Being motivated makes performing so much easier. But it isn’t easy staying motivated.
If you are anything like me, if you are watching fights, chances are half the time you are shadow boxing around your house. 🙂
What is happening there? What is compelling you to shadow box?
Simple – motivation.
You start watching someone at the top of their game performing on the big stage, and a part of us desires to share that stage. We get excited, amped up, and depending on the extent, you might even get up right there and start performing yourself.
What is motivation?
My definition for motivation is an emotion that provokes action towards a goal, often gained by witnessing great works, people, or behavior. Hopefully, we all have felt motivated before, or at least have witnessed it. Someone that is motivated is fully engaged in their endeavor of choice. Hard work is rewarding, and that feeling of being motivated keeps you on task, as you can envision yourself in possession of your goal. It’s truly a wonderous feeling, and I believe that all great ambitions must start with motivation.
However, I think most people’s experience with motivation is fleeting. They might read an inspirational book, and feel that jolt to take action. They get off to a good start, and make some progress. But slowly, the wind is taken off their sails and they found themselves adrift and aimless. Before they know it, they are dead in the water. The countless people that have started diets, fitness programs, and rehab programs that have crashed and burned are a testament to this fact.
How does one lose motivation?
Several ways. First, is a setback or loss. People that are motivated are usually expecting to make steady progress upward, so when life throws a curve ball and they end up lower than they started, that can break a person’s motivation.
But usually, it’s not a crushing defeat that does people in. It’s just time. Like many things, motivation doesn’t last forever. It’s like a cup of water, with a hole at the bottom. Your motivation is slowly leaking away from you. If you don’t refill that cup, eventually you will be devoid of mojo.
That’s why people will say that discipline is what is needed, not motivation, to achieve goals. Of course, someone who is highly disciplined can tackle just about anything. They are much like a machine.
But personally, I don’t see why you can’t have both. If I was betting on two athletes, one who was highly disciplined versus one who was highly disciplined and motivated, I would pick the latter.
How does one farm motivation?
Since we know motivation is constantly draining, the obvious question is how we do keep refilling our cup?
The answer is to cultivate a motivation farm.
Motivation should be sourced in as many ways as possible:
- Works of Art
All of these motivation sources should be treated like a precious resource. They should be cared for and visited often. These all are highly subjective of course, so I can’t give you a definitive list of things that will be inspirational for you – only you can determine that.
But whatever you find that prompts you to take action, you should make a note of it on a list. Keep in mind that what you once found motivational might become lackluster later in life. For example, maybe when you were a kid watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles got you fired up and ready to rumble. But at 40 years old, it doesn’t do it for you anymore – lol!
That’s why it’s important to keep cultivating new sources of motivation. Much like a farm, some crops will go bad, and if you only have one crop in your farm, you are going to be in bad shape if it spoils. Likewise, you will find you need to rotate your crops to keep yourself satiated.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?
Comment with your take on this. And if you like this article, please do me a solid and share it with your friends. Thanks!