A Motivation is the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way. They, like so many other aspects of our lives, have both a positive and negative side. When acted upon with a reasonable sense of enthusiasm and/or purpose, they can help guide us to incredible achievements. We must remember that a motivation should merely be the catalyst to a particular act or behavior but not the purpose. The end result of any action or behavior should maintain a purpose that is beyond the limits of that the motivation can provide. We must recognize inspiration the motivations provide but not allow them to lead us to obsession and potential personal destruction.
For example- we may offer our children a treat if they behave well at school. However if we notice they are becoming more focused on getting the treat than they are about how they act, the motivation has lost its true value/lesson about proper behavior.
Each of us approach our Martial Arts training with a variety of different motivations. They stretch the gamut of: wanting to please someone to wanting to defend from someone. From wanting to get into shape to wanting to be more disciplined. From finding a fun activity with family and friends to an exciting release of stress.
The potential detriment to training is becoming aware that all of these initial motivations and goals can be achieved in a relatively short time. Ideally the true value of the Martial Arts is that as we are experiencing the fulfillment of the initial motivation we are introduced to deeper more challenging aspects and we become aware of new and/or stronger more permanent motivations.
Again, I can only really draw from my own experience and what I have been able to understand from my long term students. Yes, we all started with similar motivations that were originally stated but in time things changed. Admittedly, my continual motivations have changed throughout the years from belts to teaching, from competing to coaching, from performing to promoting but ultimately, for virtually every one of us, it came down to helping and working with others. Seeing people we work with grow, improve and find success in their lives at whatever the endeavor was. The true gratifying moment or realization came when past members have contacted us and credited any success back to the lessons that were leaned and experienced during their training.
This awareness and experience is what guided us to define as our 3 Levels of Motivations; Confidence, Commitment and Compassion. I believe regardless of the initial motivation that anyone may select for starting and/or continuing to train, you can always find the essence of one of these 3 Levels to be the heart of all motivations. (Note: over the next few days we will look at each Motivation: Confidence, Commitment and Compassion individually and again collectively showing how each is an important driving force as we grow in our training.)
Motivations again, are extremely important as a catalyst to any action. However in the end, it is the value of the action and/or behavior that should be our ultimate purpose. We should learn to grow beyond the surface “rewards” and dig deeper to embrace the overall growth and improvement we will gain.