Motivate Yourself to Success

People running in a race

I started training for the Chattanooga Ironman this month. It’s energizing to sign up for the race, buy new gear, and get all your training devices sync’d up. It’s also cool to say “I’m training for an Ironman.”

What’s not energizing? The work.

Like this morning. I woke up at 5:00, hit the pool, and then followed that up with a run…and then transitioned to a full-day of work.

When my head was in the pool, I thought about motivation – specifically, my lack of it. I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to be sipping tea in bed, leisurely responding to emails, and catching up on The AtlanticBut I wasn’t. I was just beginning my brick workout.

When I wrapped up two hours later, something significant happened: my lack of motivation was replaced with pride. I’d overcome resistance – I’d won the battle.

This reminded me of my two favorite Marine Corps* sayings… 

  • Pain is temporary. Pride is forever.
  • Pain is weakness leaving the body.

Then, I reflected on the topic of motivation. I can tell you that there hasn’t ever been anything in life that I’ve wanted to do that didn’t require some form of pain or discomfort.

  • Being an entrepreneur? Soul crushing moments.
  • Writing a book? Absolutely maddening.
  • Creating an eCourse? Infuriating at times.

But then, when it’s done? What’s the feeling? Exhilaration.

The achievements we’re seeking aren’t easy to attain. There are no shortcuts to the success we want. We have to do the work, embrace the suck, and control what we can control. And when we don’t feel like we have the motivation? Push through – that’s where the growth comes from. Do it sad, do it angry, do it discouraged…just do it. And when you do? Be amazed by how strong and determined you can be.

Angie's signature

*I had a fellow Marine guest on my podcast a while ago – Brad Graft, who owns Pirates Cove Adventure Park. I asked him his secret to success and he mentioned that he’s able to be miserable for a really long time, a lesson he learned courtesy of the Marine Corps. Such a great episode. Such a great lesson learned!