Do you want motivation or information? Do you want inspiration or a dissertation?
This is a very basic question and yet it’s one I am only asking you after podcasting for a year. It’s a very basic question and one that you should ask yourself. If you seek out self-help materials then you definitely need to know the answer to this question. Because some material fits under the category of motivation and some fits under the category of information. The same is true for people.
I’ve made it clear in my book and in some of my podcasts, and really in a lot of my actions that I am not really about all that motivation stuff. That’s not to say I don’t think we all need motivation in some form or another. I just think it’s dramatically nauseatingly oversold. In fact I completely dismiss things that are purely motivational. Why? There are a number of reasons.
Motivation without information is mostly useless.
It’s easy to come up with something motivational. Be nice to babies and cats, do the right thing, do the hard thing, today is hard but you can do it. Just do it!
Without information to back that up that’s all nonsense. At least it is to me. But I’m kind of harsh on that subject. If you’re like me and you’ve gone through some heavy duty stuff in your life you realize that a motivational poster is not where your guidance lies. A post on Instagram or any other social media is not going to make you say “wow, I never thought of that and it put everything in perspective and boy am I happy to be alive.“
Now, you may encounter something on said social media sites, in books, and movies, or in conversations you have with other people. That happens to me once in a great while. The key being once in a great while.
The longer you were alive the more motivational stuff you gather. After while everyone is just repeating the same thing and just rearranging the words. That’s the way I see it
This may come across as a very cynical view point but it’s actually not. It’s Born of logic and perception and truth be told being a little lazy. You don’t want to keep reading the same thing over and over again. Do you want to learn something new.
After a while you simply get that there is no shortcut to losing weight. There’s no shortcut to getting fit and in shape. You find that you were as motivated as you probably are going to get. The only people who aren’t are people who are truly not appreciative of their life. Sometimes you fall into a slump, other times life gets the best of you. That’s OK. That’s supposed to happen. Oh no, now I’m doing it, see?
So I consider that what I tell you in my books and in my teaching and in my podcast is really 80/20. 80% of it is informational and 20% of it is inspirational. And the 20% just happens as part of the conversation. It’s sort of matter-of-fact and I think that’s the way inspiration should be. It’s the reason I have a little problem with people who are purely motivational speakers. We can benefit from motivational talks but you also need the information to back it up.
If I tell you to get out of bed tomorrow and just be nice and be happy you’re going to need more than that. You’re even going to need more than that if I say yeah you could be dead or this horrible thing happened to me you should appreciate your life. That still may not be enough. Because you’re not dumb, right?
You do all the stuff. You know you should be motivated and should be in a better mood and should treat people better and should not sweat the small stuff or maybe sweat the small stuff depending on who you talk to.
It’s the information behind it that then gives you the fuel to go ahead and do those things without feeling like an idiot
So back to my original question: are you looking for motivation or information?
If you only want fluffy motivation then you are in the wrong place. But I can save you a lot of money – all you have to do is go on Instagram or Facebook or even LinkedIn and just scroll around until you see some big bright happy words. Yay! That’s all you want right?
For the rest of you who want information you are in the right place. I strive to provide to you distilled, accurate, interesting, useful and tangible information you can use. That’s actually the full and proper name of the podcast if you look on iTunes
There was a point at which I and others started calling me the anti-coach. The biggest reason for this was because I was more concerned about how you were actually going to get some stuff done versus just saying nice things to you and collecting a check.
To that point it’s also why I created a system.
So again, I’m here to give you information that you can use. A little bit of inspiration is sprinkled in on that because that’s just the way it works. You may also pick up some motivation as well. But to me inspiration and motivation are like the icing on the cake. Or perhaps more accurately it’s the glaze on the carrots. It makes them taste much better and might make you eat them more often. But carrots are good,. Period.
If you take one thing away from this it’s that you should seriously ask yourself a question as to whether you are mostly looking for motivation or information.
If you take two things away then it should be also that you know that I am mostly about the information.
If you take three things away it’s that you will live a happier life if your focus is more on information and less on trying to find someone else to motivate you.
The Sword and the Sunflower and Amira make up the Epic Duet. Amira was just released, and The Sword and the Sunflower is now available as an audiobook (audible, Apple, Google, Your Local Library). Check it out.
Mark Bradford developed a system to achieve goals, manage your energy and understand and strengthen your path – it’s Alchemy for Life.
He writes, coaches and speaks on the subject. For more information, tips and tricks, like Mark Bradford on Facebook, follow Mark Bradford on Twitter.
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