I know that potentially dozens of you are awaiting “Don’t Sweat The Technique – Part Deux” and we’ll get there, but for now I want you all to ask yourselves some fundamental questions. Why? Why row? Why train? Why do anything? This isn’t going to be some treatise from my inner nihilist. I am not asking ‘why bother’? I’m asking ‘why’ because I want you to ask yourself the question and know your answer. For example, ask yourself why you train (I presume you engage is some sort of physical preparation if you are reading this). If your answer is ‘to get stronger/more powerful/fitter/technically better’, the next question is ‘why do you want to get stronger/more powerful/fitter/technically better’? To be faster/to win races/to win a race? And why any of these? Because there are races to be won? Because my brother did it? Because I’ll get some serious cash money yo?
I have no idea what your motivation is but you sure as shit should. It should be crystal clear to you. Your “why” is your primary motivation. The ‘why’ is the backbone of your justification for doing anything. Sometimes the ‘why’ might be “because this cheeseburger tastes good” and other times it might be “in order to win an Olympic Gold Medal”. The ‘why’ may not always have the same breadth and magnitude, but connecting to your real motivation for doing something is going to make it easier when it ain’t so easy.
Asking yourself ‘why’ is going to ensure that your reasons are good enough to justify your investment. ‘Why’ is the reason erging for an hour is more palatable to some than it is to others. Some people are more acutely aware of what they want to accomplish and why. If part of their motivational paradigm is erging for an hour, so be it. Connecting to the ‘why’ provides the motivation for some, that for others is simply not there.
Case in point – all you pussies that don’t have your protein shake because you don’t like the taste, get in touch with why you’re having that shake in the first place. It is likely for some larger goal and unlikely in order to have a delicious beverage. Understanding this mentality on a small scale will make it a lot easier to do many things that others may find unfathomable. The “why” is what transforms a bunch of crap you’d rather not do into something that’s relatively enjoyable. If you can intimately understand the benefit of an activity and how it directly relates with bringing you closer to your goal, then whether or not that activity is enjoyable as its own entity becomes largely irrelevant – knowing that something, anything, will bring you closer to that which your heart desires will dramatically increase your pleasure in doing that thing. Framing any activity as such is why it really is a lot easier for some than others. In reality, this presents itself as someone appearing “motivated”. Motivated is “to provide with incentive” and motivated people are more acutely aware of what their incentive is.
In some instances the ‘why’ may be contained in the activity itself -running a marathon for instance. People have many reasons for running a marathon. One such reason could be for the individual to prove to themselves or others that they could do it or do it in a certain time. This is a good ‘why’. This is a different ‘why’ from an elite marathoner who is running the race in order to win/break a record/earn some money/provide for their family. Different underlying motivations can still spur individuals on, even if the activity is the same, as long as the ‘why’ is genuine. In this sense a person is able to enjoy something that would be otherwise unpleasant, but be acutely aware that nobody is running a marathon because they thought it would be enjoyable in the same way a bubble bath is.
Be cognisant of your deepest why. If you insist on bullshitting yourself, your ‘why’ will collapse and your motivation will disappear like a fart in the wind. If you’re in the gym because you want a good body to impress the ladies or the fellas, first question whether or not that is something that either party is actually impressed by and then be honest about it and do it wholeheartedly.
Your ‘why’ and your reasons for doing anything are yours and yours alone, but make sure they’re for real. They are all good enough if they mean something to you. Anytime you have to do something unpleasant for the sake of a greater goal make sure you are connected to your ‘why’. My ‘why’ is the only reason I’ve eaten any vegetable in the last decade. There has not been a single solitary instance in which I’ve eaten broccoli, spinach or any other veggie because I’ve wanted to enjoy the taste. For those of you that do enjoy the taste, I’m happy for you. I really am. To me they taste like dirt and yet I’ll shove them down my gullet ad nauseum because, as part of my larger concept of “why”, I want to
Think about it like this. The ‘why’ is the reason anybody has ever ridden a bike in the rain. The ‘why’ may be the need to get home, it may be that riding in the rain is part of being a professional cyclist, it may be that riding a bike in the rain whilst under the influence of LSD is fun or it may be 1000 intricate variations thereof, but if you aren’t aware ‘why’, then you, my friend, are just an idiot on a bike, in the rain.