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Motivation

What Motivates Athletes To Participate In Extreme Sports

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Extreme Sports Motivation

This article aims to look at what motivates athletes to participate in extreme sports whether they be gruelling, dangerous, arduous or just plain challenging.

 

So Why Do People Participate in Extreme Sports?

 

  • Money: perhaps in some cases. Yet only a few chosen ones will ever make a decent living out of their chosen sport. In triathlons for example the majority of participants are amateurs, who for some non-financial reason have taken time out of their frantic work days and busy personal or family schedule to train for hours and hours, and weeks and weeks on end to swim, bike and run for the limited duration of a race.
  • Fame: again maybe, but most people have never heard of Ross Clarke Jones (big wave surfer) or Chrissie Wellington (an undefeated triathlon world champion who defeats most of the top men).  Fame is a fickle, fleeting thing.  Unless you’re extremely talented, media savvy, a good role model and great at your chosen sport, it will only take a generation and then your forgotten and hardly anyone will remember who you were.
  • Ego: I think you can tell in an athlete’s persona when this is the case. Fortunately if your ego is bloated enough and the sport you are doing is extreme enough there is only one thing that will happen. Your ego will get crushed. Or someone better comes along.
  • Challenging yourself: Competition with others and with yourself brings out the best . This is the definitive reason or motivation I will participate in any sport. Self-improvement is the main reason people want to challenge themselves.

 

Striving for Self-Improvement and Reaching Personal Goals

In the 3100 mile race, every moment, every step was taking me closer and closer towards finishing. The feeling I got from improving myself, surpassing miles way beyond my previous personal best, far transcended the physical pain and mental hurdles I faced. The first time I did it, I was basically in agony the entire time, but I was incredibly happy because I was challenging myself.

Self-improvement takes us beyond our present capacities and achievements. It involves staying focused and competing only with ourselves. “If I can improve myself, if I can go beyond my previous achievements, then that is my goal. My own previous record is always what I am competing with” said Sri Chinmoy, founder of the longest ultra-marathon, the 3100 mile race, in reference to his own fitness goals. Many climbers echo the same sentiments “My own previous record is always what I am competing with. I am always looking for goals that are challenging me,” mentioned Ueli Steck, one of the world’s best climbers, “I am not just climbing…I really want to reach my goal.”

Track athletes are no different. 9 time Olympic track and field gold medallist Carl Lewis said:

“The joy that comes from ‘going beyond’ is the most incredible feeling in the world. I have felt it many times. And I have enjoyed watching others experience it.”

It doesn’t really depend on where you are or what you have, if you are short of inspiration you have to seek and find it and it is only going to come from yourself. Challenging yourself in a fitness setting or extreme sport can do this. Self-improvement is the key to life’s journey. Many of us remain stagnant for most of our lives. We get caught by chains of financial and moral responsibilities, stuck in a rut, unable to free ourselves from the monotonous life we are in. The scales get tipped too far and we forget to nourish ourselves and stay positive and happy. It doesn’t take much to turn the situation around, only a desire to extend or better yourself. For some people this might be jogging ten kilometres, studying a new language or taking up a new hobby. For others it might be summiting a peak or riding a hundred foot wave.

Self-improvement involves getting out of your comfort zone but it allows us to smash out of the jail cell or box we feel trapped in. It is going that bit further or taking an extra step or trying that much harder to achieve something, to live our dreams and to become something.  If we have faith in ourselves, we can accomplish anything. And with achievement, happiness automatically comes.

 

Failing and Trying Again

Occasionally we do fail but that is part of it. If do something with one hundred per cent effort, if we put all our patience, devotion and dedication into something without expectation, then we can be happy even if we stumble. We learn from this experience and try again. “It’s not about any records,” mentioned 6 time ironman winner and 2 time duathlon world champion Olivier Bernhard, “As long as I reached my full potential I would be happy at the finish…it’s not about winning, it’s not about the money, it’s about making constant progress and becoming a better person on the lasting journey.” On a personal level, in my four 3100 mile races I have bettered my time every year. My 2012 finish was a week faster than my debut. I won it one year, but the satisfaction from going beyond my personal best was far greater than standing on the podium. Someday I won’t improve and this will be something I will have to deal with in a positive manner.

Everyone wants to progress.  Working as a business speaker, I see this thirst for progress all the time. It is very noticeable with ambitious, career-driven people. Someone who achieves a lot in the business world often has focus, concentration, drive and dedication in boundless measure.  Athletes are the same, they are just directing and focusing their energies to another area and perhaps gaining a more rewarding experience.

 

(Video) The Mind Of A 3100 Mile Ultra Runner

 

Feature Image courtesy of Vincent Thian

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Wildchild

    Sep 16, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    I think that the above goals are motivation for both extreme sports athletes as well as main stream sports. It’s really just a matter of what you view as extreme…

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. william hamel

    Aug 26, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    El deporte extremo se debe apoyar, para que se sigan creando este tipo de eventos llenos de adrenalina y pasión por el deporte.

