Motivation Is Not Real

by | May 28, 2018

“Get Motivated”

Stand at any aid station during an ultramarathon, or any race at all, and you’ll hear all about ‘motivation.’

“I’m motivated.”

“Where can I find motivation?”

“You need some motivation!”

“What motivates you?”

Motivation has locked its grip not only on ultra marathon and trail running culture, but fitness, entrepreneurship, education, and every other success-driven culture.

It’s all over Instagram. It plagues the walls of fitness centers. T-shirts sport ‘motivation’ like an oath of loyalty to a culture of common men and women.

It’s everywhere.

The motivational Instagram accounts, the quotes slapped on gym walls, the shirts pledging a life of dependence, each lack depth. Each lack thought. Each align with culture, a complacent and mediocre culture of people who need a stimulus to act.

We’re going to give you the tools to Go Farther, Run Faster, and Live Stronger.

All in ONE weekly email!
Sign up NOW to receive weekly posts!

 

Motivation Is Not Real.

People lean on motivation and use it to prop up action. Everywhere people use the drug of action to fake commitment to wellness and success.

You’re faking it.

You don’t mean it; you don’t really want it.

Ask yourself: “When do I get ‘motivated’? Where do I use ‘motivation?’”

Think about it.

A pump-up song sends chills down his spine; they run all the way to his feet. Soon, his feet are laced into running shoes and he’s off down a Wicked Trail. He has fantasies of physique and delusions of toughness. The pump-up song echoes in his head over and over again. It is a vibrant reminder of his fantasies and delusions, those he chases with pride. As the trail winds, the song grows faint. The morning grows hot and the sun beats down; soon, there is no pump-up song at all. His footfalls echo, now, and he can’t mask the discomfort with electric bass and inspirational lyrics. All he can hear is the voice. “Stop. Quit. You’ve done enough. This is far enough. You’ve had enough.”

He stops running. Just to catch my breath.

The sun boils the air around him.

Unable to draw on the distant sound of his pump-up song, the one that seemed so relatable and actionable in his air conditioned home, the runner looks at his watch.

The pump-up song pushed him out the door, but he can’t hear it anymore. He only hears the voice, the voice that started planting excuses in his head earlier in the run.

“It’s getting late.” He does a brief stretch and grimaces. “Didn’t feel that before.”

“I’ll walk from here. I should take it easy for tomorrow’s strength session anyway.”

This quit, this retreat from discomfort, is cancerous.

The heat of the day, aches and pains, time restrictions: discomforts meant to harden the mind. Discomforts are turned into excuses by those unable to draw on beliefs, values, and goals. The next training session will lean harder on the addiction of motivation, and the realization of its folly will remain shrouded in the fog of Culture. Discomforts will continue to become burdens and excuses; quitting is easy to justify.

The folly of motivation will remain shrouded in the fog of Culture, of complacency and mediocrity.

“Why can’t I get past this?”

“Why can’t I do more?”

“I want to be that.”

“I want to do this.”

“I need more motivation…”

Motivation is a moment of decision aimed toward goal fulfillment driven by an environmental factor. Exhilarating music, an excellent quote, a motivational speech straight out of Braveheart: the heart speeds up, sweat forms on the brow, and visions of excellence flash through the mind.

Delusions.

Excellence, or goal fulfillment, is never achieved by a motivated mind because a true goal, rooted in value and belief, will take from you what you didn’t know you had. It will devastate you, it will require patience, it will seem years, or many miles, away.

Your pump-up song will eventually fade in the pursuit of a true goal, in the pursuit of excellence.

At mile 80 of your first 100 mile race, three years in a struggling business, or one year into a challenging career, motivation will not carry your forward. This is why so many people fail to meet goals and participate in the cancerous retreat from discomfort.

Culture is addicted to motivation.

The word is thrown around and abused.

Motivation sits in the back of the room and waits to be invited in. Exhilarating music, an excellent quote, a motivational speech straight out of Braveheart. Motivation sees his chance. His chance at relevance.

Where is he on cold dark mornings? Where is he late at night, when the rains pour down? Where is he when the knee aches, the feet hurt, and the head pounds?

Not with you. Not on the Wicked Trail.

Action driven by motivation is an explosion. It flashes and burns bright but lacks a sustainable fuel source. It lasts but a short while. You feel the intensity of the heat and see it stifled with discomfort.

Action driven by a firmly rooted “WHY?” is a forest fire. No one sees where it begins, in the early morning hours. It matters not where it begins. It consumes. A forest fire burns bright and wide, completely engulfing its surroundings. Relentless.

Let your drive be that of “WHY?” Leave motivation behind. Don’t acknowledge him. Don’t invite him in.

Let motivation sit in the corner.

Say it out loud: “Motivation Is Not Real.”

Written by: George C.

Written by: George C.

