Motivation is bullshit - here's why. A story of revelation, and personal transcendence.
Today, I achieved.
Beyond other achievements, and came across deep revelations in myself that I need to share with you all. I say beyond other achievements, because this is a mindset shift that breaks me (and potentially many others through many difficulties)
Motivation is bullshit.
Sick of people asking you are you motivated? Sick of it dwindling when you need it most? Has it evaded you entirely your entire life?
But, I noticed.. Through my life I'd have bouts of super human focus, and motivation. Usually it'd be at times where someone told me I couldn't do something. And I was DRIVEN to overcome. We've all had those days, or moments at least. Working at near hyper speed. Waiting for motivation to build up, is unrealistic I believe.
I've been searching within for how to access this state, nearly my whole life. I knew it was super human. Motivation eluded me often, and I easily was defeated by hurdles. No- longer.
Just to be clear, this isn't about productivity. This is about living my life as deeply and firmly, effectively as possible. Burning away all that isn't healthy. I want to lead a life that is one of heart, and authenticity, hopefully inspiring others along the way!
A few weeks ago I decided I'd start going to the gym as the 1 pillar in my life. As long as I am taking care of my body, my mind and life will follow. I noticed the first week I wasn't sweating, except for cardio day, where I did alright. I broke my record of how far I've run in my life, which was 3 miles. Nothing extravagant but, certainly a notch on my belt.
I started pushing myself harder this week, but still wasn't breaking through. But, today was different. It was cardio day, and as practice to get better at public speaking it's tradition to listen to a motivational speaker a day. Today, was ex pullup record holder Dave Goggins, he's done many feats, is an ex navy seal, and pushed himself to umpteen extents running the death race, an 130 mile race in death valley, and overcoming insane obstacles to do so. He took it to the extreme, but he said something profound, motivation is bullshit. Drive is what keeps going. He has taken the shadow of pain and turn it into fuel for his fire. Taking the concept of down but not out to a whole new level.
I had a decision to make.
Is this a principal that would take my life to new levels?
I decided ultimately after meditation, yes. Prepared my protein shake, and headed to the Gym.
20 minutes, switching intervals between 6 and 9 miles an hour. Switching over every minute. By the end of this, I'd almost matched the distance that took 40 minutes of cardio the last week. My face was starting to approach numbness. And I knew the battle had just begun. I knew this had nothing to do with the numbers on a screen, but I had one goal.
To do my best, and to push myself vs myself. There is no other obstacle in life. As long as we can see that, we can conquer everything we will ever be able to. Setting the standards of competing vs anyone else is ineffective. We slow down when we see we're ahead, and get demotivated when we see we're behind.
When we gauge ourselves with ourselves, there's nothing but growth. And when we do our best with this, we grow our best. And here, that was my goal.
I reset the treadmill after the first 3 miles at intervals, and the next part for my cardio was to do steady running. My goal was to find a speed that I felt push my limits. I started at 6.5, and decided every minute to up it a bit until I found that sweet spot. After 4 minutes, I got up to 8 miles an hour. And my mind said 'oh shit, I dont know if I can run this fast for the rest of it'
I knew I found my speed.
I ran for a minute, time felt like it was dilating. My mind started to pulse and say to stop. Then something interesting happened. An internal voice, from deep within kicked in. And said, "the soul only shines through in the moments it feels it's being truly challenged, or being well used- your body can run 100 more miles if it needed to. Even though it wouldn't be pretty, the true race- the race you've been looking for, the one against yourself begins now."
I knew looking at the time was dragging me down. I allowed my view to go deep into the reflection on the wall opposing me. I knew, time is irrelevant. Goals. Accolades. All are irrelevant. I am here for exactly ONE thing, to mold my mental state to work WITH me, and to build myself as effectively as I can. Because every moment on this earth is a gift, and to waste it doing something WE are not fully in, is a waste of time. I was committed. I faced forwards, and focused on what I can do better. Getting breathing under control, mental talk, observing what actually my body was going through VS what my mind was trying to say it was going through. I chuckled, and said "I'll race you till one of us collapse!" jokingly, to my reflection. Humor helps.
My body was starting to get a bit hot, and the only stress really was in my breathing due to having not paid attention to it for so long. The voice kicked in, 'breathe with the universe' I felt the air on all my limbs, every hair, the room expanded and contrasted with my breathe. I felt determined, attuned, and amazing. The mental chatter faded away, I was feeling good. I knew in my heart I was somewhere around the 30 minute mark overall. I broke through. I felt my minds fears submit to what my body new it could do, my breathe calmed, and the moment commenced. I found I was even starting to be able to push how fast I was running- but decided against it, that I was doing great already. I knew I was on target to do my best.
I had moments where my mind would chirp, and I would calmly say, can we do just 10% more? My body, now almost in a trance state like a machine felt sleek and sheen, near unstoppable. The mind would dim quickly. I would chunk it up, I noticed that the idea that the race begun when my mind started trying to stop was a great help. And that as long as I was attuned with my breathe all was well.
I felt the burn ramp up in my legs.
"Can we make it through just one more layer of discipline and mastery I asked?
My body replied, if we needed to, we could make it through 100 more."
And the mind submitted, to pushing through.
After a few minutes of this, the deeper part of me asked, are you ready to stop? You can stop now.
This time the mind replied "NO I know we can do more."
Then, a bit later- "Have you achieved your goal?"
My mind replied " I know I can do more, but I feel good about what I've accomplished, and I know through every part I've done my best, I will push a little harder first"
I went for a bit a minute longer. I knew I could keep going. But one of my principals is to finish hard. I looked down, and the time was at 19 minutes as it was. ( I had a glitch that reset a few minutes off the clock, I was at more like 22 at this point, and at about 3 additional miles)
I cranked it to 10 MPH and finished hard. I can't remember if I lasted 30 seconds, or a minute. But it felt good. It felt like reaching the finish line in site when you had done your best. Nothing compared. I wouldn't have been first in any race vs competitive sprinters, but I am not expecting that. I hold myself to the mindset that with persistence will achieve mastery in any area of life.
3 weeks ago, the furthest I've run in my LIFE is somewhere around 2 miles. I have lived a fairly sedentary life recently. Or at least mild. And to break that already to 6 is huge. I am going for a goal, to break a spartan race in two by November. I want to run competitively..
But as every other competition should be- it will be a competition WITH myself. I am no longer fighting an uphill battle that so many of us fight every day, going against others and comparing each other. Do your best. The rest will come.
Drive with me, find your goals. Let motivation and your heart be the compass, then let drive kick in. Know the balance, and know where your internal goals are. I could have kept going, and pushed my body beyond it's limits. But that is not the goal. The goal is to make sure that my principals and drive are set up in a way, that feeds on difficulty for when tough times call for it. This is preparation. This is my step a day, to mastery.
Break through, as a team. Let's drive to our dreams. I say all this to be moderated and adjusted according to our lives, where we are in life. This isn't a mindset to beat our self up with. This is a mindset to leverage what the best in us and overcome the worst of times. Like all, use with moderation.
Thanks for entering the spectrum, may we all breakthrough and rise together!
If you like this or have breakthrough like it drop a comment, I am planning on sharing my revelations and experiences on this ever-expanding path.