The problem with motivation

Yesterday began the European cup football competition in France. And I just want to use the opportunity to address something that may be of benefit to participants and spectators in the football festival.

Sports is seen to be largely physical. Apart from having the skills, you must also have the competitive strength. But most sports are more mental than physical. I remember a boxing match that was publicized so too much and it got a lot of attention. Lots of people were speculating who would win because it was a fight between two champions. Initially, I didn’t pay attention to all the buzz but then I saw something that stuck with me. I happened to be where stuff about the coming boxing match was aired on TV. Then I saw the two fighters do an interview. After I watched the interview of both of them, I could tell emphatically who would win. And I even mentioned it to some people around. Of course, they analyzed themselves back into confusion and I let them be. A few days afterwards, I was told the person who won and it was the person I said would win. And as you would guess, I wasn’t surprised. I would have been surprised if it were the other way round.

My knowledge of the outcome of the fight was not based on anything spiritual, it was what I could gather from their mental frame of mind from the interview I watched. When I saw the mental disposition of the one who later won the fight compared to the other person, I knew the outcome was certain. That tells you that sports to a large extent is more mental than physical. I’ve seen people with tangible physical disadvantages excel greatly at the sport they do. So what is responsible? Motivation? No.

Motivation can be good but it is dangerous. Remember, motivation cannot guarantee success. What happens to motivation when an unfair failure occurs? What happens when the unfair failure occur again and again? If I trained players in any sport, I would never use motivation or even recommend it. The reason is this – motivation is weak in that it is temporary and easily broken. If you’re motivated to a high point and then something happens that breaks your motivation, it’ll be hard to get yourself back to that point or anywhere near it. And before you know it, you have a mental barrier over your life.

The result you want to get by motivation, you can get it (and be better assured of it) by strategic planning. Motivation, when the required result does not follow it, quenches the soul like no other thing. While it is important to be in the right frame of mind for whatever it is you want to do, being motivated doesn’t make you get there to stay. More useful than motivation is confidence. And confidence unlike motivation doesn’t die with discouraging results. So, be confident not motivated.

Cheers to everyone participating in the soccer competition in France. And to the spectators, don’t forget that it’s just a game for entertainment.

Reason to be mentally sound: so that your confidence as a person can increase


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