Soiling Oneself and Motivational Circularity

Merry Monday to you, dear reader.

Here is a tidbit from me, a quote from someone else and a question for you.

Let me know what you think, share and share alike, and have the most glorious week.

A Tidbit From Me: Motivational Circularity

I had a sea-swimming club at my previous employer, attended by a dozen people in summer, and precious few in winter.

Year in, year out, it happens: friends and family get into sea swimming, they say they love it so much that they’ll keep it up, but when those first wintry wind whip into the closing months of the year, they opt out of the chill and into cosier confines.

Two gentlemen in that swimming club stuck out the winter with me, every Thursday lunchtime, come rain or shine.

The reason was, they motivated each other.

I would send florid over-the-top emails enthusing our A-Team, but I was only a catalyst.

The motivating factor was neither man wanted to be the first to back out.

It was competitive between them, but still, they were motivated by the other, who in turn motivated them.

An old colleague of mine, a champion rower, told me about a particularly trialling team row he had, during which he soiled himself. That row sounded more trialling for his rowing mates.

I commended him on his ability to persevere and row through it – and sit in it. He said to me, “You’re going through this inner battle in your head, and you know that everyone else is going through that same inner battle too, but they are still going.”

Muhammed Ali was asked how he knew at such a young age that he was going to be champion. He said, “Because my mother always believed in me.”

Ali’s mother was asked how she knew he was going to be champion, and she said, “Because he always seemed so confident.”

There’s something to this kind of circular, regenerative motivation, something deep and spiritual, but also tangible and very real.

Motivation and drive can be created and shared between people through shared struggle and belief in one another, be that in swimming or rowing or boxing.

It’s something I love to use with teenagers when boxing and exercising, encouraging their continued participation with reference to their peers.

Not a toxic, “He is doing it better than you”, or, “Why don’t you do as she does?” Rather, spending time and sharing activities together, creating an economy of motivation, a shared spirit, which then becomes self-sustaining.

I do the same with my friends: catalyse motivational energy through cajoled participation, then with enough humans in the group playing off each other, the motivational economy becomes self-sustaining. 

That shared motivational spirit can get you through anything: swimming in the winter, boxing competitively, even shitting yourself rowing.

A Quote From Someone Else:

“What we really are is a community of mind, knitted together by codes and symbols, intuitions, aspirations, histories, hopes – the invisible world of the human experience is far more real to us than the visible world, which is little more than a kind of stage or screen on which we move.”

Terence McKenna

A Question For You: Share and Flourish

What task, what project, what pursuit are you struggling with that could benefit from some input from another human or two? What toil are you hoarding that could be shared happily with friends or family? 

Hope you enjoyed the tidbit, quote and question from me, every other Monday.

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