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Downfalls of Motivation

I absolutely love motivation of all kinds, as if you couldn’t already tell that by the name of this website. It pushes me to do things that I couldn’t before and also teaches me to believe in myself. I find strength in other’s success, words, experiences, etc. I find it fascinating, I’m amazed at the impact it can have on me and others. Heck, lately I’ve even found the Home Depot “Let’s Do This” commercials to be motivating and I don’t even own a home or live in an apartment that requires maintenance. Still, I’m rearing and ready to install a new floor for some reason?!

Recently though, I heard an interesting take on the detrimental side of motivation, something I hadn’t quite considered. I’m unsure of who the quote belongs to, but it goes something along the lines of: “It’s like going to school to study to be a lawyer, going through all the classes but failing the bar, therefore you can’t practice what you’ve learned. If you don’t apply it, what are you doing?” I really like this perspective and it opened my eyes up a bit.

You can spend all day watching motivational videos, listening to motivating music, getting yourself pumped up, but if you don’t actually act on it, there was no point and all you did was waste time. It is essentially a form of high tech procrastination. Les Brown says “judge a tree by the fruit it bears, not the fruit it talks about”. Your results and actions are all that matters. Sure, the prep work leading up to it has a part to play, but it is meaningless if you don’t actually follow through. It’s important to have an end game to the motivation and also have the drive to act on it.

Just some food for thought. Now get off the computer, put away your phone, and go do something.

Always in Stride,

Jack

There Is No “Normal”

Since around the time of Thanksgiving I have been stuck in a bit of a rut. My running, writing, and overall motivation have been off and not at the levels they should be. I simply told myself that once things returned to “normal” I would be right back at it, driven as ever. Fast forward to early January and the motivation for all these fine activities was still missing.

See the thing is, there is no “normal”. There will always be disruptions and there is no ideal time to do the things you need to. Distraction and resistance will always be there to meet you in whatever form she decides to take. It could be going out with friends, holiday dinners, cold weather, or any other myriad of options.The perfect time to do something is the least optimal time. When something is done at the least optimal time, you learn something about yourself. You learn that you are capable of doing anything that you set your mind to. 2AM on a Friday evening when everyone else is out can be the perfect time for a run or for a blog post. Who’s to say it isn’t?

If you often find yourself struggling with this resistance and inner battle, I highly recommend you pick up the book The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield. He does an amazing job at attacking procrastination, resistance, and how we put off becoming our true self we were meant to be. It has helped me a lot to overcome my own issues and realize I need to just get started with what I should be doing. The momentum builds from there until it barrels along and I find myself extremely happy that I did what was required of me.

WarofArt

This especially applies to going for a run. It can be so easy to come up with so many reasons why you shouldn’t go for a run. However, all that matters is that feeling you get from going on a run. In 14 years of running, I have yet to regret a single run. Upon returning, I am always glad I embraced the struggle and made it out the door.

regret

Always in Stride,

Jack