Motivation, inspiration, action. Action, inspiration, motivation. This is two ways of looking at how you can keep yourself moving forward as noted in the book I read on my trip to the 2018 CrossFit Games, “The Subtle Art of not Giving A F*ck. The idea is that if you always look outward for motivation that you are not in control (motivation, inspiration, action). Rather, we should look inward and let our own actions guide our path to motivation. This is also known as the do something principle.
Having goals are great but often once they are attained we don’t know where to go next. Instead of just setting goals we should set metrics of things like live a happy life. With action as the first thing we strive for we are in control. Get motivated and inspired by what you accomplish. Not that of others.
Having said that, being around all of the inspiring athletes of the CrossFit Games makes it hard to not use others for inspiration. From teen athlete to master athlete the stories are incredible. There was a guy competing in the men’s competition who 10 years ago was 300 pounds. There was also a female who won the 45-49 masters division who had a 9 pound tumor removed in December of 2017 (3 months before the Open).
There was this little recap video released by CrossFit that kind of brings together the awesomeness of the Games in a way that relates it to life. It resonates not because of the amazing feats accomplished by the athletes but because of the words spoken by the narrator. He says things like “they must know defeat and be humble to its teachings.” Something that is evident in sport and in life.
He also says, “In the test lies the question, how will you be better tomorrow?” Often, we look at a failed test or an inability to reach a goal as the end. It’s just the beginning and a big part of the learning process.
Another good line is, “fear and ego will stop many as they mistake failure for weakness.” This is an important one. Often, we feel like we let ourselves or someone else down because of our failure. If 100% effort was given then failure is actually a strength from which we can use as an experience to build upon.
“Winning doesn’t mean that you’re unbeatable. But rather that you have been beaten and continue to rise.” It’s easy to look at someone as they have reached the pinnacle and not see the work required to get there. I think it is important to understand that everyone has struggles. Life is full of ups and downs. Sometimes we just need to hang on and enjoy the ride.
The last one is maybe the best. “From watching them we can understand what we can be. Better.” And that kind of sums it up. We aren’t trying to be a CrossFit Games athlete. Each day when we come into the gym we aren’t trying to win a gold medal. We are trying to win by our actions and effort.
It’s easy to get caught up and lost when we use others as our primary source of motivation. Let your actions be your inspiration and set good metrics for a better life.