The Art of Having Fun

When you first started to scratch it is pretty safe to assume that you intended to have fun. Most likely you did and continued to enjoy yourself or you probably wouldn't be reading this. Likewise, it's also pretty safe to assume that you don't always have fun when you scratch. Unfortunately there are no guarantees that scratching will always be fun for you. However, you can greatly increase the odds of having fun if you focus on the right things when scratching.

Well Intended Focus

If you're even the least bit serious about scratching than you have goals. Whether your goals are big or small is irrelevant for the purpose of this article. Goals are all about expectations. Every goal has a natural expectation built into it that it will be achieved. That expectation may not always be backed by confidence, but the expectation is still there.

Unfortunately, not every goal we set for ourselves is easily achieved and the process of achievement in scratching can be extremely tough on your spirits. Many mistakes and setbacks will inevitably take place and if you're not careful those setbacks can be a huge source of frustration. Having fun in the face of frustration is not easily done either. Yet it is vital that you continue to enjoy what you do or you will not be able to tough it out through all the obstacles that you'll encounter.

Shifting Your Focus

Since having fun is clearly important, you need to keep your mind on the things you associate with feeling good. We've all experienced some form of victory in our life so we know how good it feels to achieve a goal. Thus, achieving your goals in scratching will also feel good so you must stay focused on those feelings. Especially during your most challenging times you need to think about how good it will feel to break past your frustrations and be at the level you're shooting for.

Being more focused on the joy of achievement throughout your experiences in scratching will actually make the challenges you face more fun. This is because you have now reframed your problems as mere bumps in the road to things you'll inevitably achieve. Once you consistently think like this no problem will seem to truly stand in your way.

Thinking Beyond Goals

Let's also realize that the reason we have goals at all in scratching is so we can express ourselves freely. While it is obvious that once you have mastered scratching you will be able to express essentially anything you want at any moment, it is not as obvious that you still have power to express yourself with scratching at any skill level. Thus, it's important to recognize and take comfort in this fact. This will enable you to enjoy yourself even more along your journey to full on self actualization because a part of what you ultimately want is with you all along.

Focusing on Having Fun Creates Fun

The coolest thing about fun is simply thinking about having fun puts you in a space where fun is possible. If your primary intention is to have fun, it is very likely that you will. Bottom line, don't let tough times slow you down. Keep looking for good times and they'll be yours!

Why Blindly Practicing Will Lead You to Walls

Have you ever had the feeling of being eager to scratch, but when you finished you felt like you achieved very little? As exciting as scratching can be, if you're not consistently getting results from your sessions, you're likely to stop enjoying it so much. Too many sessions of thoughtless scratch practice will start to eat away at your self esteem. You would think the fact that you're regularly scratching should be enough, but it simply isn't.

Small Goals Lead to Big Achievements

Big goals are very important to have and downright vital should you wish to achieve anything truly fulfilling in life. However, you can't expect to reach such goals if you do not have smaller benchmarks to achieve along the way. You don't just come up with a massive goal for yourself then wake up the next day and it's achieved. Quite obviously, you have to work hard at scratching regularly to bring your dreams into reality.

So why is it that we tend to neglect the smaller things that make the big things possible? Is it because these smaller goals are too tiny to capture your imagination? Perhaps, but more likely it's simply because you just flat out didn't think of them before. Often times what's right under our noses is what needs our attention most.

Pointing Out the Obvious

When you go to the beach are you planning on having fun? Doesn't it seem silly to think of going to the beach without fun being involved? Well of course it does, but not having fun is exactly what will happen if you have no idea what you're going to do there. You just show up, sit down in the middle of the sand with no plans and do nothing. Pretty boring and ridiculous sounding right? You're probably wondering who in their right minds would do this, yet that's exactly what you're doing every time you scratch and you've neglected to make any plans of what to do while you practice.

Small Goals Overload

Once you become aware of how important it is to set smaller goals for each individual practice session, you're probably going to have the opposite problem. You started off blindly practicing with little to no purpose, but now you're burying yourself in problems with your scratching that you expect to overcome within each session. While it is good to work on multiple things when practicing, it doesn't mean that you need to drown yourself in goals.

