Friday, July 30, 2010

Land of the Lost

How do you keep something you never really had? Now if you did have it and it was true motivation, what factors involved were so strong to make you lose it?

Those who are truly motivated never lose or need to keep motivation. It is always there. While yes the strength of the motivation may waiver depending on certain times or circumstances, the truly motivated never worry about keeping it.

You have to look at motivation like a relationship. You have your great days and your bad days but you realize that good and bad days are part of life and quite possibly necessary to fully appreciate one over the other. Now you don’t leave the relationship just because of a few bad days, no, you do the things to get back to having good days. You do this because of the value you place on the relationship and your commitment to it.
Therefore Those who lose motivation or have none, perceive the thing they need motivation for to have little or no value and/or they have no sense of commitment.

You may think that statement to be harsh, but if you truly valued and were committed then there is your lost motivation. People dedicate themselves to the things they find important. So before you try to keep something you never had, you should take a look at your value system first. If you value your spouse/significant other then you are committed to them, if you value your home, your dedicated to your job, if you value yourself then you never truly lose motivation.

This blog came about through several people asking me to write about how to stay motivated. Some are looking to get/stay motivated for martial arts and some for fitness/workouts. So let’s look at those specifically.

Martial Arts: in order to understand how to get/stay motivated, we have to understand what make us question our motivation. In martial arts (which is practically the same for fitness) I have seen through the years that most people lose there motivation due to lack of progression. They get to a certain point and then become stagnant. Now I think a lot of the time the student will mainly blame the teacher, or the system they study for this stagnation, but the true reason lays with the student. If you do the same routine, attend the same classes with the same teacher year after year how do you expect to grow? And as we said before no growth = no motivation. Now I am not suggesting you leave your teacher, but what I am suggesting is you on occasion train with other people. Make it a point to attend seminars and if you really want motivation, go to Japan! When you see that no matter how long you have been training you still are nowhere near the understanding or ability of the Japanese shihans and watch the brilliance and effortlessness of Soke Hatsumi (which is powerful and terrifying) at almost 80 years old, that is enough motivation to keep going for a lifetime. Now if you cant quite make it to Japan there are people such as Paul Masse, Rob Renner, Pete Renolds, and Duncan Stewart who come from Japan to teach and share. These guys’ abilty and understanding keep me motivated to keep going for sure!

Now when we talk about fitness, most people seem to view it as a necessary evil that they HAVE to do 3 or so times a week. Well with this attitude how could anybody stay committed to going? Now to help with motivation for fitness and working out you need to remember this. If you don’t have your health then you have nothing. Again with fitness just as martial arts, motivation comes through seeing results, so if you’re not seeing results then you lose motivation. Now you have to realize that your lack of results are directly related to the effort you put in.

A student whom I told I was writing this ask me to talk about distractions such as work, family, and friends ECT. So here is my take on that…

My Martial Arts and Fitness training is not a hobby or something I just do for fun. It defines me. Everything I am is related to my training. If I stop or cut back on doing my training then I feel I stop being myself and what makes me who I am. Therefore if I allow myself to be distracted by friends and family then I stop being the person I am to them who they have come to know and love. These people in my life actually help motivate me to not let myself get distracted by them or anything else because their well being is important to me and my ability to be skilled, aware, and fit enough to protect them is important to me. Again we make time for whats important to us.

In conclusion if you care enough about your training goal (s) then you will do what is necessary to accomplish these goals. The results are what will keep you motivated, if your not seeing results train harder, smarter or in a manner that will produce the results. If you need help, reach out to people you know who are accomplishing what you’re after. If you had motivation and lost it, remember how important your training is and you will regain your motivation.

For question about fitness or martial arts you can reach me at


  1. This is a great post. It makes perfect sense. I've always wondered how I can stay "motivated" to stick to my diet, but as long as I love carbs more than the idea of losing that last bit of belly fat than I'm not going to stay motivated to stick to the diet. I have no problem being motivated to train because I enjoy training; it's part of who I am. Anyway, this is a great post Joel