I receive inspiration from many sources on a daily basis and today it was from one of my lovely Train Strong Members. The topic of motivation arose and I wanted to share my experiences of motivation in this blog.
noun: motivation; plural noun: motivations
a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.
Motivation V Inspiration.
Many of us spend a bit of time on social media in some way or another and no doubt see many “motivational” memes and quotes shared to our timelines on a regular basis.
In my years of scouring social media and in supporting the people I do in their journeys I think it can be easy to confuse inspiration with motivation.
Inspiration can be something that ignites our fire in the moment, causes a spark of potential for action and can lift our spirits up – but, for the most part, it’s short lived and unless acted upon, nothing really changes.
Motivation on the other hand can be a much more slippery customer.
Choosing a goal to keep us motivated is a common practice within many circles, especially the fitness world. Similarly there is the looking to others for motivation (sometimes this can be something “learned” from when we were children in trying to please our parents and thus gaining approval, “love” etc) in the hope that someone else can motivate us.
Motivation – Getting Inside
From my own investigations and experience, I have found motivation is not something that comes to us from an external source. True motivation, the kind of motivation that causes us to change and work towards our chosen goal comes from a place within us.
I see it as a feeling, a drawing, an internal process that occurs that leads me to step out and keep working towards that thing which my heart desires. It’s like a magnetic energy of “let’s look and see what that’s like”.
If we don’t have this, if we don’t have the “draw” or urge then we may find ourselves lacking joy in working towards the goal, feelings of it being too difficult or just not giving us the incentive to move forwards to that which we have chosen.
From my experience I have a number of internal processes that motivate me.
Above everything is that I want to be healthy, feel good, look reasonably fit and be happy in my skin. I also want to be able to lead a life in which I am not restricted by body or mind that grants me freedom to do that which my heart desires.
For me, this is incredibly powerful and largely shapes how I live my life.
Over and above that comes training for performance.
Over the years I have competed in great many sports. Now when I choose an endeavour it’s because I want to see and experience myself for what my potential is – to see what this body I live in and mind I inhabit was capable of. The motivation is intrinsic. It hasn’t always been this way, but with self-investigation and development I understand myself better and I see with greater clarity.
I have gone from body builder to cyclist, to powerlifter and runner. Each time I have marvelled at the ability to change and re-create that we possess; in whatever direction we choose to go.
Training consistently towards a goal requires consistency. An ability to keep showing up for yourself and stepping forward regularly.
The goal must resonate with us on such a level that it causes us to WANT to keep going, keep taking more steps and then more again over and above staying the same and ultimately not changing or progressing.
Your motivation is within you. Relax and let it emerge.