Motivation and inspiration are two words that are often interchanged, yet have distinctively different meanings. The basic difference is that inspiration comes from within and can keep you motivated, while motivation itself is the need to push beyond limits, often requiring some outside resources.
Motivation is often what’s needed during competition in order push yourself for that extra edge. There are many people who believe that needing to search for motivation can be a bad thing, and that you should simply wait for that which inspires you. I tend to disagree with that.
While it would be great to simply wait around for inspiration, there are most certainly times when deep motivation is what we need to break through barriers. I believe that waiting around for something to inspire you would be nothing more than laziness can result in missed opportunities.
Thanks in large part to my early years in bodybuilding, I’m a very goal-oriented person. Once I have a goal and set my mind to accomplishing it, I actually begin to border on obsessive. Okay, “border” might be an understatement. That obsessive level of desire has it’s pros and cons, but even with all the focus in the world, I can still find my own enthusiasm starting to wain at times.
The fact is, we can all lose sight of our end goals, and that can be said for anything from fitness to business, or from family to finances. We can all stumble, but it’s a matter of getting back up every single time and finding it within ourselves to continue to push.
Luckily I’m in tune with myself enough that I usually catch on when I start to slip and can usually maintain that internal fire without an outside source. Other times, however, outside influence can help reignite that spark, especially when we don’t even realize that our momentum is slowing down.
Thanks to the internet, there are loads of motivational sources anyone can find within a few seconds. Every now and then, though, you’ll find something that really sticks for you…
Below is a link to a video I found about a year or two ago. I’ll occasionally find it in my bookmarks and it almost always lights a fire under a dormant goal, or at least wakes me up before heading to the gym. Yes, it’s just an actor (John Doman from The Wire , Oz and ER) and it’s actually a commercial for the old Versus TV network if you remember that (now NBC Sports), but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s an incredibly good motivational speech. Of course, having Metallica’s One as the soundtrack certainly doesn’t hurt, even if it is a classical version.
The delivery in the video combined with the music and decent sporting imagery (aside from a few odd choices) add to the effect. I like to watch this video whenever I feel like I need a little kick in the butt.
About the Author
Jonathan Lawson has been working in the health and fitness industry for over 20 years; weight training for 21 years, competed in numerous bodybuilding competitions, worked for IRON MAN Magazine for 17 years, co-owns X-Rep.com where he has co-published over 15 e-books and writes a daily training blog. He has appeared on the covers of, and been featured in, dozens of international magazines, books and e-books.