Writer, Wicked Trail Running

When he's not running with his Cattle Dog, Cowboy, in Raleigh, North Carolina, George likes to kick back and keep the content on Wicked Trail Running fresh and engaging. He's got a few Ultras coming up in 2019, so if you need to get in touch with him, the local parks and greenways around Raleigh are a good place to start looking.

He really doesn't like cooking, so if you've got any quick vegan smoothie ideas or recipes, shoot an email to george@wickedtrailrunning.com. He also enjoys talking about running, mental toughness, and the art of mindset alteration.

Follow George on Instagram @georgecarterc!

Book of the Month:

Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds is a dive into the demons that plagued David Goggins -elite ultra endurance athlete and Navy SEAL- through his early life and an exploration of what it took for him to become a master of his own mind against all statistical odds. His tools for mental stimulation and growth are useful for anyone interested in venturing into endurance sports, becoming a better person, and mastering his or her mind. A must read!

Light 2 Light 50 Race Report: First Ultra Marathon Victory

Ultra marathon running isn't about winning, unless it is. Ultra marathon running is subjective; a person's journey through the darkness, down the Wicked Trail, is driven by his or her own passions, fears, and desires. This journey into pain is driven by his or her own...

Ultra Marathon Training: Crush Expectations

Most people running their first, or second, or third ultra marathon carry expectations into the race. They had training expectations; they planned the miles and hours they'd have to train, running and strengthening and stretching their way to ultra endurance. When...

Fasted Running Is Your Best Friend: 3 Reasons To Try It

For thirteen miles, I felt invincible. For the final three, I wasn't sure I'd finish. I felt like I did near the end of my first 100 mile race, although with much less lower body-body pain. It was an ultra marathon replication. I smiled during those long, arduous...

The Best Ultra Marathons: Is Yours On The List?

"What's the best ultra marathon?" Is it the most remote or adventurous like Marathon des Sables, the most challenging like Badwater or the H.U.R.T 100, or is it simply your first 100 miler, the one that breaks you into the world of ultra-endurance? Is it the race that...

Ultra Marathon DNF: Yes, You Failed. Yes, It’s Okay.

I was perusing some online ultramarathon running groups last weekend and came across a post about DNFs in ultrarunning. DNF stands for "Did Not Finish;" the participants name is not published and no belt buckle is awarded. The DNF is dreaded by many as hot-spots and...

UltraMarathon Pain Management: The Pain Cave

What is your perspective on ultramarathon running? Adventurous and exhilarating? Calming and therapeutic? Full of pain and suffering? Pain management has much to do with your perspective on running an ultramarathon. What is your perspective? Why do you run an...

share this post

Motivation Is Not Real

by | May 28, 2018

“Get Motivated”

Stand at any aid station during an ultramarathon, or any race at all, and you’ll hear all about ‘motivation.’

“I’m motivated.”

“Where can I find motivation?”

“You need some motivation!”

“What motivates you?”

Motivation has locked its grip not only on ultra marathon and trail running culture, but fitness, entrepreneurship, education, and every other success-driven culture.

 

We’re going to give you the tools to Go Farther, Run Faster, and Live Stronger.

All in ONE weekly email!
Sign up NOW to receive weekly posts!

 

It’s all over Instagram. It plagues the walls of fitness centers. T-shirts sport ‘motivation’ like an oath of loyalty to a culture of common men and women.

It’s everywhere.

The motivational Instagram accounts, the quotes slapped on gym walls, the shirts pledging a life of dependence, each lack depth. Each lack thought. Each align with culture, a complacent and mediocre culture of people who need a stimulus to act.

Motivation Is Not Real.

People lean on motivation and use it to prop up action. Everywhere people use the drug of action to fake commitment to wellness and success.

You’re faking it.

You don’t mean it; you don’t really want it.

Ask yourself: “When do I get ‘motivated’? Where do I use ‘motivation?’”

Think about it.

A pump-up song sends chills down his spine; they run all the way to his feet. Soon, his feet are laced into running shoes and he’s off down a Wicked Trail. He has fantasies of physique and delusions of toughness. The pump-up song echoes in his head over and over again. It is a vibrant reminder of his fantasies and delusions, those he chases with pride. As the trail winds, the song grows faint. The morning grows hot and the sun beats down; soon, there is no pump-up song at all. His footfalls echo, now, and he can’t mask the discomfort with electric bass and inspirational lyrics. All he can hear is the voice. “Stop. Quit. You’ve done enough. This is far enough. You’ve had enough.”

He stops running. Just to catch my breath.

The sun boils the air around him.

Unable to draw on the distant sound of his pump-up song, the one that seemed so relatable and actionable in his air conditioned home, the runner looks at his watch.

The pump-up song pushed him out the door, but he can’t hear it anymore. He only hears the voice, the voice that started planting excuses in his head earlier in the run.

“It’s getting late.” He does a brief stretch and grimaces. “Didn’t feel that before.”

“I’ll walk from here. I should take it easy for tomorrow’s strength session anyway.”

This quit, this retreat from discomfort, is cancerous.

