What You can Learn about Motivation from Sting, Parko and Neil. Discovering The Strength/Vulnerability Paradox at Our Age..
I’m a day or two late with this post.. But it’s not a question of motivation.
Have been wrapped in cotton wool recovering from a bout of the flu..
But while recouperating, have been watching documentaries on my apple tv and reading..
Here are some quotes I’ve been hit with over the past few days I wanted to share with you..to help with your motivation, inspiration and learning.
MOTIVATION AND YOU?
Sting is one of my heroes, role models, mentors (or just call me a starry eyed groupie…in the non sexual way that is..)
I was Youtubing Sting clips last week and came across an interview he did for the Sunrise programme recently..
When Mel asked him ‘what motivates you to keep so fit and trim at age 60?’ he replies..
‘It’s a combination of discipline … and vanity…’
I thought, what a great answer? What a great combination of motivators..
Discipline and Vanity..Motivation and You..
I was talking to a person who was high up in the film and music industry who knew Sting and he said ‘Sting still has 3 hours of singing lessons each week.. .plus he does yoga and works out every day…’
Discipline and vanity..
If this is what motivates Sting, What motivates you?
RELAXING AND GETTING IN TUNE..
Talking of motivation, I was reading a great article on Australian surfer Joel Parkinson in the West Australian last Saturday.
Parko (I’m not pretending to know him. I just know that’s what his friends call him..) was about to go into the final of the Hawaiian Pipeline Comp and possibly win his first World title.
Here is the motivation quote that jumped out at me..
‘My whole attitude and the way I compete is different..(than it was..)’
‘I figured out I’m a better surfer and way better competitor when I’m really relaxed, when I just get in tune with myself and the waves and don’t let anything bother me too much.’
‘Its not the be all and end all. Its not always best to put too much focus one thing.’
‘Sometimes it better to just go on natural instinct..’
The power of being relaxed and in tune..
The power of switching off the conscious brain and letting the subconscious do the guiding..
The power of switching off the internal voice.. the doubting voice.. the self flagellating voice..
The power of being in the moment rather than focusing on outcome..
Parko went on to win his first world title.
I’ll attach some links for you to check out and listen to his mindspace – soak up the inspiration..
WE’RE ALL VULNERABLE
While I was recovering I also finished reading my old Melbourne Uni mates autobiograpahy about his ongoing battle – and successful outcome – with 30 years of bi polar.
My old mate Neil Cole (ex Shadow Attorney General of Victoria, City Councillor, now successful author and playwright) asked me to buy his book Stability in Mind – Living with Bipolar Disorder, because he said ‘You’re in it Leigh, so get a copy and see if you like what I’ve written about you.’
So I did…
I read it in record time then wrote to him to tell him how proud I was to be his mate.
And how courageous and bold he has been to speak up and out about his ongoing struggle with bipolar and his great success in educating and destigmatising that mental illness.
I then rang him to tell him in person how proud I am to be considered a friend worthy on being written about in his book.
In our telephone discussion I mentioned how I had probably pushed the envelope a bit too hard over the past few weeks, and how he too had pushed things with his super stressful career as lawyer, advocate, Councillor and MP, he said to me:
‘Leigh, we’re all vulnerable….’
It resonated strongly with me..
We are all vulnerable.
You can only push it so far before something gives.
The fact is, our bodies and minds are way stronger than we thing we are.
Yet at some point, something will give.
My mate Geoff Fisher kept swimming when he had the flu.
His heart muscle got infected and developed cardiomyopathy.
That then led to a heart attack in the pool.
(His mental strength and discipline have led to a great recovery…but he still paid a huge price for pushing it..)
My mate Peter Symons also pushed on when maybe he should have backed off.
My other mate Jamie Murphy only the other day was dragged from the pool with a heart attack.
He too said later he was pushing it…
STRONG YET VULNERABLE – HOW DOES IT WORK?
Yes we are all incredibly strong… but also incredibly vulnerable..
I’ve just coined a term for it..
Let’s call it the Strength – Vulnerability Paradox.
Here is the Science that underpins this paradox…
Way back in 1967, Holmes and Rahe discovered the science behind the ‘pushing of the envelope’ when they developed a Life Stress Events test.
They scored life events (e.g. death of a spouse, moving house, getting married, divorce, losing your job etc) and gave them a weighting as to the negative impact these events had on our physical and mental health.
Here is a quick summary from Wikipedia
In 1967, psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe examined the medical records of over 5,000 medical patients as a way to determine whether stressful events might cause illnesses. Patients were asked to tally a list of 43 life events based on a relative score. A positive correlation of 0.118 was found between their life events and their illnesses.
Their results were published as the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS), known more commonly as the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale. Subsequent validation has supported the links between stress and illness.
Check out the test and your score by clicking here..
Bullet Proof? Yeah Sure…
I know we all see ourselves as bullet proof and immortal from time to time..
We often hear words of motivation like ..’tough it out…’
‘Sweat it out…’
‘Keep on keeping on..’
‘Soldier on… with Codral.. Soldier on…’
You are strong — -but only so strong before the vulnerability kicks in..
(In fact, as part of my Masters Degree way back when, I studied this for thesis.)
It relates to your ‘social support systems’ and several other factors that will help you cope – or not.
The old Genetics and Environment formula kicks in again..
50% Genetic – 50% Environment..
Neil’s motivation reminder got me at the right moment..
Recharging the Batteries
I plan on using these holidays to recharge my batteries… replenish my energy reserves.. relax… surf.. breath deeply and smell the roses..
I plan to put myself in environments that will be good for my physical, mental, social and emotional good health.
I plan to soak up and immerse myself in the love, energy, connections and social support of family and friends..
That is a two way flow of course – I must also give and contribute to this energy.
You can’t just sit and soak it up without giving back… It doesn’t quite work that way..
In many ways, that is what this time of year is all about..
The social connections, the energy exchange, the giving and the receiving of love and energy in this ‘season of giving’.
Whether it be discipline or vanity… or getting in tune… use whatever works for you to be the best you can be..
Less is More
And remember.. a bit like Parko.. less is more… relaxing is most often the key to high performance..
Let me know how this works for you..
What do you think?
In the meantime – Happy pre Christmas week.
Helping you discover your best…
May your motivation work wonders for you this Christmas and this New Year.