Thursday, October 1, 2009

How Motivation Translates To Ability

My husband and I were talking about trust last night, and what it would take to re-establish it once it was lost. The question I was left thinking about was, "How do you assure someone that the things that happened in the past that destroyed trust would not continue to happen or ever happen again?".

As so many great things do, the answer came to me while running. For some reason, I seem to beleive that the desire for something somehow translates to ability. But can this be right? Don't you also need a plan of action that requires one to be disciplined, focused, goal oriented, etc.? In fact, is desire even a good predictor of success? This is a great question. And after thinking it over, I believe it is.

Desire is just another word for motivation, and of all the predictors of success, motivation has to be the best. In fact, motivation is a better predictor of success than all other predictors combined. If a person isn’t motivated, success is highly unlikely. In fact, the other predictors won’t even exist without motivation. Motivation goes well beyond giving lip service to goals. A truly motivated person is on a mission. If you are motivated then all of the other predictors of succcess will fall into place eventually.

Motivation is the key, but it seems like you also have to have the right kind of motivation. It seems to me that you have to be motivated to get something rather than to get rid of something. In other words, the power of not wanting a thing is less than the power of wanting a thing. So, by wanting something very badly, it seems the right motivation comes into play. I know this is true for me- the more I want something, the more I will sacrifice to get it.

Motivation determines what you do, while ability is what you're capable of doing. So what if you're highly motivated but don't have the ability to do something? Well, you will certainly have some degree of ability which can be built on to achieve higher and higher levels of ability. But without motivation, without the "reason to act" you will never engage that internal drive that enables you to exercise your abilities. In summary, to the degree you can find a way to stay motivated, you will see yourself carrying out your actions to the best of your abilities and succeeding accordingly.

P.S. The above post may seem like it has nothing to do with running. But the truth is, whatever you do or learn in life that makes you a better person also makes you a better runner.

ORN [Obligatory Running Note]: Tempo run this morning (2 mile warm up, 4.5 miles @ 10K pace, 2 mile cool down). Ran 4 seconds under 10K target pace (7:49) and felt like this was a breakthrough workout for me on several fronts. As a side note, I notice I don't get the "burning lungs and legs" feeling during tempo runs anymore. Instead, it's been replaced with the sudden onset of deep, deep fatigue. It feels as if the hand of God is reaching down from above, into my brain, and is literally shutting me down. All that keeps me going is the ability to bargain convincingly enough for just a little more time...If my internal voice sounds confident enough in my ability to continue without it killing me, I am rewarded with a little more time/distance before the full shut down. It's a truly awful experience that makes me wonder why I subject myself to such torture. Oh, yeah...4 SECONDS under target 10K pace for 4.5 miles!!! Now I remember.

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