The heat of the day, aches and pains, time restrictions: discomforts meant to harden the mind. Discomforts are turned into excuses by those unable to draw on beliefs, values, and goals. The next training session will lean harder on the addiction of motivation, and the realization of its folly will remain shrouded in the fog of Culture. Discomforts will continue to become burdens and excuses; quitting is easy to justify.

The folly of motivation will remain shrouded in the fog of Culture, of complacency and mediocrity.

“Why can’t I get past this?”

“Why can’t I do more?”

“I want to be that.”

“I want to do this.”

“I need more motivation…”

Motivation is a moment of decision aimed toward goal fulfillment driven by an environmental factor. Exhilarating music, an excellent quote, a motivational speech straight out of Braveheart: the heart speeds up, sweat forms on the brow, and visions of excellence flash through the mind. Delusions. Excellence, or goal fulfillment, is never achieved by a motivated mind because a true goal, rooted in value and belief, will take from you what you didn’t know you had. It will devastate you, it will require patience, it will seem years, or many miles, away. Your pump-up song will eventually fade in the pursuit of a true goal, in the pursuit of excellence. At mile 80 of your first 100 mile race, three years in a struggling business, or one year into a challenging career, motivation will not carry your forward. This is why so many people fail to meet goals and participate in the cancerous retreat from discomfort. Culture is addicted to motivation. The word is thrown around and abused. Motivation sits in the back of the room and waits to be invited in. Exhilarating music, an excellent quote, a motivational speech straight out of Braveheart. Motivation sees his chance. His chance at relevance. Where is he on cold dark mornings? Where is he late at night, when the rains pour down? Where is he when the knee aches, the feet hurt, and the head pounds? Not with you. Not on the Wicked Trail.
Action driven by motivation is an explosion. It flashes and burns bright but lacks a sustainable fuel source. It lasts but a short while. You feel the intensity of the heat and see it stifled with discomfort. Action driven by a firmly rooted “WHY?” is a forest fire. No one sees where it begins, in the early morning hours. It matters not where it begins. It consumes. A forest fire burns bright and wide, completely engulfing its surroundings. Relentless. Let your drive be that of “WHY?” Leave motivation behind. Don’t acknowledge him. Don’t invite him in. Let motivation sit in the corner. Say it out loud: “Motivation Is Not Real.”
Written by: George C.

Written by: George C.

Writer, Wicked Trail Running

When he's not running with his Cattle Dog, Cowboy, in Raleigh, North Carolina, George likes to kick back and keep the content on Wicked Trail Running fresh and engaging. He's got a few Ultras coming up in 2019, so if you need to get in touch with him, the local parks and greenways around Raleigh are a good place to start looking.

He really doesn't like cooking, so if you've got any quick vegan smoothie ideas or recipes, shoot an email to george@wickedtrailrunning.com. He also enjoys talking about running, mental toughness, and the art of mindset alteration.

Follow George on Instagram @georgecarterc!

Book of the Month:

Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds is a dive into the demons that plagued David Goggins -elite ultra endurance athlete and Navy SEAL- through his early life and an exploration of what it took for him to become a master of his own mind against all statistical odds. His tools for mental stimulation and growth are useful for anyone interested in venturing into endurance sports, becoming a better person, and mastering his or her mind. A must read!

Light 2 Light 50 Race Report: First Ultra Marathon Victory

Ultra marathon running isn't about winning, unless it is. Ultra marathon running is subjective; a person's journey through the darkness, down the Wicked Trail, is driven by his or her own passions, fears, and desires. This journey into pain is driven by his or her own...

Ultra Marathon Training: Crush Expectations

Most people running their first, or second, or third ultra marathon carry expectations into the race. They had training expectations; they planned the miles and hours they'd have to train, running and strengthening and stretching their way to ultra endurance. When...

Fasted Running Is Your Best Friend: 3 Reasons To Try It

For thirteen miles, I felt invincible. For the final three, I wasn't sure I'd finish. I felt like I did near the end of my first 100 mile race, although with much less lower body-body pain. It was an ultra marathon replication. I smiled during those long, arduous...

The Best Ultra Marathons: Is Yours On The List?

"What's the best ultra marathon?" Is it the most remote or adventurous like Marathon des Sables, the most challenging like Badwater or the H.U.R.T 100, or is it simply your first 100 miler, the one that breaks you into the world of ultra-endurance? Is it the race that...

Ultra Marathon DNF: Yes, You Failed. Yes, It’s Okay.

I was perusing some online ultramarathon running groups last weekend and came across a post about DNFs in ultrarunning. DNF stands for "Did Not Finish;" the participants name is not published and no belt buckle is awarded. The DNF is dreaded by many as hot-spots and...

UltraMarathon Pain Management: The Pain Cave

What is your perspective on ultramarathon running? Adventurous and exhilarating? Calming and therapeutic? Full of pain and suffering? Pain management has much to do with your perspective on running an ultramarathon. What is your perspective? Why do you run an...

share this post

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