What Motivates You?

noun: motivation; plural noun: motivations

  1. the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

“escape can be a strong motivation for travel”

synonyms: motive, motivating force, incentive, stimulus, stimulation, inspiration, inducement, incitement, spur, reason;

informal carrot

“his motivation was financial”

o   the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

“keep staff up to date and maintain interest and motivation”

synonyms: enthusiasm, drive, ambition, initiative, determination, enterprise;



What motivates a person? That is a question that a lot of people ask themselves every day. It is also a question that a lot of people claim to have the answer to every day. I spent 24 years in the United States Army, much of it as a leader, and I never figured out every one of my soldier’s motivations to do things or not to do things. I would hear speakers at leadership classes and the speaker would claim they knew the key to motivating individuals.

I started running track over 38 years ago, when I was 8 years old. Over the years I have had a lot of coaches and I have coached a lot of athletes in different sports. Almost every coach I ever had, had a great tool to motivate the individuals on the team, whether it was the track team, wrestling team, swim team, cross country team or multi-sport team. I would listen and take notes and try it out on different athletes.

What I found out many years ago was that not every soldier or athlete is motivated by the same things. A few years ago, around 2001, I heard about this new concept called win-win agreement. We would sit down and have a real conversion with the person and see what motivated them. What myself and other smart leaders around me found out was that if you have 10 different soldiers or athletes, more than likely you would have 10 different things that were motivators.

What motivates you?


7 thoughts on “What Motivates You?

  1. For years I thought what motivated me was to become stronger and fitter than I was the day/week/month before. But then I reached a point where my strength levels meant to get stronger I would have to get really serious about things and for some reason I just couldn’t find the motivation to really nail down my nutrition and lifestyle to take my strength to the next level.

    I then realised after some deep and meaningful thinking that what really motivated me was just not being a guy with an average body. I don’t want to be a guy who isn’t very strong, who isn’t fit and healthy etc.

    I enjoy being healthy year round and rarely getting ill and funnily enough I enjoy being the person who always get’s asked to help lift/move things, my ego especially loves it! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said, I could not agree more. I have a friend who I ride with sometimes and see at the YMCA sometimes that is 76 years old. My motivation is to be like him and still exercising when I am 76+ years old.


  2. For me, I think the major motivation is to have a better quality of live and live longer. I also find that the more I exercise (cycling and gym mainly) the more energy I have and the better I feel mentally. Mostly for me it is internal motivation rather than external – I don’t care too much what other people think (some think I am crazy getting out on the bike when it barely above freezing), but rather how much better I feel when I exercise regularly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very well said as well, I don’t normally care about what others think and most of the time the members of my family, outside those that live in my house, don’t even know the amount of training I really do or what races I am doing. Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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