Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Power of Motivation

I figured today I would start introducing some multimedia. What better way to start than with a blog on motivation. Actually, I will probably do a few motivational blogs from time to time not just to inspire my readers, but to inspire myself as well. Let's start by watching this video:


(I have to admit I actually stopped writing to watch this video again)
It's hard to say that this video is not inspiring, even if you aren't into football. I think Wikipedia has a great but simple definition of motivation: "Motivation is the driving force which causes us to achieve goals".  If you read through Wikipedia's article on motivation a little further, you find that motivation is broken down into two categories: Intrinsic and Extrinsic.

Extrinsic motivation is an outward incentive for accomplishing a task. I use extrinsic motivation on my kids all the time: "If you go to your room and go play, I'll give you some juice" (they are still young enough where I can get away with that). Other forms of extrinsic motivation are: money, clothes, cars, sex, good grades, a promotion, awards, trophies. Extrinsic motivation can also be negative such as the threat of punishment. Extrinsic motivation is good and even necessary. However, when things get bad and you start thinking of quitting, then you have to rely on intrinsic motivation.

You have most likely guessed by now, that intrinsic motivation is based on your feelings and desires. Intrinsic motivation is based on concepts that make you feel good inside. Honor, loyalty, being respected, being loved, loving others, etc. If you notice in the video, the coach used intrinsic motivation on his player to get him all the way down the field. I'll talk about a few of those points in a bit. You may also notice that intrinsic and extrinsic levels of motivation are closely linked. To piggy back off of my other entries: Extrinsic answers what you want, Intrinsic answers why you want it.

A good example is graduating college. Yes we all know the little holder's they put your diploma in are fancy and most likely made of real leather, but are you really graduating for that? Now it is true that most people go to college to get a degree and hopefully a good job. Those are the extrinsic factors. The thing that usually gets people through college though, are the intrinsic factors. Imagine walking down the aisle when they announce your name, all of your friends and family are there smiling. The satisfaction you get from completing something that only 27% of the country has. The knowing that even though it was hard and at times you wanted to give up, you didn't. Now everyone is proud of you, and you are proud of yourself. That is intrinsic motivation. At the end of the day you could lose the fancy paper and the cap and gown in a lake, but you and everyone around you will always know the feeling you had when you graduated. No one can take that from you ever.
Motivation is like putting gas in your car. Assuming you take care of most of your other maintenance (eating, sleeping, proper hygiene and diet), the only thing you really need to go wherever you want, is motivation. Same thing with a car. Provided it doesn't have any underlying problems, you can go as far as you want with a car, so long as you have the gas. Motivation is also important for the Law of Attraction as well. If you constantly spend time motivating yourself, then you stay in a positive mindset. Of course, staying in a positive mindset, will always generate positive results in your life.

Let's look at the video in depth. Here we had a team of teenagers that really didn't take themselves seriously. To them they were destined to lose because they were going up against what everyone thought was a superior team. The coach challenged Brock to deathcrawl 50 yards. From the look on his face, I am pretty sure that had never been done before, at least at that school. The interesting thing is that the coach had him do the task blindfolded. So because Brock had nothing else but the determination not to let his coach down, he made it all the way across the field into the end zone.

I think even as adults, we tend to underestimate our true power, and what we are capable of. We look at the accomplishments of other people and think "that will never be me". Sometimes our sight, is our worst enemy. When you are motivated, what you see before you doesn't matter, because you are looking at the world with a different type of vision. You don't look at how long the journey is or what obstacles are in your way. You are like Brock, in the video, telling yourself  "all I know right now is that I can go one more step".

Feel free to comment with any questions, or additional thoughts and experiences. 

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