Narrow it Down to One

It is often times better to focus on just one specific thing you want to achieve for each session. Doing so will keep your mind free of clutter and you'll be much more aware of how much progress you actually made on that particular goal by the end of the session. Also keep in mind that if you're practicing scratching daily and you have one daily goal per day that you're working towards, they all add up over time to tons of smaller goals. So in actuality, you're really working on many things all the time.

Alleviating the Pressure

You need to also understand that you don't have to achieve any of these smaller goals in just one session. Sure it would be great and also quite possible at times. However, it is not the end of the world should you fall short of any given goal. That is why tomorrow exists. It is not about getting to the finish line faster. It's about the continuous drive towards it.

If you run faster than anyone else and are about to win the race, but collapse just short of the end due to exhaustion, what good was all that hard work? Persistence in scratching is your biggest ally and persistence consists of regular, thoughtful, well paced action.

From Wandering Mind to Pinpoint Focus

Lack of focus is a very common problem that we all have faced before. It isn’t like we are intentionally sabotaging ourselves, but that doesn’t change the fact that losing focus can slow scratch progress down to a crawl if it isn’t dealt with properly. If you look at anyone who is truly great at scratching you can place a sure bet that they didn’t become excellent by accident. An extreme ability to deeply concentrate was developed to aid them on their journey.

Think about a pro baseball player with a high average of homeruns. If a great level of concentration didn’t exist within their mind it’s obvious they wouldn’t be so accomplished. Even hitting just one homerun in any circumstance against a masterful pitcher requires an amazing amount of focus. The odds are already stacked against you even if you have perfect focus, so you could imagine how greatly your ability would suffer without the concentration needed to take on the challenge.

It All Starts In Practice

If you are unable to focus effectively in a practice situation you shouldn’t really expect to possess intense focus anywhere else. So the question is how much concentration do you lack and when do you lack it? The best way to begin determining this is to watch for what kind of thoughts you are having while practicing a specific technique or scratch combo. If your thoughts are wandering to other scratches that have nothing to do with what you’re working on that’s a problem. If you’re having thoughts that have absolutely nothing to do with scratching that’s an even bigger problem. The more often your thoughts deviate the more you’ll have to actively work on improving your ability to remain focused on what you want at the specific time you choose to do so.

1st Level Distractions

When you start thinking of other scratches instead of the item you’ve chosen to work on you’re likely also doing those scratches. A lot of times this leads to doing stuff you’re already good at. While doing what is comfortable can be fun, it completely defeats the purpose of improving your scratching by working on something specific that you’re struggling with. Remember, the more time you spend working on your problem areas the quicker you’ll progress. So be sure to note when you are not practicing what you set out to do and get back on track immediately. Any good or bad habit is developed out of regularity so by always making sure to refocus your concentration back to what matters, the more naturally you’ll do so as time goes on.

2nd Level Distractions

Thoughts that have absolutely nothing to do with scratching are the most detrimental of all. The obvious reason being that if you are not even thinking about scratching, you’re likely letting all sorts of mistakes go by completely unnoticed, thus never even allowing yourself the chance to correct them. There are many reasons for this, but the most common one is boredom.

If you feel like drilling a scratch technique or pattern is a monotonous process for you, it’s important to remind yourself of why you’re practicing that particular item in the first place. When you focus too much on the process it’s all too easy to lose patience and become bored because the process is the hardest part. It’s the result that we all treasure and enjoy having under our belt and so that is what your mind should be concerned with most.

Emotional Intent

All that being said, let’s not confuse emotional intent with completely unrelated thinking. Meaning, if you want to express something that you’re practicing with a specific emotional feeling, you may want or need to think of something outside the realm of scratching. Some examples might include a rainy day or a fight scene in a movie. These types of thoughts when used correctly by tying them closely to the technique or combo in question can be very effective for self expression when scratching and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Meditative States

A masterful level of concentration is not unlike that of intensely focused meditation. The more you actively seek to obliterate wasteful thinking and replace it with fully on target thought, the quicker and more easily you will reach the goals that you’re most concerned with achieving. So stay alert, stay patient and keep your eye on the prize!

