Action Before Motivation

It’s a common belief that motivation precedes action, and that we must source that motivation from a feeling of inspiration. The problem with this paradigm is that motivation and inspiration are feelings, which are volatile, fleeting and subject to change, and therefore not an ideal foundation for moving forward. Action, on the other hand, is definite and clear, and can therefore act as the driving force that fuels inspiration and motivation, leading to further action, where the circle starts again.

I often don’t feel like training, but have been doing it long enough to know that simply by showing up and getting started, at some point, usually early in the session, a feeling of inspiration will arise – I can do it because I am doing it – and I’ll then find myself motivated to continue, to try even harder and to come back for more. I have found that the same holds true for hillwalking in the rain, cleaning the house at the end of a long day, and even tackling administrative work. Although I may not always feel like doing it, taking the action of simply starting, however small the step, soon leads to the very feelings I thought were required to get going in the first place. Then I feel like doing more. True in training, true in life.

The circle of doing turns best when action comes first.

Let’s get started.