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Warrior Mindset 2 – Motivation and Work Ethic

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In our first segment of this Warrior Mind Set series I covered Goal Setting. This is very important for Combat Sports Athletes, Soldiers or anyone who wants to overcome any sort of challenge in their life. However, determining your goals and accomplishing them goals are two different things that require developing the proper Motivation and bringing those goals to fruition with a strong Work Ethic.

Motivation can be defined as the “Raison d'être” or the “reason of existence”. Motivation is not just the goal or end state, but the reason behind the action and the “Why” for the “Act”. What motivates one person doesn’t necessarily drive another. When embarking upon the journey of competition in a sport or the challenge of shedding a few pounds; if one is to be successful in achieving their goals they have to have a driving force behind them which compels them to achieve their maximum potential for the endeavor at hand. Motivation is fuel for the fire that drives one to excel.

Oscar De La Hoya once was quoted on his biggest motivation:

"When my mother took me to amateur fights she’d scream: ‘Kick his butt’ at me from ringside. To be honest, I was a little embarrassed because, as a kid, you don’t want your mother shouting out at people, but she was, and remains, my biggest motivation.”

Michael Phelps the greatest US Olympic swimmer in history was quoted on what motivates him:

“I wanted to do something nobody ever did. This goes hand in hand with my goal of changing swimming.”

To take the idea of motivation a step further one should recognize the depth and degree of the motivation at hand. The old adage “How bad do you want it?” comes first to mind.

Whenever this writer trains for a competition, there are so many things that I do to focus my motivation; and reinforce my drive. I have been known to post pictures of my opponent at key places throughout the house; behind the speed bag, in my office, on each wall of my training area etc. etc. In the days leading to the competition, I watch inspirational films like Rocky, Rocky IV, Gladiator, Brave Heart, Blackhawk Down, Cinderella Man and more. These films help recreate the passion for victory. I also have motivational play lists for training and relaxation. For training much of the music is fast paced and conveys the message of overcoming or triumph, victory and redemption. For relaxation I listen to inspirational poetry, quotes, powerful symphony and positive messages. All of these help me to conceptualize, visualize and become success.

Established goals, motivation and drive are useless without Work Ethic. Work ethic can be defined as follows:

“A set of values based on the moral virtues of hard work and diligence.”

Typically one who has a good work ethic could be described in the following ways:

“He is the first one to show up to practice and the last to leave.”

“In her free time she would spend hours working on the fundamentals in order to improve her practice sessions.”

“He trains twice as hard as he believes his opponents are training.”

“While other teens were out partying and having fun on the weekends, he stayed at home and trained and worked out in the gym. When his peers were eating junk and drinking he stayed true to his strict diet.”

Work Ethic isn’t always about working harder though. Often times it goes hand in hand with working smarter as well. Work ethic in athletes is often tied to efficacy and particularly self efficacy. Its about getting the most “bang for your buck” per say. Top athletes and driven individuals get the most out of every single moment in order to efficiently achieve their goals. Work Ethic is all about giving it all; 100 percent and then some, whatever the task may be.

As an athlete part of my work ethic includes not only going the extra mile to train longer and harder than I believe my opponents are training; I also try to think outside the box and approach training in a manner that no one else is doing. For this reason I am always trying to thing ergonomically and synergistically based on cutting edge science and training methodology. I spend hours and days working on and scrutinizing even the most fundamental movements and techniques. I rehearse, I set up training environments that mimic the venue. The list goes on and on.

In summary, I have continued this installment of the “Warrior Mind Set” by bringing the subjects of motivation and Work Ethic to the discussion. Again, these are all just parts to the whole. In the next installment we will discuss Intestinal Fortitude and Tenacity in achieving goals. Till next time.

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