I once read this interesting quote:
“There is no such thing as “motivation”. There is only love. If you love something enough, you will always find a way to do it.”
Except, life is not a Disney movie. So it doesn’t really work that way.
I mean, you love Karate, right?
You are passionate about training and improving your skills. You enjoy sweating in the dojo. You secretly admire your bruises. I know you do. I do too.
But sometimes, that motivational spark just isn’t there.
Know what I mean?
Sometimes it feels as if training is the least interesting thing to do. You’re tired. You want to chillax. You want to eat. Watch a movie. Hang out with your friends, kids or spouse. Do some work. Go shopping. Read awesome Karate blogs. Play Xbox.
So you decide to skip Karate, just one time.
No problemo, right?
You see, although you don’t know it yet, you’ve just started a habit. A deadly habit, may I add. Because, gradually you may find yourself coming up with more and more bad excuses for skipping training. I’m not saying that this happens to everyone, but when it does happen, this is how it always starts:
- “I have a headache.”
- “I have “stuff” to do.”
- “I’m gonna be late anyway.”
- “My toe hurts.”
As an instructor, I’ve heard ’em all.
And, unless the person in question has an impressive psyche, the inevitable outcome is always the same: Somebody who used to LOVE training Karate…
…one day “suddenly” quits!
Just like tax deadline sneaking up on you (or is that just me?), the habit of gradually skipping more and more training sessions becomes so convenient that the effort of breaking this new habit of chillin’ isn’t worth the perceived incremental rewards of getting back to the good ol’ grimy dojo grind.
And that, my friend, is how you lose your Dojo Mojo™.
This can happen to ANYBODY.
Like they say in the highest echelons of society: This is some serious sh*t.
You see, when it comes to maintaining motivation for training Karate, whether you are a black belt or white belt, girl or boy, old or young, there’s more to the recipe than simply “loving” Karate. Love isn’t enough. It’s cute, but not enough. Not now.
You, my friend, need something more.
A specific formula.
A blueprint, so to speak.
A way to not only stay super motivated in your day-to-day training, but also to make sure you never find yourself in that future position of “I think I’ll skip training just today”, which, as we just said, could easily snowball into far worse things – like quitting Karate altogether.
I’ve got the solution.
Dear Karate Nerd™: Allow me to present my über secret “Dojo Mojo™ Blueprint Formula Recipe” – as seen on Oprah, The View, The Today Show, Obama’s inaugural speech and other top-rated TV shows around the world.
In my humble opinion, this simple guide contains 99% of what you need to know about motivating people – yourself and others.
The Dojo Mojo™ Blueprint Formula Recipe
First of all, to get to the bottom of motivation, you need to understand the basics of it.
Simply put, there are two kinds of motivation:
- Extrinsic Motivation
- Intrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic Motivation is what happens outside of you.
Intrinsic Motivation is what happens inside of you.
For short-term success, especially in the business world, Extrinsic Motivation can work really well. You know; physical rewards, money, accolades, social proof, peer recognition, awards etc.
But Karate is not a business, amigo.
It is a smartial art.
So we want Intrinsic Motivation – to ensure long-term success.
And when it comes to that kind of internal motivation, there are three specific areas you really need to explore to make sure motivation is always at top (please note that these areas are immensely valuable for motivating others too. So if you are a teacher, instructors, sensei, coach, CEO or parent – pay close attention).
Check ’em out:
Autonomy is our desire to be self-directed.
But this doesn’t mean we should always do everything by ourselves. Of course not. We still need to be taught by our sensei, shown proper techniques and pushed to our very limits. That’s a no-brainer.
What Autonomy really means is:
We should never feel forced.
If we feel in control over our own situation we will have far more motivation for starting, continuing and finishing stuff. Why? Because we know that the decision to do so has been made by ourselves.
As the proverb goes, you can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.
And you shouldn’t try to, either.
Or else it will quickly forget the joy of drinking.
So make sure you have Autonomy at all times in your Karate, especially when it comes to goals – whether it’s about competing, grading, getting fit, more confident or just having fun. Make sure you are ultimately responsible for the choices in your own journey.
Or else motivation starts to fade…
Mastery is our perception of progress.
To make sure motivation is optimal, we need to constantly experience Mastery.
That’s why it’s so incredibly important for a sensei to let students know when they have progressed. We need those acknowledgements of progress to pave the way for Mastery – which is symbolized for most people in the coveted black belt.
Of course, the perceived lack of continued Mastery is also what gives life to the so-called Black Belt Syndrome™.
(You know, when you feel so content with your shiny black belt that you suddenly just lose all intrinsic motivation for training, since you can’t seem to find any significant skills to master anymore.)
In other words, you need to constantly experience small Mastery while seeing the possibility of big Mastery on the horizon.
Make sure you always learn or improve something, from anyone.
Or else motivation starts to fade…
Lastly, we have Purpose.
The name pretty much says it all.
If you don’t know the Purpose of what you do, you will never find the meaning of it.
And when things are meaningless, we lose motivation.
Simple as that.
We need Purpose to stay motivated, and that Purpose must make sense. We need to know why we are doing stuff, and where it will take us if we follow through. That’s why knowledge is so critical – it literally fuels our Purpose.
Also, as you already know, this is why a sensei should occasionally “lie” to his/her students. Because, when it comes to motivation, Purpose can sometimes be more important than Truth.
Make sure you know the Purpose of your journey, wherever it leads.
Or else motivation starts to fade…
And that’s it.
If you manage to successfully embrace your Intrinsic Motivation, by keeping Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose in mind at all times – while placing minor value in Extrinsic Motivation (like trophies, grades and points) – you’ll effectively have become a motivational powerhouse.
And that’s when your Dojo Mojo™ will be an unbendable force.
Start implementing it today, my friend
In yourself and in others.
“Tomorrow: A mythical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation, and achievement is stored.”