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Is motivation simply sheer power of will, desire to succeed, or even fear of failure?

15 Oct 2020

Is motivation simply sheer power of willdesire to succeed, or even fear of failureOr does our motivation to change comprise all of the above? There’s a simple yet surprising reason that drives most of us to keep going, and it bolsters us to stay on track for our goals.

The fairly simple idea that binds most of the ‘secrets’ we are about to dive in to is this: make sure you are feeling good during the process of whatever you are trying to achieve.

Positive thinking
 and emotions will lead to positive results, and of course the same will be true for the reverse. It’s not realistic to assume there won’t be negative drawbacks, but to focus on those is simply a mistake. According to cognitive neuroscience and the findings of Ron Siegel, a psychology professor at Harvard University, the key to motivation is to‘ bring optimism and fun back into the picture.

If this sounds vague, then make it reality. Write out a list of the pros and cons of whatever you need to achieve, and you’ll clearly see the many reasons to stay motivated. 

Size Doesn’t Matter

The small victories count. They really do, and being encouraged by those successes, however large, will instill a belief that you can accomplish what you have set out to do. The psychology backs it up too, that those who hold that belief, perform better than those who don’t. That momentum will hold your interest, and will ensure that you move, however slowly, towards your goal.

ning for Pitfalls

You can take solace in the fact that you will probably struggle at some point. This means however, that when you plan you’ll be able to foresee and anticipate those hurdles, instead of being caught off guard. If you face no trials or troubles during on your journey, then consider yourself fortunate, but for the majority, it’s good to be able to plan ahead. Knowing you can count on some support and encouragement is just one example of planning ahead, whether it’s a friend that has gone through something similar, or even if it’s one of our fitness coaches, who will be there to make your health and fitness struggles more manageable. 


Don’t disregard the importance of your enthusiasm, and appreciate that it is more difficult to be excited for anything that just stays the same. This doesn’t mean you should throw consistency to the wind, as regular practice and training is the only way to improve any skill or ability, but it means you should relish new challenges and try to keep things fresh by always learning new things. This also ties in with our final ‘secret’, although it may be obvious:

Be Better
 Today Than Yesterday

Perhaps an overused quote, but with very good reason. In today’s screen gazing Instagram reality, it has never been easier to look at the motivational things our favourite celebrities are doing and achieving. Of course, there’s no denying the power of that motivation, of looking up to your heroes and feeling a surge of inspiration to just get going, but Bill Gates put it best, “Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world…if you do so, you are insulting yourself.” There is no reason to rank your abilities and achievements against triple A action-hero celebrities. We each have our own strengths, weaknesses, and experiences, and the only thing that needs focus is improving the person that you were yesterday.

Whether you are learning something new or mastering technique, remember to stay positive. The sense of accomplishment and satisfaction after all, feels good for a reason, and that is something worth being motivated for.