“The dream never dies, just the dreamer, the dreamer never dies if it’s strong, the song never dies just the singer” While this dying of dreams happens it’s often for all the wrong reasons from the results of pure motivation becoming compulsive. And while the dream may not die, it gets altered from experience, and then the exact thing that used to bring so much joy now brings stress, alienation, heartache, and a constant obsessive pre-occupation, with results or measuring and judging everything that used to bring such joy.
Do you have a “pure motivation?”
Learning is great, but it can take on obsessive characteristics that take people further and further away from a pure motivation. All of a sudden a competitor has won a show or two and now motivation also includes “the right program, and the right approach” as well as a mentality begetting a ‘comparing and competing” mentality. I don’t mean on the stage either. I am referring to everything a person now does to prepare for the stage that they “think” is right. All of a sudden obsessive behaviours take over, and all motivation becomes an ego driven pursuit at the expense of everything else. When this happens, then the dreaded judge and measure mentality takes over. External pressure come to bare as well.
Instead of a “comparing and competing” mentality, a pure motivation will always remember instead that the path to rewarding experience is based on “aspiring and appreciating;” not forgetting your athletic routes but taking stalk in how far you have come, and appreciating it for no other reason. There is an old saying that “real winners forget they are even in a race; real winners just to love to run”
Negative Emotions and Personality Traits
All of a sudden true and sincere enjoyment is only a result of something you can “judge and measure” and cannot stand on its own interpretation. People totally lose perspective and either need to control everything or they have little control over nothing.
For instance dieters lose perspective totally, and a good or bad day in life, is only reflective of a good or bad day dieting! In his book, “Eating Well for Optimum Health” Dr. Andrew Weil says that eating right is NOT just about dieting on certain foods, but also eating right is about ‘the enjoyment of the experience of eating!” Most folks in our industry have lost that capacity totally. Figure girls can no longer “enjoy” a cookie. Measuring and judging everything means either guilt associated with that cookie or compulsive behaviour that leads to eating “all the cookies till they are gone” Both of these examples negate the “experience” of eating.
The mind body connection is quite real and exists on levels far deeper than we realize. Also associated with that is emotional intelligence which comes to bare on the competitive mentality. When motivation is pure, our emotional intelligence nudges us toward higher performance, pushing, striving, enduring.
As world champion triathletes Brad Kearns said:
Making the right choices takes someone with awesome physical, emotional, and mental wisdom. The underlying goal of the champion athlete is to have a positive attitude, high motivation levels, intense focus and a sense of balance. (Notice focus does not mean obsessive behaviours like measuring and judging every detail of performance criteria) In contrast there are many physical talents who don’t have the emotional wisdom or mental make up to become a champion. The reasons are many: poor decision making, inability to harness their own egos and competitive instincts, lack of pure and deep seated self-confidence, impatience, compulsiveness, lack of self awareness or dis-honest self analysis, and other destructive personality traits. (2006: p6)
The above quote speaks volumes to athletes in the bodybuilding industry. Three points need to be made here. The above reflects 1) that as I always say genetics are as much from the neck up, as they are from the neck down, 2) all the more reason to have a coach that cares enough to keep you grounded and on a healthy path FOR YOU; and, what I see most in our industry is 3) rampant lack of self-awareness and dishonest self-analysis.
The compulsive motivation vs. pure motivation produces an “attachment to results and outcomes” All of a sudden how one places or even how a workout unfolds will determine a feeling of “worthiness” or worthlessness, that is all set up in the mind. Every good athlete competes to win. That should go without saying. But the very best athletes do not attach “happiness to outcome” Imagine if Tiger Woods was miserable and angry after every time he did not win until the next time he did win. That would mean a great deal of time being miserable for arbitrary reasons. Winners do not think that way. Win or lose their happiness is less attached to outcome than to “striving” to improve. That is a pure motivation.
Case in point: I recently had an inquiry from someone to train for a level one contest. Seems this person had been beyond level one but needed to requalify at that level. After reviewing my prices his opinion was he really didn’t need me at that level for that price in order to win. He may have been correct on that but his comment yields an impure motivation which will prevent him from going far. You see his mentality was only about “winning” instead of about being his absolute best. One takes care of the other when motivation is pure.
The truth is often an athlete needs to get out of his/her own way in order to succeed and proceed. Once again this can necessitate employing a wise coach.
It’s a passion for process and challenge which is why most of us choose such a pursuit to begin with, that is the key to a pure motivation and a happy experience each and every time out! The problem is a little success can often lead to external influences like concerns over rivals, what others are saying about you, which you pretend doesn’t matter, but does if you are aware of it! It leads to all the compulsive behaviours I pointed out above sure to shorten rather than enhance the competitive experience.
I implore you all to look inside yourselves and find your “pure motivation” Nurture it, protect it, let it guide you. Enjoy and appreciate the challenges again. Aspire to greater ones, not measured in log books, finish lines, or first place trophies, but that feeling inside that says to you “well done, let’s do it again!”
Begin to aspire to inspire, not others but that little kid that lives inside all of us. Be real to that kid. Forget about what everyone else has to say about your own experience and your own path.
As usual, some of you will get it, some of you will not. I welcome your feedback on my Forums section