Motivation for the Nation

Motivation is a very interesting topic and one that is often talked about in the realm of  fitness and psychology. Motivation is something that we face in everyday life. It is what allows us to make the various decisions in a day that we do. It is what keeps us in the gym, working at our jobs, and pushes us to do new things in life. But where do we get it from? Is motivation a Youtube video showing clips of people pursuing their dreams? Maybe motivation is hiring a coach that tells it like it is and pushes you to your limits.

To me, motivation is all of that and more. It’s the gasoline that fuels your fire inside. Everybody requires different fuel though. Some are fueled by extrinsic motivation such as trophies, personal accolades, etc. Whereas some are fueled intrinsically such as setting a new personal record or just wanting to be the best version of themselves that they can be. Whatever fuel it is that you need, you need to ensure you’ve got a reliable source to get it from. Many people will have similar destinations that they would like to go to and some may even have similar methods of getting to that destination. The thing to keep in mind though is that we are all different. We all have different starting points and we all have seen different things over the course of our lifetime that shapes us into not only the person that we are today, but can also play a major role in the people that we become.

As a coach, I hear every excuse in the book to not do a workout or to skip out on an opportunity. With every workout, every class lecture, every gathering of people, we have the opportunity to better ourselves and possibly even better others. Why is it then that even though we know of the possible opportunities to better ourselves, we still find ourselves turning them down?

There are a number of reasons why; one of them being that we often want to take the easy way out. Why go through all that extra work for the small chance of maybe gaining from it? So instead of going to a class lecture and maybe learning new material that might benefit us in the future, we may want to stay home and binge watch that new season of our favorite show. Sometimes it’s not about taking the easy way out. Many people live their life in fear or in a constant state of stress. This can have a major impact on life decisions whether they are on the grand scale or of the smallest kind. The thought of signing up for your first 5K might be hard for somebody, not because they are lazy, but because they are in fear of putting in the work and having to change their life to accommodate this new activity and in the end, they may not do as well as they had originally hoped that they would.

The thought of failure is often what I feel has the biggest impact on the decisions that we make. To me however, failure is a mindset, just as motivation is. Failure isn’t necessarily a bad thing, its what we do with it that is good or bad. Just as motivation can be good or bad.  For some, failure is the biggest motivation. This isn’t necessarily the case for everybody, I feel that it takes a special kind of person to truly be motivated by their failures and not just want to give up. Failure simply is just a matter of perspective. You are given two options when you miss your goal. You can either take it and accept defeat. Or you can learn from the process and effort that you put forth and learn how do better the next time.

People will often think that success is just handed to people. That steroids magically make somebody have big muscles or that somebody had just happened to be great at their sport, or even that somebody just happened to land that major job for a huge company. In reality though, people got to where they are because they were motivated and they worked for what they want. Motivation, like fuel, can help you to get where you want to go, but if you do not know how to use it, then it is essentially useless. Everybody has different ways of getting motivated as I said before. You need to find what it is that motivates you and use that to your advantage. Stop turning down those offers to train in the gym with an old friend. Start going to all of your class lectures or that job conference.  Meet new people and pick their brains, its truly amazing the things you can learn from them. Even if you don’t learn legitimate facts, you can still learn a new perspective on life or even make a new friend. You see, motivation can be applied to every aspect of life. That is why it is so important to try new things, meet new people, and find things that you truly love. When you find something that you love doing, it makes it that much easier to stay motivated and do it. Who knows, maybe it could lead to something great.

Motivation is a state of mind that greatly influences our life choices. Take life one step at a time. Things will come and go and you will face both good and bad. Find something that speaks to you and go out there and give it your all. You never know how your life might change for the better. Not only for yourself but for those around you as well.


“If you can find meaning in the kind of running that it takes to stay on this team, chances are you will find meaning in that other absurd pastime… Life.” -Bill Bowerman. A quote from the movie Without Limits.

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