Visualize, Focus and Execute

Well-known motivational speaker Anthony Robbins states that people do things for two reasons, inspiration, and desperation. It is his belief that people are driven because they are either inspired or they get to the point of no return and not doing something is more painful than doing it.

I've never seen a kid in karate class enjoy push-ups because they were forced to do it. As well I’ve never witnessed a student enjoy throwing 100 kicks because they had to. What I can tell you is I have seen students give 110% when they looked at the bigger picture beyond their current circumstances. Seeing the bigger picture can lead to a greater purpose and will motivate students to dig down and give their all.

I remember the countless black belt tests where students looked stronger at the end of a 2–3-hour grading than they did in the beginning. How this became possible ceases to amaze me, but I know it had more to do with the student’s mental toughness versus their physical condition. Something in their head was telling them to keep going when everything in their body was probably telling them to quit. Having that tough mental discipline to persevere when one’s situation looks bleak is a skill that not too many people can master. It's not easy motivating a 5-year-old to want to do a push-up but when they see the result and the reason why they were doing things the bigger picture drives them to do their best.

So next time you are feeling a little unmotivated and need a little push use that visualization skill and see yourself at the top of the mountain before you already are. Having a little inspiration in your pocket can go a long way and it's far better than the alternative of being desperate. People that rush their work or do things last minute because they didn't manage time correctly will be lucky to perform at their best. Even if they do succeed in finishing the project it's not going to be their best quality work because they did it when they had to and not because they wanted to. Being inspired is a choice and it is a choice worth pursuing.

So next time you hear your instructor say, “Come on, 10 more, I know you can do it!”, take the message to heart and use it to fuel your inspiration tank!

Sensei Chris