I’ve probably read too many articles on self-improvement and “success” psychology. What I’m about to share with you isn’t an original idea, rather, something that's been on my mind lately that will hopefully clarify the abstract concept around “motivation”.
Lots of people ask elite performers questions like, “Where do you get your inspiration?” or “How do you find the time or energy?” If they get an answer at all, it’s usually not what they want to hear. It's almost always too simple. You can even see the disappointment on the asker's face because they were hoping for some kind of repeatable recipe or secret formula.
Here’s my answer: really, really want it.
Ever hear the story about the woman who lifted the front of a car to free her trapped children underneath? If so, you have some concept of what it means to really want something. There’s untapped power in each of us, waiting for such a moment.
I used to play competitive soccer and every pre-season, we had to run two miles in less than twelve minutes. There wasn’t a single player who liked that day. It was pretty much twelve minutes of hell. Yet, we all did it, year after year, because we wanted to play on the team more than we hated running.
If you ask me where to find energy, I’ll ask: “Do you really want it?” And also: “What are you willing to sacrifice?” Doing something exceptional requires a ton of work. Sadly, we usually only ever see the results of our heroes. We don't see them up on Friday night, training.
So, what's my definition of motivation? If you’re willing to lift a car for what you believe in, congratulations, you’re on the right track.