I’m not one to chalk up misfortune to a greater agenda. There very well may be a “reason” for everything, but growing up has taught me well enough that the reason is most likely a result of my own decisions.
That being said, coincidence is a funny thing. Sometimes such a satire that you can’t help but marvel at the peculiar timing of things.
The past week has seen me take a full week away from training, I was spent, and needed a mental and physical break. This break, the first of such magnitude in nearly two years, was a product of my own poor decision making.
Oddly enough it would be the same week that I attended a seminar focused largely on recovery and bodily systems monitoring, as well as the same week CSP staff member Miguel Aragoncillo gave an inservice commenting heavily on a similar subject.
Put in a place such as this, one can’t help but reflect.
The sum of all my thinking brought me to a very real conclusion: recovery is the difference maker.
You may read that sentence and say: “well no kidding, Greg.” I realize it’s not a revolutionary thought. However, what you may fail to realize is the light in which you place it’s importance under. You may fail to champion the athlete who follows all recovery measures in the same way you champion the athlete who works harder and harder.
Moreover, you surely celebrate your physical efforts more so than your efforts to maximize rest and relaxation. There are no shortages of PR’s slewed across various social media outlets.
What am I getting at…
We focus on athletes who don’t work hard enough. “Kids these days are soft, people are lazy.” Quote after quote, motivational meme after meme, all with the same message: work harder. Interestingly enough, we are chasing a result that we largely have no control over. We are desperately trying to motivate people to reach for something they have no invested interest in achieving, and possibly don’t have the capability of fulfilling.
Motivation is a tricky topic. We know that various forms of motivation exist. Each ignites a different type of behavior. While external motivation such as our continuous internet banter can be productive, it is often easily forgotten with the next click of the mouse button. When there is no monetary reward, pat on the back, or approval, do the people who feed off these messages still show up?
Who makes this commentary on the laziness of our society? Who posts these quotes, and images? I have, maybe so have you, but we are quite intrinsically motivated. The joy of reaching our physical potential is enough to keep us coming back.
So who are these comments and messages aimed at? They do very little, if anything, for the crowd who is not internally driven. In reality, they are aimed right back at the people who post them up. People like myself who WANT it, but often find themselves coming up short. We like working hard, we choose to do it. We hold ourselves accountable to reaching the highest level of what we are capable of. When it doesn’t pan out, we need to remind ourselves to work harder.
In his book “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” Daniel H. Pink writes:
One source of frustration is the frequent mismatch between what people must do and what
people can do. When what they must do exceeds their capabilities, the result is anxiety. When what they must do falls short of their capabilities,
the result is boredom. But when the
match is just right, the results can be glorious. This is the essence of flow.
There are a few ways to interpret Pink’s message:
1. What you must do is in excess of what you are capable of.
- You need to outline better measures to help you recover, you are motivated and plenty capable of working harder already.
2. What you are capable of is in excess of what you must do.
- You need to set higher standards for yourself, redefine what “must” be done. This can only be achieved through finding a better “why” or internal drive.
- Conversely, what you are capable of is much more, but what you “must” do is also prioritize recovery
Sounds like a decent way to describe this conundrum, right? The people you mark as lazy, don’t feel like they must do what you know they are capable of. Your motivation will not sway them.
Your target, which is likely also yourself, is the person whose motivation outreaches their capabilities. If you want to help that person progress, boost what they are capable of. What they must do is continually make progress, continually work harder. This is only possible if they are capable of recovering.
I just wanted to share some of my thoughts, and I will be putting together some future posts on recovery measures to help you apply this message.