motive: noun – a reason for doing something.
motivation: noun – direction to behaviour.
How to be the best.
When all the clichés are written, the going gets tough and the chips are down, what have you got in you to keep moving forward, to keep pushing yourself? In the 28th minute of a 35 min all out effort, when everything feels like a failure, your head says “I think I’m going to die,” “this is too hard” what have you got tucked away to make you finish? If you life is on the line, what is it that is going to make sure you survive?
If you’re having trouble answering that, then I can guess the score in your next workout. I can predict the outcome of a thousand fights, I can even tell what your attitude is going to be next time you have to do something for someone else. If the answer is nothing, then you are going to fail. You are going to give in to that self-doubt, you are going to listen to the voice that says “I can’t” and you are going to hear every ache and pain in your body and you are going to suffer and eventually quit.
What if there is another way, and that way is difference between winning and losing? What if that way is the difference between enjoying an experience and hating it, between just “getting through” and “killing it,” between “I want to be good at,” and “I AM THE GREATEST” and what if that it was easy to make the change, and once you do, the change will change everything else in your life?
The difference between suffering and success is motive not motivation. Motivation is something that you expect to happen to you. “my coach wasn’t motivating me, so I quit” or “I just wasn’t motivated this morning.” Motivation is an excuse. Motive is a reason, your reason, your “why.”
Your why can be a switch, it can take a single self-defeating thought and turn it into inspiration. When I first found CrossFit, I found it so hard I wanted to give up and cry, but something deep down inside looked at my misery and started to laugh. How can 7 minutes of my life actually make me want to cry when I was content and safe just a few moment earlier? When my internal self started to laugh, then so did I and I found a way through the difficulty. From that moment on everything in my life changed. I didn’t know it at the time though, but I had found my why.
If you have a reason that is solid and rooted in your entire being, you can be on the edge of failure and that reason will keep you secure. Why did you get up this morning? Why did you seek out a training regime that is hard? Why did you turn your alarm clock off this morning? Why did you choose the bagel and not the salad. It’s not because you’re too tired or because the bagel is more filling, it’s because your motive is not strong enough to overcome your desire. It’s not concrete or you’ve never even thought about why you’re here.
I went to try out CrossFit that day because I wanted one thing. To see my daughter grow up. I had a sick body and my mind was following but I wanted something more than I had ever wanted anything before. In the moment when I felt like I wanted to give up I remembered why I turned up that day, from there everything changed. From seeing my suffering to the almost comic like view of myself from the outside I had a reason to keep pushing.
Most people go through life in the state of torpor that I had fallen into. They stop searching or maybe they never start searching. They accept that they just are and then try to live with that and that would be fine, if they were genuinely happy. But they’re not. Which is why they need a new car, a new TV, the latest Zombifeing interactive device. A crisper lawn than the next guy is most likely not your purpose.
The key is that your motive doesn’t have to be as dramatic as mine was. Mine has changed since those first days because I did what I needed to do, I got fit and got a clean bill of health. These days my motive, my “Why”, is to lead. The choices I make everyday, now stem from that one reason. Your motive can be anything, it can seem insignificant or even arrogant to others, but you don’t have to share it. You just have to hold on to it, real close and believe in it with everything you have. Because it is going to pull you out of a very dark place one day. Some believe in a god or two, some believe they are a god, some do everything for others, some do everything just to show a loved one that there are good people in the world.
Take some time to reflect on why you do things, why they are important to you and why you made one choice and not another, if you spend enough time looking, your motive will find you. It may not be what you expect and it may change as your circumstances do, but once you have it, reflect on it and help it grow. You will not be sorry, it will take you places you never knew were possible.