AUDIO: SOUNDCHECK EP. 13 (8.25.15) w/ FOCUS…, SEMPERVIRENS, & MADCHILD

The Beat Junkies present:
 Soundcheck
Broadcasting Live from Los Angeles 
7-10PM
Every 2nd & 4th Tuesdays Of The Month
On The Beat Junkie Radio channel
Exclusively on Dash Radio.
Download the Dash Radio App for free or listen to us on the web: www.dashradio.com.

SOUNDCHECK EP. 13 (8.25.15) w/ FOCUS…, OPIO + FREE THE ROBOTS = SEMPERVIRENS, & MADCHILD by Thebeatjunkies on Mixcloud

Soundcheck Ep. 13 (8.24.15)

Special Guests: Focus…, Sempervirens (Opio x Free The Robots), Madchild

Dj Rhettmatic set
Guilty Simpson – Beautiful Death
Hus Kingpin & SmooVth – Playoffs
Apollo Brown – Detonate feat. M.O.P
PRhyme – Courtesy (Marco Polo remix)
Sean Price – Planet Apes
Gangrene – Sheet Music ft. Sean P x Havoc
Black Milk – Lows
Maticulous – Black Hoodie Rap ft. M.O.P
Pete Rock – Gonna Love You
Black Milk – Mary Jane Candy Beat
Guilty Simpson – Power Outrage ft Spacek
Pac Div – Roll The Dice
Skyzoo – Suicide Doors
Illa J – Never Left
Black Milk – Over

Special Guest – Focus…

Focus…Medley Mix by Rhettmatic
Focus… – A/dw (analog/digital world)
Marsha Ambrosius -Tears
Terrance Martin feat. Focus – Watch U sleep
50 Cent – My Crown
Busta Rhymes – If You Don’t Know Know You Know
SchoolBoyQ – Light Years Ahead ft Kendrick Lamar
Dr. DRE feat. Cold 187 & Xzibit – Loose Cannons
Focus… – sPACEtIME
Dr. DRE – One Shot One Kill ft Snoop Dogg & Jon Connor
Chino XL – Watch Closer
The Game – Where I’m From
Dr. DRE –  Issues ft Ice Cube & Anderson.Paak
Slaughterhouse – Lyrical Murderers
Kam – I Don’t Think So
Dr. DRE – Deep Water ft Kendrick Lamar & Anderson.Paak

Rhettmatic Mix #2
Nameless – Don’t Hurt
Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge – Resurrection Morning
Guilty Simpson – Blunts In The Air
Gangrene – Gluttony ft Your Old Droog & Fashawn
Pete Rock – BBjones
???
???
First Division – This Iz The Time
Pete Rock – On & On

Special Guest:  Opio x Free The Robots

Opio x Free The Robots Medley Mix by Rhettmatic

Dj Babu set
Badbadnotgood x Ghostface killah- six degrees ft Danny Brown
????
Missing tracks
Gangrene – noon chuckas
Statik Selectah – Now ft Capone n Noreaga
???
Missing tracks

Special Guest: Madchild
Madchild – Devils & Angels
Madchild – Triple Threat ft Slaine
Madchild – Painful Skies

TONIGHT – 8.25.15: SOUNDCHECK EP. 13 w/ FOCUS…, OPIO x FREE THE ROBOTS, & MADCHILD ON BEAT JUNKIE RADIO!

LOS ANGELES & WORLDWIDE! Tonight (8.25.15) is another episode of SOUNDCHECK on Beat Junkie Radio, exclusively on Dash Radio. This week’s guests: Grammy-Award Producer, Focus…(Dr. Dre, The Game, Xzibit, Beyonce’), Souls Of Mischief‘s own Opio x Free The Robots aka Sempervirens, & Swollen Members‘ own Madchild.

The show is live from 7-10pm PST. You can listen to us by downloading the FREE Dash Radio App for your smart phone or listen to us on the web: www.dashradio.com. Tune in tonight, it’s going to be a dope show!