MY MOTIVATION MOVES ME By Siôn Stansfield
“Motivation is the reason for people’s actions, willingness and goals. Motivation is derived from the word motive which is defined as a need that requires satisfaction. These needs could also be wants or desires that are acquired through influence of culture, society, lifestyle, etc. or generally innate.”
Everyday we have between, it’s believed, 60,000-80,000 thoughts. Thousands of little seeds that fly through our mind, many gone in an instant. But every now and again one of those thought seeds takes root. We water it a little to see if it is going to grow. After a little while, we may see a shoot coming through. It’s at this point we need to decide if we like where we have planted this seed, if we like the type of tree it is going to grow into and if it is worth investing time, energy and finance into seeing it blossom, and grow into a fully fledged tree.
Everyone has a different place they would like to plant that tree, a different type of tree that they want to grow and a different reason for why they want a tree in the first place.
We can’t water someone else’s tree because we won’t be passionate about putting in all of the hard work to see it to the point where it blossoms. Meaning that whilst it may well grow, it won’t be anywhere near as beautiful, full and big as it could have been had it been your own seed, in your perfect location.
So, first things first, follow your own dream and understand the type of tree you want to grow. Without it your motivation won’t inspire you to keep going when the going gets tough.
Now everyone’s motivation is different, and for many it changes at different points throughout life. I see it like so:
- First you need a dream – that seed of an idea.
- Then you need to break it down to understand if this is a dream you want to pursue. We often get this from defining why we, as individuals want to pursue the dream, then this is when motivation kicks in, and we start getting excited.
- That motivation needs some structure, if we don’t give it that then we are aimlessly floating around trying to reach our dream, without actually having the plan to get there. So we plan. I like to do this in reverse, thinking about how that final tree will look and working back to present day.
- From the plan we then need to take our first steps – action. Without taking action we aren’t planting and then watering that seed.
- We then need to regularly visualise each step of the way, from the moment we see that dream blossom, right through to visualising each shoot that forms, remembering that those that go deep into the ground and can’t be seen are just as, important as those that flourish above the ground. This will maintain our motivation, when our mind and/or body is trying to halt us on our growth.
- Reflection and gratitude throughout the life of the tree and its many different growth phases are so important. It’s so easy to get so focused on simply the end product that we don’t let ourselves celebrate every part of its life.
- Finally, there is great strength in sharing your dream with others. When you plant those roots, and look to grow that tree, if your roots are intertwined with those of others then they will be infinitely stronger. You have a 75% chance of achieving a goal, and therefore maintaining your motivation, if you openly share it with others
For me, I’ve got a few big dreams this year, with one very personal one being to compete rather than simply complete at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii in October. I know that I could show up and get around the course, pick up that finishers medal at the end and ‘tick’ the box that many (triathletes at least) would love to tick. However, I’m looking to do more than that. Whilst I know that I won’t be finishing on top of that podium this is my chance to test myself against the best in the world. To see where I sit at the high table and to put on a performance that I can look back on in years to come with pride knowing that I couldn’t have done anymore.
This helps me to make decisions about how I live my life, how I focus my time. It doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Sometimes that may mean that I need to miss out on some short-term fun, but if you aren’t willing to at times make the sacrifice to pursue a long-term dream then your motivation will quickly disperse, and you will never see that tree blossom.
It is this motivation that moves me both in mind and body. It pushes me through the toughest times, keeping me focused, happy and thriving.
So find that motivation that’s personal to you, and you will turn that seed into something beautiful.
Read Part 2 of this series here.