The Golf Performance Center Ridgefield, CT

Inspiration vs. Motivation

We all love to be motivated by something. We read a story of success, we watch cool videos of someone succeeding, we listen to music that motivates us to do something, we hear our parents tell us how great we are for winning. This can be an incredible catalyst in accomplishing goals, however, performance researchers have found that this type of motivation is fleeting. It may help an inspired athlete get through some tough workouts or practices, but it is rarely fuel that guides them to the top.

Wait, don’t you need to be motivated to succeed you ask?  Those who are inspired have a much greater chance to succeed overall than someone with external motivation.

We all have witnessed the young athlete who has had major success playing at US Kids golf events or at local events. Parents are excited about the success of their daughter winning against the other girl in her 9-year-old age division. Suddenly she is going to be the next Annika in her parents’ minds. She likes playing golf only when her parents give her praise for playing well. On the other hand, she felt immense pressure when her parents were more critical of her “failures.”. Her motivation to play and practice golf begins to waver, and her game doesn’t improve as much as it was before. By the age of 13, she quits golf. Her motivation wasn’t enough to sustain the tough road of competitive golf and unfortunately this was the story for most everything in her life. If she did well in school, her parents praised her. If she didn’t have the grades her parents expected, she felt the effects of her parents being critical of her. Her motivation and early unintended success along with parental praise are not bad things. However, if she is only playing the game for those reasons when she is challenged by the extraordinary challenges of golf and competition it is unlikely her motivation will save the day.

Now on the other hand, let’s talk about a young girl who goes through the “sampling” phase of challenging themselves with different activities, finding their sport or activity and immersing themselves in learning all about it. They study films of the greats, they emulate their actions, they become inspired by the road to glory, not the glory itself.  The parental praise or feedback is not skewed towards the results or the reward of winning, rather it is placed on the efforts. Her passion to learn, practice, compete, lose, and be challenged with little success continues. This is because she is not looking for immediate praise from her parents or coach. Now, there are certainly times when external motivation such as a parent’s praise,”, a song, a video, or speech are helpful along this long haul to greatness. But the type of motivation to achieve greatness doesn’t exist outside of your own mind.  You will need to be inspired, build your own passions, your own vision quest, you will need to embrace the challenges, use the short-term failures or learning moments to fuel your next steps.  Being inspired assures you that no one needs to tell you to do the work, to get things done, to do one more rep or play a practice round for a tournament.  You DO IT!  You know the effort counts; it adds up over time. 

You build inspiration from your inner vision of who you believe you can become. No one needs to motivate you to go do the work needed to reach your goal or desired place. Motivation can be fleeting, but inspiration uses motivation, encouragement or discouragement as fuel during times of uncertainty or times when the bumps in the road may seem tough to get over. You need discipline to do what it takes!

Be inspired, put your vision quest in front of you, keep it there no matter how hard it may seem to get there, no matter how tough it gets, use your short term successes as motivation or fuel to keep your vision alive!   Sometimes successes are not what you may think they are. By taking steps towards your quest to be your best, that may be your only success that day.  On other days, your success can be a breakthrough in practice, a round of golf, a tournament, a great workout when you didn’t feel like it, whatever it is, grow from it, use that fuel to keep striving to your greatness! 

Be inspired, take thirty minutes a day to spend working on your vision quest, your greatness path.  What do you want?  Why do you want it? How will you achieve it?  Fear not reaching for it, embrace the challenges, allow motivation or fuel to get you going when it gets tough, believe anything is possible, it just takes disciplined effort to achieve!  Understanding that you can also fail in things that you don’t want to be doing, you have a choice! Wake up! Go for it!  See yourself achieve your greatness! 

Be inspired, purpose-passion-effort-discipline, Go All In!

Enjoy your Journey!