…you’re giving blood or getting a divorce.”
That cracks me up every time.
It’s a line from one of the Pitch Perfect movies.
I don’t know if you’ve seen any of them, but they are good for a laugh.
And there’s some real clever stuff in there too.
Playing with motivation
One reason I enjoy the movies is they take the piss, as we say in England.
And you see it in this quote.
It’s coming at a hardcore topic of motivation and being your best in a fun way.
How often do we say arrgghh, you’ve gotta give it your best shot.
Or you’ve gotta really go for it.
Or leave it all on the field…
While having a laugh about it.
A problem with motivating teams
Is that many leaders have watched too much sports!
They think that type of coaching works on others, because most often they apply the same “painful” strategies to motivate themselves.
It’s not their fault.
Throughout our lives we generally learn bad methods of motivation.
Quite simply, most motivation uses pain.
If you don’t clean your room, you’re not playing with your friends.
If you don’t eat your veggies, you’re not leaving the table.
If you don’t study hard enough you’ll fail.
If you don’t work your ass off and get it done, you’ll fail to get paid or promoted. (or fired)
The unfortunate reason for this is…
Painful motivation works
Perhaps the human animal is inherently lazy?
Heck, why shouldn’t you be?
Look at nature and you see basically every animal is lazy, perhaps biologically efficient is the right phrase.
Tons of sleep, merely doing what they need to keep surviving day to day.
But us humans, well, we have this thing in our heads that projects the future.
You judge the past. Judge yourself.
Tell yourself you’re not good enough.
Or you can do better.
That you want more more more.
And then you have to get yourself to do it
This is where we so often start with the pain.
Arrggghhh, gotta get it done.
Just… gotta… push… harder… hold on longer…
Persist. Persist. Success is 99% perspiration.
All that stuff can really get you cracking the whip on yourself.
Or cracking it on others.
It can most certainly get you motivated to do things…
But how long does it last?
And how good does it feel?
Ultimately, how successful is it?
See, and this is where you get those other dreaded P words—purpose and passion.
You’ve just gotta tap into your why, and all that stuff.
The theory being that if only you could get deep into why it matters to you, then you’ll have all the motivation you need.
It’s true, but false.
As you have likely experienced that motivation works fine until you hit a stronger opposing why. (e.g. a bigger pain like fear or failure)
The best motivation is simple
Coz you want to do it.
See, as long as you are pulled towards or pushed away from a result…
Well, your motivation is limited.
As soon as that carrot has gone away, or after you or they have eaten enough carrots, now the motivation also goes away.
This type of “towards” motivation might be more or less powerful than the other “away from” motivation…
But the absolute best motivation is because…
Look, and I don’t totally enjoy invoking the sexual here…
But, it’s perhaps the most pure form of motivation in the human animal.
You do it coz it’s your nature.
It feels good. It’s fun.
You might be targeting the “out-come,” but if you’re doing it right, you’re doing it to enjoy the experience. (i.e. process over outcomes)
Sure, you might do it with the aim of making a baby, which is when it tends to become less fun.
Or you might do it because you feel you have to do it for your partner…
But the best times are just because you want to.
And the same is true with all of your goals.
Playing with motivation
See, the point I’m making here is that the best way to get yourself and others fired up about your goals is because you enjoy doing it.
Not coz you have to. Or you so desperately need the result, but because you actually enjoy doing your goals.
That’s enjoying the journey as the destination.
And it’s also the Pitch Perfect quote.
In the movie it is quoted from one of girl’s father who is a military general.
Of course he’s in a system of arrrrrghhhh, storm the hill, ooh-rah, and all that stuff.
Yet the quote gets you to think about giving your best in a fun way.
Not coz you have to, like passing an exam.
Or the world will fall apart if you don’t win the war.
But because you simply love showing up your best and playing your best game.
btw, this comes back to topics of state and the Four Step Protocol for getting yourself game ready like a pro athlete, which I wrote about here and need to write more on, because it’s baked into most of the Masterclasses.