach, learn math from a teacher or learn to play guitar with the help of some Youtube-videos. But for some people, actually I’d say most people (including me before I read that sports psychology book), doing the same thing for our “life”, seems like a very strange concept… it’s like it’s “too big” to learn from someone. Yet at the same time, if we think about it, living a good life is actually what is most important for us…. Isn’t it then a bit strange that we don’t learn this skill from others too?
I remember how I used to think. “Noone will be able to help ME live MY life, it’s too personal to ME!” I used to laugh at anyone that would read a personal development or “self help”-book and think “Why don’t you just figure that shit out by yourself?”
Maybe you also have thought that way. Maybe you still think that way?
If you do, that’s fine, and I’m not going to force-feed you anything. However, if you’re curious enough, I of course have an alternative for you.
I think anyone would agree that it’s a good deal to spend 1 hour to learn something that will save you months, years or decades of struggle in the future. It’s just simply a good “return on investment” if that can happen.
I’m going to claim that the world is full of books, videos, podcasts, courses, seminars and coaching that can have that exact effect on your life, but there is one problem:
Most people don’t know that, and there are very few places in “mainstream society” that tells us what I’m currently telling you.
You might have noticed that my beach volleyball project is quite focused on “getting more with less”, “making things easier and more efficient” or “hacking” the process of becoming good at beach volleyball. I’ll be honest, my formula for making this project has been very damn simple:
Lifehacks from some of the best lifehackers in the history of humans+beach volleyball specific knowledge=Learn Beach Volleyball Fast.
If you have found this beach volleyball project help you in beach volleyball, then here’s a compelling thought: What if some of the same and other similar hacks could also be applied to your life, and also help you with your life?
IF something in this project could help you learn in 1 year something (beach volleyball related) that for normal people takes 4 years to learn, what if those same things could help you get out of life in 5 years what for most other people takes 20 years? Wouldn’t that be awesome?
So let’s just play around with the thought that what I am saying above here is true, why is not everyone doing it?
Because it sounds too good to be true and people in general are skeptical and not curious enough, just like I used to be.
However, what broke me out of that uncuriosity circle, was “lifehacks in camouflage clothing”. You see, I was curious about getting better at beach volleyball, which led me to read a book about how to be mentally better in sports. However, this was in a way a trap, because what I ended up reading was some of the finest lifehacks out there, that applied to way more than my beach volleyball game. The “self help” stuff that I had been so skeptical towards, sneaked it’s way into my brain by claiming it was “just sports help”.
I have afterwards realized that this might be one of the best ways to introduce people to personal development, “self help” and lifehacking. Call it something that’s less “blunt and honest” and that people have less resistance to learning about, for example how to get better at beach volleyball.
SO WHAT’S THE GRAND PLAN?
The grand plan has from the beginning been: I want to do for people out there, exactly what that sports psychology book did for me. Teach the sports stuff that people came for, but also invite them to something even bigger and better.
Since we don’t learn lifehacking in school, and people seem to naturally have a “blockage” against being curious about personal development, if we want to make life easier for more people (and therefore have a better world), we need to find more creative ways to introduce people to it. This is one of the ways I have decided to do it.
Not nearly everyone who will find the Learn Beach Volleyball Fast project and learn stuff from it, will ever go down this even bigger personal development path. That’s completely fine, I’m more than happy to help with just beach volleyball too. But a certain percentage of people that have learned beach volleyball from me, also ends up realizing that I have more to give.
Hope you understand that it would feel stupid for me to not offer more, when there is more to get.
So anyway, I won’t go too much in depth here, but I also run another project. It’s called Start With Happiness, and one of the shortest ways to describe what it does is it will teach you to be even happier in life, and the secondary effect of that is that this new happiness you will find, will make your life easier in better also in all other ways, like financially, healthwise, relationshipwise etc. The grand theory I teach there is literally the biggest lifehack I have ever found. Another one of those things that might sound too good to be true, just like “Learn Beach Volleyball Fast” might. But hey, I told you you should be curious to read this page right?
The reason I started “Start With Happiness”? The same reason as why I started “Learn Beach Volleyball Fast” - I believe that I have found solutions that nobody else has found or taught ever. And if you find “secrets” that seem to work really damn well but you see the world is full of people that are frustrated because they lack these solutions, your helping instinct might kick in.
I’ll let you read more at www.startwithhappiness.net if you want (the website might not be 100% finished right now, but there is still some content over there.) If you have enjoyed the Learn Beach Volleyball Fast-project and what it has done to your beach game, I actually think you will enjoy Start With Happiness even more. It’s the same nerd that created it, but in Start With happiness the nerd is unleashed even more.
Hahaha there are people who think I make some Youtube videos about beach volleyball that are in depth.. Those guys have no damn idea of what I’m truly capable of.
Thank you so much for reading this far. I hope you will thank yourself in the future for doing so. I’d actually wish to get to talk to you if you have made it this far.
I find it really fascinating to talk to people who have found me through volleyball, and then get curious about the bigger “life” stuff. Send me an email and we can set up a time for a skype call, if you want me to help you transition from a “beach-hacker” to a “lifehacker” in the best way possible. Yes for free, at least for now. Maybe one day this opportunity won’t be here, so grab it while you can. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and write “Grand Plan” as the headline, and we’ll take it from there!
Personal development has been maybe the biggest gift to me ever, and I am so happy I happened to stumble upon it. By making more people stumble upon it, I feel my life has meaning and I get to make the world a better place.
Have a good day, and always remember that curiosity might be one of our best weapons in life. Also remember that life is short, so make the most of it while you can, one day it’ll be over and regretting things ain’t no fun! :)
Below I’ll add the links to some snowboarding/music stuff like I promised.
// Alex Haapamäki