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Motivation

Money Making a Difference – Examples of Billionaires Using Their Money for Good

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How billionaires use their money
Image Credit: Tony Hsieh

How many times have we wished to be in the shoes of a billionaire? People often daydream of having a ten digit bank account, and what they’d be doing with it. In an instant, we’d picture luxury yachts, extravagant sports cars, the finest wine and jewellery, and a whole lot of things which are difficult to pronounce. It is truly difficult to separate wealth and luxury. (more…)

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Motivation

6 Lessons You Can Learn from The King of the Jungle

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lessons you can learn from a lion
Image Credit: Unsplash

Do you watch documentaries on lions? If yes, then you must have seen that they dominate their territory and are apex predators. Lions are among the strongest animals in the world, and no one dares to confront or challenge them. They are called ‘kings’ because they have a touch of royalty in everything they do. From eating habits where 20-25 royal members dine at the same to conquering huge lands. A lion always has a bold attitude and lives like a true ruler. (more…)

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Motivation

The Guide to Staying Motivated While Working Alone

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how to stay motivated when working alone
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Working alone at home might sound like a nightmare to some, but as a fully signed up introvert, working alone at home is an absolute dream. No energy-draining small talk, no noisy distractions, just peace and quiet to complete deep and focused work. Well not quite. Working alone at home has more challenges than you might expect. Boredom, lack of focus and lack of motivation to name a few.

When you start working for yourself, you quickly realise that one of the biggest problems you face isn’t the job itself. Maintaining your motivation poses a potentially huge difficulty. Much of that difficulty stems from working alone, rather than in a traditional office setting. There is also the challenge of staying focused on the task at hand. With no boss or supervisor looking over your shoulder, social media can distract or cat videos interrupt you.

But the greatest problem by far is a simple lack of motivation. There doesn’t seem to be a pressing need to finish this project right now, making it far too easy to put it off until later. Left unchecked, a lack of motivation can cripple the work you are trying to accomplish. Over the past few years I’ve developed a few go-to tactics to improve my lone working motivation.

Here are some of the tools I’ve used to stay motivated and on-task.

These first few tips focus on using different tweaks in your personal work schedule to provide some variety and maintain your focus.

1. Include short breaks

My eye doctor once told me that for every 20 minutes of staring at a computer screen, you should look away and focus on something across the room for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to reset. Do something similar with the rest of your body; don’t just look across the room, walk, jog, or run across the room. Give your body a break, and try to reset your thoughts. If you don’t have the discipline to take regular breaks, use an app to remind you.

2. Block out an afternoon for social activities and networking

Set aside one afternoon a week for your social life. Friday afternoon works best for me. If you feel guilty about not working, think of it as a chance to network. Either way, be sure to spend this section of time with other people. Socialise and network.

3. View your personal schedule as your work schedule

A 9-to-5 job requires getting up every morning, preparing for the day, leaving the house, and commuting to your workplace. In other words, it requires going to work. You want to recreate the same rhythm at home. You may not actually need to leave your house in order to work, but try to stick with the schedule. Filling the old job timeslot with your new work helps to keep you motivated – you can’t clock out early!

These next few tips are little things you can do to trick yourself into staying focused!

1. Music

This tip may sound cliché, but try listening to an upbeat song loudly whenever you feel unmotivated. It’s a simple trick, but a surprisingly effective one!

2. Have somewhere else to work for a change of scenery

When procrastination sets in, sometimes a quick change of scenery is all you need. If you work at home, going to your favourite café can be a huge help. Other freelancers I know have even gone so far as to hire office space outside the home, and rotate between the two to help stay on-task.

3. Love what you do

This is arguably the most critical point on the whole list. If you don’t love what you do, it will be hard to keep yourself motivated – particularly long-term. Sure, you may be able to push on through sheer force of will for a while, but sooner or later you’ll lose motivation entirely. Do something you genuinely enjoy, and you’ll find it much easier to stick with it for the long haul.

These last few tips are Industry-related!

1. Make sure you have fun projects

Not all of your work projects will be fun, but fight to make at least a couple of them fun. These might even be personal side projects, not particularly related to your main job. Or they might be in the same general field, but not your specific focus.

2. Attend industry events a couple of times a year

Nearly every imaginable industry has an organising body of some kind. Find the local branch, and use it to keep tabs on industry-related events. Attend some seminars, network, and maybe even glean some new tips and tricks from industry insiders.

3. Schedule at least one call a week to learn something within your industry

View this as an opportunity for personal development. At least once a week, try to learn something new about your industry. For me, this might mean calling a new tool provider to demonstrate their gadgets. Whatever your industry, try to expand your horizons a little bit every week. You’ll learn new methods and make new connections at the same time.

These tips worked for me, hopefully, some of them will help you out as well. Above all, strive to enjoy what you do, stick to a “work schedule,” and look for opportunities for constant self-improvement. With those ideas in mind, you’ll find staying motivated much easier to do alone or in a group!

