Tuesday, 3 April 2007


What motivates you?

It's never an easy thing to put on paper, defining the things that drive us to do the things we do. It is easy to look at it from a carrot and stick perspective... you work because you get money to buy things that you want or like - the carrot - or to pay the bills that keep arriving - the stick... You work out because you like to keep fit, look good, perhaps look like that mouth-watering cover model from Men's Health or DNA and ideally have more men chasing after you (the carrot?) or alternatively because it keeps you healthy and prevents disease such as heart disease and diabetes... the stick... But it’s much more complicated than that - and its much more fluid in the way it changes evolves and challenges you. Sometimes you’ll start a fitness regime because of that extra weight you put on over the festive season, and when you really get into it – even if you’ve lost the weight – you’ll feel better and the exercise itself will make you feel good – so you keep on going well after the weight has been lost… but sometimes you won’t, and you find it hard to keep going, and you miss it now and again – and then weeks have passed and your membership payments are the only regular thing about your gym.

For me sometimes the routine of doing things keeps me going– I swim with monotonous regularity. Sometimes I’m not particularly motivated but I find myself at the pool with my gear on standing thinking, hmmm I really feel like being at home on the couch, but I’m already there so I jump in – follow the long black line… and jump out filled with more energy than I had standing at the side not so long before… In the end I guess it’s the feeling good a the end that motivates me – and hopefully some physical aesthetic and long term health benefits add to that as well… Entering in ocean races will motivate me as well, more so if there are others I know also entering (I’m competitive at heart). When I’m at work and I’ve been faced with people day in day out with lists of complaints as long as – and maybe including their arm… sometimes getting through the day needs that swimming pool to escape to. And then I’ll focus on the end of the day – perhaps meeting with friends, a movie, dinner… something to look forward to when this is all finally over… or perhaps the weekend ahead if I’m pushing it, perhaps even a positive comment on my blog! (ok I AM new at this). But the mental idea of something beyond all this hardship will often be enough to take the stress out of it, and maintain the motivation to keep going. The things that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside – the small things - are often the things that will keep us going, and the sense that we’ve made some kind of difference to humanity – regardless of how small it may be – can be a powerful motivator.

There are so many things out there that we react to – but what makes us actually get off our collective butts and get out and do something?

What motivates you?

1 comment:

Craig said...

I am struggling with my motivation lately... but i have to say, energy begets energy and my usual motivation is when I am feeling great about life, I feel 10 feet tall and that i can conquer anything so I press on with lots of exercise and lots of activitiies and stay very busy.

My own clothing brand is the single biggest motivation for me in my life... any excuse to not work for more fools and also to have better control over my own destiny for a change.

That would be wonderful!