It’s dark, quiet; almost too quiet. The sun hasn’t yet broke, saving you from it’s heat for just a few more hours. The air is dry; instinctively you reach for your canteen although you know there’s nothing left. Leaning against your pack, you look towards the sky, as the hair on your arms suddenly rise, and you hear the all too familiar retort of gunfire coming from down the valley.
It’s time to go to work.
“Hold on guys, let me start this playlist”
Motivation is Bullshit. For some reason though, it (or the lack of it) is quickly becoming the most used excuse. “I'm just not motivated", "How do I get motivated”, and my personal favorite, "I wish I had your motivation".
When it comes down to harnessing and holding on to motivation, the answer is simple...you don’t.
Here's the truth: At some point, you have to decide your goals have more value than your excuses and you just do the work. If you don't assign a value to your goals, they're easily replaced with excuses. One quick scroll through social media and how many people do you find that claim to be Alpha? The reality is, human "Alpha-ness" isn't real, it's a self proclaimed title that is used by the insecure. True leaders don't depend on motivation or affirmation. Leaders wake up and go to work because they value success and productivity over accolades and comfort.
You’re not special
You’re no different than anyone else. You don't require anything extra. The people at the top of their game, do you think they’re always motivated? Motivation is a fleeting emotion. It’s inconsistent and immeasurable.
Change your mindset. Instead of searching for motivation, seek out your inspiration, something that resonates with you. Find your “Why”, and then exploit it. Your training must have a purpose, a reason. When you are put into a situation that requires you to act, what is your plan? Who are you protecting?
I know this sounds intense, but you need to realize that where the mind goes, the body follows. Plan your dive, dive your plan. If you wake up each day, searching for something that will make you want to do the work, you've already lost. Winning a war happens because of a series of battles.
Each day, you are presented with a choice: you can do something that gets you closer to your goal, or you can do something that will hinder you. Choose wisely.
The difference between being Motivated and being Driven
There are 2 types of motivation: Extrinsic and Intrinsic.
Extrinsic Motivation is derived from an outside influence. These types of motivators can be visual or audible. Extrinsic Motivators are subject to interpretation; they’re tangible. They are the stimulus that precedes action.
Intrinsic Motivation stems from within yourself. It is your own drive, the commitment to your purpose. It cannot be measured, debated or evaluated by others. It is seemingly biological in nature. It does not waiver or subside.
Which is more valuable? Imagine an avalanche. It takes only a single snowball to launch it into action, but once it begins, it is an unstoppable force until it has completed it's task. So which is more powerful? The single moment that starts it off, or the unwillingness to quit once moving? Which stays with you longer?
Don’t depend on adrenaline
Train as if you are in the moment that it’s required, every time. Train with purpose. Train with intensity. Train like you fight. Do not assume that when the time comes, that you’ll be prepared. When those hairs rise on your arms in the middle of the night, will you be prepared? Have you put in the work? How accurate are you when your pulse is elevated? How well do you perform when you are out of breath and overheating? Do not leave room for a variable to throw you off your game. Do not depend on motivation when the time comes to do to work.
You’ll either be ready, or you won’t. So while that external stimulus is exciting and may give you an emotional boost, do not depend on it. The reality is, requiring motivation is an excuse used by those looking for a way to quit.
Rise above. Train the quit out of you.
Jamie Popp Christenson is a SOFLETE athlete and is the 2017 USS Pro Women's Worlds LW Champion. She will not be building any SOFLETE playlists to motivate your weakness anytime soon.