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Motivation

7 Ways Yoga Effectively Motivates You to Achieve Success

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how yoga motivates you

Yoga is an appointment with your own self. It is time to meet your true self and receive a return ticket to your true nature that is bliss and happiness. You will naturally feel happy while doing yoga. Many people don’t realize they are in a distressed state until it’s too late. The same thing happened with me when I failed to understand my life’s circumstances. I was struggling with a lack of motivation, depression, insomnia, and maintaining my personal relationships, which eventually started affecting my physical health.

Last year, I struggled with depression and general anxiety disorder. I was constantly chasing after money, a lucrative career, happiness, and success. I was afraid that if I told my colleagues about my mental health issues, they would criticize me and eventually it would hamper my progression and I would not be taken seriously.

Last winter, my responsibilities in life increased in a short period of time, which created a lot of anxiety. It began to disturb my mood at home as I was unable to relax and felt low. I hated my own egotistical self because I was an extremely competitive individual as well. I always felt that I did not have the career of my dreams and I was not where I aimed to be. It felt like I was failing because I was not able to attain any of the goals I set in my own life.

I decided to share my emotions and feelings with someone who could potentially make things easier for me. I ended up explaining my struggles and mental illness to my manager. His reaction was amazing because he thanked me for being honest, and he introduced me to yoga. I am happy that I made this decision because it felt better after sweating it out in the Yoga workshop.

Yoga helped me in focusing on what I truly had, instead of on what I didn’t have. I learned how to embrace my competitive side and to use it in a way that pushed me to become a happier person. Yoga taught me that instead of wasting most of my life chasing after success and competing with others, I had to let life run its natural course. Happiness and success will then come to us naturally.

Below I have listed some reasons as to why yoga works effectively to motivate yourself to achieve success:

1. It Solves Your Problem

When it comes to challenges and tackling problems, yoga works amazingly. When you get on a yoga mat and begin to practice, you are made to deal with everything that comes to you and asked to face it gracefully. In turn, this increases your focus and patience levels, so that you will be able to face the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical challenges at every turn.

2. It Lowers Your Anxiety and Stress

Yoga doesn’t mean that you will heal instantly, but constant practice can help you destress. The simple breathing and moving exercises can help a lot in releasing your tension and anxiety. 

Yoga helps in stretching your muscles by relaxing them as most of the stress and tension is stored there. The breathing exercises energize your body by increasing the blood flow, which eventually refreshes your body and mind. The daily practice of yoga makes you aware of the surroundings by making you control your emotions and stress.

“Learn to relax. Your body is precious, as it houses your mind and spirit. Inner peace begins with a relaxed body.” – Norman Vincent Peale

3. Increase Your Focus

Yoga helps improve your focus through the breathing exercises you do during the yoga postures. It relaxes the body and mind so you can think clearly, and in time build up the ability to concentrate. 

Yoga is focused on concentration, breathing,  and the alignments. Additionally, yoga’s claimed to bring mental and physical relaxation by energizing the parasympathetic nervous system, and this is the reason why yogis sleep well at night. No wonder they have such a healthy and a stress-free lifestyle.

4. It Helps in Redefining Success

Real success comes when you use yourself to your full capability. It does not matter what you become, the only thing that matters is that you are living your life to your full potential. 

If you want to be successful, then you must see everything just the way it is, without any distortion. Yoga helps you with just that. Through practicing yoga daily, you will start to see the results and live more joyfully.

5. It Boosts Your Health

Mental health affects your work and your physical health. Your physical health can drastically  affect your work as it will make you work less and take more time off, which will lead to lined-up pending assignments. 

Yoga helps your body with almost every physical problem. Yoga increases your blood flow, oxygen, and improves your circulatory system. All the postures of the Bikram yoga help to improve the flow of fresh and oxygenated blood to every part of the body and mind.

“Move your joints every day. You have to find your own tricks. Bury your mind deep in your heart, and watch the body move by itself.” – Sri Dharma Mittra

6. Gives Mindfulness and Makes You Present

Mindfulness teaches us to become more present at any given moment. It makes us more aware and conscious of our inner thoughts, feelings, emotions, and hence makes us strong enough to control our actions towards situations. 

Practicing breathing in yoga teaches you to experience and live each moment to the fullest. Over time, yoga will help you live in a deep sense of fulfillment and inner peace, which will ultimately help you in making the right decision for yourself and your team.

7. Stay Aware and Positive

A yogi tends to have a balanced outlook on life. Yoga sessions of meditations, breathing exercises, and mindfulness will aim at making you conscious and aware of yourself. Additionally,  it will open up new possibilities of understanding your true self. 

Yoga also aims at making you a positive person, and the effects of yoga are not limited to relaxation after a workout but are exceptionally long-lasting. Yoga makes you attain the attitude of gratitude that helps you identify the brighter side of life.

To achieve success through yoga, you must adapt it into your day to day life because having good health is a basic necessity to live a happy and healthy life and no one but you can keep yourself healthy.

Have you tried yoga? If so, share with us how it’s positively impacted your life below!

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