Friday, November 28, 2008

"Motivation" is Overrated

I frequently run across threads on internet message boards and people in gyms who talk about "losing motivation to train". They speak as if the only thing standing between them and fitness success is the right pep-talk.

Motivation is over-rated. Stop waiting to get motivated. Motivation and enthusiasm will always come and go. Even the best athletes in the world don't always "feel like" training, but they do it anyway. Instead of waiting, start training for something and train frequently. Do NOT destroy yourself every training session, but do something almost everyday. Make training a habit. By making it a habit, you are virtually eliminating emotion from the decision-making process and, if the habit is ingrained deeply enough, there is no decision to make about training or not - you will train period.

Creating the right habits, mentally and physically, will help sustain you through the valleys and long plateaus.


Aaron Friday said...

Boris, your recent blog posts are brilliant. I finally added you to my blogroll, and I'm ashamed that I didn't do it much earlier.

Motivation is indeed overrated. It is usually narrow in focus (as in a specific goal) and requires sacrifice (as in doing something different than normal that requires will-power). The unemotional, workaday routines are what add up to improvement over time predictably.

Boris said...

Thanks Aaron - ditto to your blog. I've always enjoyed your no-nonsense posts and wit. Thanks for adding me to your blog roll!

fawn said...

Excellent message Boris. Aaron called my attention to it.

After 13 years of consistent yoga practice, now I am working on directing the same attitude toward powerlifting. Sincere effort with out excessive emotion.

I have always been attracted to Rumi's "No better love than love with no object, no more satisfying work than work with no purpose."

Boris said...

Thanks Fawn. Rumi's quote sounds very zen.

Anonymous said...

Love your take on things. Your helpfulness is much appreciated.


Boris said...

Thanks Tom!

Gubernatrix said...

Great post, Boris. One of those 'why didn't I think of that?' ideas!

Boris said...

Thanks Gube - it certainly has helped me keep training even when things were looking bleak. Injury is probably the hardest times to train for me because morale takes a big hit, but habit pushes you through.

Anonymous said...

Good post on Motivation.

karim - Positive thinking

hc said...

nice post, i've read so many malcolm gladwell only to be "motivated" for a week and have it wear off.

at this point, i'm like a nike ad - shuttup and just do it. thanks