Why "motivation" is not what you need

We hear about motivation and getting motivated all the time - in business, at work, school, sports… But in reality “motivation” is not what you should focus on or be after as the primary way to do what you want to do, or to accomplish what you want to accomplish.

Ever felt super motivated after hearting a “motivational speech”? Those graduation speeches from famous actors, business people, and public figures that circulate on the web come to mind… How about those motivational seminars or presentations by some super inspirational “life coach” who comes to your office and spreads all the energy and “feels” that make you want to RUN out of the conference room and start transforming your life immediately? How about the motivation you felt after reading an awesome, inspiring book?

Have you actually acted upon those “motivations” and made a meaningful change in your life as a result?

I suspect the answer is “no”. Or maybe yes, partially, for a little bit. Why do you think that is?

Another question, from a different angle. Have you heard people say “I just am not motivated” or “I can’t find the motivation” as a reason for not doing something?

What you need is ACTION

Well, as it turns out, what you really need is… action. That’s right. You need to start doing something. Once you actually do something, you will naturally get the internal motivation that will keep moving you forward, that will push you to your next action, then the next, so that you are moving towards your goals.

You don’t need to have a full plan. You don’t even need to know exactly what your outcome should be. Have you ever heard the saying that you have to be willing to lose sight of the shore to discover new continents? Many times the path you follow will form as you start walking.

And the action you take can be very small. In fact, it should be small, because then it will be attainable and executable. And then you go on to the next one.

Ok, that’s great, but how do I take action?

Just do it. Try not to over think it. Start doing something, anything!! Here is an example, if you want to complete a workout but are not feeling “motivated”… change into your cycling gear and fill out your bottle! Try it!


Truer words have never been spoken.

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hah…that was me this morning… “do i do the workout first thing, or do i do it in an hour, or do i do it after work, or do i just do it tomorrow instead?”. I stopped thinking about it, got my stuff ready and hopped on after my husband finishes his workout.


I am reading this book (well, listening to it - it’s the only way I can find time to “read”- while walking the dog, driving, doing chores around the house) and am finding it transformative and very practical. So I thought I’d share it here in case anyone is looking for their next read. I promise it is worth your time, and it applies to what we do in cycling as well. In fact, it starts by using the example of how British cycling became successful.

I will send this book in audio for free to one person- so the first member to reply and say they are interested gets a free copy!!


Ooh! @Coach_Theia that definitely looks interesting! If I’m the first I’d love a copy :crossed_fingers:

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Yes! You got it @Tracyligemagreen!! You should receive an email soon.

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Great advice! I get too wrapped up in WHAT I should do to train- Zwift workout? Intervals? Climb? Ride outside? I’ve found that if I just get started and pick something, that is better than decision paralysis and doing nothing.

I just added that book to my library hold list. I’m in the car 1-3 hours a day for work and I listen to tons of audiobooks.

So true @stacypro!

In motion is making progress, and we cannot all progress at the same speed. Motivation does come and go, but you just need to keep going. As someone getting back into everything after many years of not, I was discouraged and embarrassed at how far behind others I was specially in cycling. I read a quote in a magazine from someone cycling famous, I forget who, but it said “Some do the ride, even though they can’t do the ride, and eventually - they can do the ride. Others never do the ride, and can never do the ride”. So it then seemed ok to go do my first gravel grinder in who cared what outfit, 60 miles at … 9.4mph. My first club ride at 49 years old in basketball shorts. I realized I did not have to sit home and wait to be perfect, and that was the beginning of having a lot of fun again. And I’ve upgraded my outfits, as well as my speed, since then! I put a version of that quote on my photo of my bike (which I did ride) at the top of Mount Mitchell on my coffee mug too.


I love this @MOfahGO22! So true. I am guilty of spending too much time planning and evaluating instead of actually doing.

I love this @MOfahGO22! And what a fantastic quote.

@MOfahGO22 - what a great quote!