Motivation defined?

Possibly the most consistent hurdle faced by human beings in the day to day effort to accomplish anything is motivation. Even the most seasoned veteran in any profession or sport has days where they are nearly devoid of it, myself included.

I have had lots of great days where I jumped out of bed and hit the ground running. I wrote awe inspiring blogs or engaged in breath taking feats of training. Other days, however, I find all I really want to do is pull the covers over my head and retreat. The question is how do we take the covers over the head days and turn them into the magical days?

Let’s start with the definition of motivation.

When I look the word up in the dictionary I see it can be both a noun or an adjective and that struck me as interesting and telling. In my head a noun is a very solid word. It doesn’t denote action like a verb, but it seems like it has substance which is just what you need motivation to be whereas an adjective seems sort of empty. We can describe a situation all day long, but unless we get out there and act on it, it is just words.

I personally use a number of mind tricks when I find myself in need of motivation. I think about the people I know or have read about who truly can’t exercise because of injury or illness. I think of the amazing “senior citizens” I’ve met who get out there every day rain or shine. Or similarly I think of the amputees and other “disabled” athletes who make zero excuses and put us all to shame. I consider my nieces and other family members for whom I want to be healthy enough to play with for years to come and the example I want to set for them.

If all of that fails I text my own trainer and schedule a visit to have my “butt kicked” whereby he throws out a challenge for me to crush. Nothing breeds motivation like success. If I make a commitment to show up for him I will honor it and in the end it is always just what I needed.

We all find our motivation in different ways. The secret is finding the thing that works for you best and flipping that switch at the necessary moment.

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