Motivation is a liar

Every time I open my social media feeds I see posts about motivation. Finding the motivation to do this. Having the motivation to do that. I have heard the word so many times it is easy to forget what it means.

Motivation – noun – the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. (Oxford Dictionary)

I have stared at this definition for a few minutes now. I don’t like what I see. I am going to call it like I see it: Motivation is a liar.

What do I mean? My general desire is to do as little as possible. I am human. I take the path of least resistance. It is what keeps me from achieving things, sure, but it is the truth. My willingness to do things? That is pretty suspect too. I have great intentions, but it is easier to not achieve.

Is that where I choose to stay? No. Of course not. The point is I know myself well enough to know that my desires and my willingness can not stand in the way of what has to be done. My choices and my responsibilities have to be executed on regardless of how I feel.

I can’t sit and wait for motivation to hit me. It is a nice boost of adrenaline when it does, but that soon fizzles out. I have to have more there to go off of. I have to have a plan and the self-discipline of executing that plan so that I can leverage the times of high motivation and still move forward when the motivation is not there.

I want to be remembered as a man of my word. When I say I am going to do something, I want you to be able to take it to the bank. It will be done, because I gave my word that it would. I can say with few exceptions that this is who I am with other people. This is not always who I have been with myself, but that has been changing.

I listened to an interview Kobe Bryant gave about how he was able to accomplish everything that he did. He told the crowd that he had signed a contract with himself. He made the deal willingly and had to execute what he agreed with himself on. That was the reason he was the hardest working man in any room he was in. He made the deal and then made good on it.

This is my reminder to myself for today. Motivation is a liar. There are goals to be achieved. There are tasks to be executed. The deal has been made. It is time to go to work.

Regaining My Focus

It has been a whirlwind start to the year. We have traveled more than normal, had some strange weather (Texans don’t do ice), and have struggled to find a rhythm. Yep, sounds just like life. It has been happening in overdrive.

All of that said, I crushed my goals for today. I am regaining my focus after getting beat up. No, I have not kept my 100 Day Strong goals like I had planned to start the year. But…I made it today. So, day 1 is now complete.

In years past if I had missed the goal or messed up the rhythm, I probably would have quit all together. I had little resolve and even less willpower. I am glad I am older now with a little more experience under my belt. Each day is a day to strive to do better.

On to day 2.

I’m sorry, what did you say?

It has taken me a lot of years to realize that I process things differently than other people. When I am wrestling through a topic or trying to figure something out, I have to talk it out. I have to say things out loud to get them to make sense.

There have been times when I say something out loud and I think, “That is t what I want at all. Where did that come from?” There are other times I hear it when I say it out loud and I think, “Wow. Did I just say what I think I said? That was good!”

I will pause a moment and express gratitude where it is due. My darling wife is responsible for helping me realize I process like this. We have been in several conversations over the years where I am telling her about something and I realize halfway through the conversation that I am confusing her or not making sense. Only recently I have added the phrase, “Let me talk this out for a minute.” When I say that she realizes I am working through what I am saying and it gives me time to get there.

Why do I say all of this? How many times in life have we heard one thing when the speaker really meant another? How many times have we been so close to understanding each other, but we’re just one step away from a breakthrough? I bet it happens all the time.

Communication doesn’t just happen. We have to work hard at it. We have to understand how to speak and help others understand how to speak to us. Communication is hard, but can be made so much easier with this step.

Fight yourself and win

I didn’t want to exercise tonight. I tried to talk myself out of it. It has been a long day. It is late. You could use the rest. I gave myself all the excuses.

What did I do? I went for my walk. I put in 30 minutes on the road in 37 degree weather. And just for extra measure I wore shorts. It was cold. It wasn’t fun. However, I got it done. Like normal, it wasn’t as hard as I was making it out to be.

I think this is true of any goal we set for ourselves. Inertia is the hard part. Once we are over that first burst, doing what we have to do gets so much easier.

What goal are you working on? Have you hit a rough spot? Keep pushing. Keep going. You can do this.