Motivation: You Versus Second Place

Motivation and inspiration are two words that are often interchanged, yet have distinctively different meanings.  The basic difference is that inspiration comes from within and can keep you motivated naturally, while motivation itself revolves around the need to push beyond limits, sometimes using outside sources.  It’s often what is needed in competition in order push for that extra edge from inside of ourselves.  Much to my surprise, I’ve actually heard people who believe that looking for motivation can be a bad thing and that it’s always better to simply wait for that which inspires us from within.  That may be true in certain situations, but in general, I’m calling B.S. on that one.

The whole topic of inspiration versus motivation will be a discussion for another day, but while being able to simply wait for inspiration would be nice in a perfect world, there are most certainly times when motivation is what we need to break through barriers.  Convincing yourself to wait would simply be laziness or quitting, and many times would result in missed opportunities.

I’m generally a very goal-oriented person.  Once I have a goal and set my mind to accomplishing it, I actually begin to border on obsessive.  Okay, “border” might be an understatement.  That obsessive level of desire has it’s pros and cons, but even with all the focus in the world, we can still find our enthusiasm starting to wain after a period of time.  The fact is, we can all lose sight of our end goals, and that can be said for anything from fitness to business to family to finances.  We can all stumble, but it’s a matter of getting back up every single time and finding it within ourselves to continue to push, and push harder than before.  

If I find my own internal motivation starting to slip, I’ll usually catch on and be able to maintain that internal fire without an outside source.  Other times, however, outside influence can help reignite that spark, especially when we don’t even realize that our momentum is slowing down.  Thanks to the internet, there are loads of motivational sources anyone can find within a few seconds.  Every now and then, though, you’ll find something that really sticks for you…

Below is a gem of a video I found about a year ago.  Occasionally I’ll randomly decide to click it in my bookmarks and it almost always reminds me of something I’m striving for, or at least wakes me up before heading to the gym.  Yes, it’s obviously an actor (John Doman from The Wire, Oz and ER) and it’s actually a commercial for the old Versus TV network (now NBC Sports), but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s an incredibly good motivational speech.  Listening to Metallica’s One as the musical background certainly doesn’t hurt, even if it is the classical version by Apocalyptica, which is a shockingly good.  It’s almost like the end of that song, in either version, has some sort of hardwiring to the get-up-and-do-something part of your brain.

The text of the speech is posted below the video, but the delivery in the video combined with the music and decent imagery (aside from a few odd choices) add to the effect.  Bookmark this to read the text or watch the video whenever you feel like you need a kick in the a**.

“Whether or not you win this thing, you’ve got to decide how you’re gonna walk out of here when it’s all said and done, because the game is going to go on… and there’s only one rule you’re going to need to know about:
“There are no second chances.”
There is only this moment and the next moment.  Every one of those moments is a test that you get to take one time, and only one time.
So, if you see an opening, tear into it!
If you get a shot at victory, make damn sure you take it.
Seize that moment!
That moment is a crossroads where everything you want will collide with everything standing in your way.
You’ve got momentum at your back.  Fear and doubt are thundering like a freight train straight at you, and all you’ve got—the only difference between making history and being history… the only thing… the only thing you can count on at any given moment—is you!
It’s you versus “them.”
You versus “no.”
You versus “can’t.”
You versus “next year… last year… statistics… excuses.”
It’s you versus “history.”
You versus “the odds.”It’s you versus “second place.”
The clock is ticking.  Let see what you’ve got.”