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The Whims of Motivation

As a father and coach I have heard it stated one of the elements of my position within the family or team is to motivate my kids or players. I believe this to be untrue and unproductive. I am certainly called to encourage those around me and to be supportive of their efforts whenever possible; however, these are not what we mean by motivation. The definition of motivation is "the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way or the general desire or willingness of someone to do something." Breaking down the definition, the first part says motivation calls upon our desire to act. It is our intent which is being summoned and I can tell you the path to hell is paved with good intentions. The second definition relies upon "desire or willingness" as the components to act. So much of what we do which benefits us is neither desirable or would you be willing to do it but for discipline.

When I was a younger man, I wanted to prove to others I could be successful without undue influence from my family. This was important to me because I had been given almost anything I wanted growing up. I had attended the finest private schools and colleges in the United State and England. I had traveled the US and world, attended world class performances from sport to art, eaten in the finest restaurants and never wanted for anything. I had the opportunity to start a company with a couple of other privileged men and we learned quickly that wanting something to be was not going to achieve it. Instead, we had to discipline ourselves to endure.

This meant I had to live at the office because I needed at least 18 hours of every day to complete the tasks and travel time was wasted time. I had to learn how to sell so hours were spent reading and learning from others. I had a vision of what was needed to make our fledgling company profitable and it would require months without paychecks, selling every fun asset I had like my golf clubs, guns, etc. I awoke every day knowing that failure was an option and that I was on the brink of it. Fear of failure is not a motivator, discipline is what motivates. The knowledge and understanding you have the tools and skill set to achieve the goal or the means to obtain both.

No nice saying on the wall or hype video is going to bring you from failure to success. It is the disciplined mind and body which has been conditioned through toil and repetition which will lead to your success. You want to be successful on the court or field then don't rely upon others to motivate you, Dig deep within yourself to understand that hard work is the solution. Making yourself an instrument for achieving the goal you desire. You want to win a state title in football. It starts with the weights and conditioning. Add to that hours of film study and then spend some time honing your skills like passing, pitching, kicking and catching a football or numerous footwork drills.

God's Word tells us that all discipline is necessary for training toward righteousness. Proverbs 12:1 tells us, "Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge." Discipline plays an important role in our salvation, in James it is written, "But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world."

I encourage you to thank those who motivate you and to surround yourself with inspiring individuals. Then take this encouragement and make it last through discipline. What will separate you from others is not written on the wall, found in the words of a song or penned in a book (or even this blog). Discipline is what will help you reach your goals. Consistent and persistent action is the solution and you will become the champion God has called you to be.

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