WHY YOU STRUGGLE TO STAY MOTIVATED?
“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” – Napoleon Hill
Many times, during my career I used the fact I wanted to prove people wrong as a strong desire to get up and do something. The fact that many people told me I couldn’t do something enabled me to find the resources to do that very thing. This type of motivation is an ‘away from’ type of motivation. It was to be away from criticism, away from other people doubting me, away from the pain of not achieving what I set out to do, away from being poor, away from hanging on the streets and getting involved in illegal activities.
The second type of motivation is a ‘towards’ motivation. It is towards pleasure, towards a positive life, towards a specific outcome. The difference between both lies in our human instincts. The ‘away from’ motivation is in line with our instincts to move away from things that will cause us pain. During the formative years of human existence, out in the wild this would’ve been literally motivated to stay alive or not get hurt by the perils that nature provided. As we have moved on, we moved into new era where we mostly have dominion over nature and the dangers that can occur. Now our ‘away from’ motivation stems for the choices we want in life – away from the hurt of bad relationships, away from the pain of poverty, away from potential personal disasters.
Pain is a strong motivator and therefore you tend to have more reserves to push forward in the things you need to do to stop the pain. There is this highly intense focus on moving away from that pain. Once you have done just that the natural instinct is to relax and therefore take no further action. You are away from that pain and now you feel there is a period to take your foot off the gas.
You see it with so many great players throughout history. They came from impoverished backgrounds to right to the top of the soccer world, maybe even won a Ballon D’or or multiple trophies throughout their careers. However, they only have a few years at the top instead of multiple years unlike Messi and Ronaldo. Other instances where players are super talented and they make the grade but the wealth they accumulated has caused them to lose that focus and that motivation to make the very best of their abilities and therefore they have very short careers and instead of going down in the history books as one of the best players ever, we never hear of them. Their success was predicated by an away from motivation and as soon as they were as far away from the pain as possible there was a period of inaction, relaxation and therefore lack of increased success.
Away from motivation is powerful in helping you create the change that you need but it is not enough to stay motivated long term. Toward motivation is also offers strong energy and is a huge motivator but not as strong as the initial boost you get to move away from pain type of motivation.
Every day we have finite amount of willpower. We are not designed to do things that are scary or difficult or uncomfortable or new. Unless there is that pain or pleasure to motivate you – you are only motivated to do the things that are easy or easily achievable. We love to stay in our comfort zones and then hesitate to take action when we get great ideas. We focus on the negatives on why it can’t happen and slowly chip away at that motivation to begin with. Then eventually the idea gets buried along with your dreams. The fear of failing and sometimes even of success, keeps us rooted to the same old what we know and what we are comfortable with.
Unfortunately, success is usually on the other side of what is unknown, uncertain, uncomfortable and new.
A burst of motivation is like a sugar rush, but it is impossible to maintain. When it wears off just like sugar you actually feel worse.
The only way to keep this motivation going is to enjoy your success. And this success does not mean the end goal, it means enjoy the little victories along the way. Your short-term goals leading towards your destination. Positive dopamine will give you the push to keep doing more.
SET IT & FORGET IT & TRUST THE SYSTEM
Set your end goal and then forget it.
Focus on the system/process on how to get there. The reason to forget the end goal is so that you do not want to compare where you are now to the end goal. You will always feel that you are not good enough and you will lose motivation to keep doing the right things. The system to get there is what you need to focus on and remember to keep celebrating those small victories.
When you consistently do the right things, then success is inevitable. Learn to trust the system if you have a process in the first place.
I’m giving you 15 years of knowledge & experience of the exercises; the training and the inside information of what mindset works in taking your game to the next level. I played over 350 professional games in one of the hardest places and most competitive countries in the world and I did it against the odds. The process will make you a better player, a better teammate and a better individual in everything you wish to undertake. What you learn will be transferable and you can use the techniques and the mindset to achieve anything you want in life. The reason is that having a system, creating a process, sticking to the right habits will create your identity and become the foundation to who you are as a person in everything that you do.
When you have a process, you do not need to rely on willpower or determination to start getting what you want from life and to follow through. It starts to become automatic, all you need to do is to keep persevering even if your scared or uncertain or outside your comfort zone.
I had many instances in the beginning of my career where that was exactly the case. I wasn’t getting paid and I was playing professional soccer. I didn’t know if I was good enough or what was expected of me. I was even converted into a position that I never played in my life. I was all those things - scared, uncertain and out of my comfort zone. All of a sudden, I was being judge not just by my coach or manager but by thousands of people. I was in newspapers and on forums and every word that was said wasn’t praising me.
But there was a process, a system that allowed me to get better and it incorporated training physically, mindset training, emotional training and grit. That mental toughness was my foundation for my long-term success.
You have to be willing to adapt and allow yourself to learn multiple positions. I was thrown in at the deep end in my career having my whole youth playing as a defender and mainly a center midfielder – in fact the position I played when I was scouted was as a midfielder, to then making my debut in league soccer as a striker – and yes that first game I was crap and was taken off before half-time as I wasn’t adjusted to the pace of the professional game. I went from training one day a week and playing on a Saturday to training every day and playing weekends it took me a few months to adjust.
I didn’t know what was needed as a professional athlete and this is why when you work with me, prior to even getting that trial or that opportunity in college or pro teams you will know how fit and ready you will need to be to be successful.
Remember that what I will teach you will be beyond just being a good soccer player; it will equip you well for life. A career in soccer is short so you have to make sure that you have the right plans overall to make a success of your life beyond soccer. If you retire around the average of 35 years old. No matter how many millions you make from the game. You have many more years left on this earth beyond that. Be a serial achiever and not just within soccer. Follow your passions.
Many players leave it too late and wait towards the end of their careers before thinking about what they can or will do afterwards. You don’t have to do that.
6 years into my career I did my Master’s in Finance whilst at the highest paid point in my career. Look towards what you find interesting and plan for the inevitable which will be life after soccer. Remember it won’t be about willpower and determination – just a mental toughness and grit to stick with your processes that will achieve the success that you are looking for.
And also remember, keep celebrating those small victories!