Sunday, September 26, 2010

Two interesting "motivation" articles...

People send me a lot of articles about motivation, goal setting and the like.  Partly, I suspect, because of the adventure I have mapped out here.  Partly, I think, due to my job as manager/leader.  I read them all.  Some are recycled materials from other recycled materials.  Others have some pretty interesting points.  The two below are pretty interesting!

One of the most counter intuituve ideas I have heard on motivation came from a TED talk on "Keeping Your Goals to yourself" by Derek Sivers.  If you have not been paying attention to the news, the TED series is a bunch of interesting, smart talks and discussions about a wide range of stuff.  In the video below (6 minutes or less!), Derek makes the case for keeping goals to oneself because it makes you less apt to accomplish them.  Interesting idea. 

His premise is that most people, once they get the accolades and atta-boys for setting a big, big goal feel less motivated about accomplishing the goal.  They got the "feel good" from everyone giving them the big praise and kudos for attempting something big and the goal becomes secondary.

 Here is the video...take a look. 

What did you think?

I must say, it does not work that way for me...or the guy who sent it to me (a co-worker who parachutes at the semi-professional/ranked amatuer that is committed!).  We both agreed that telling people what we are going to do in a loud way was a mechanism to ensure that we don't get lazy on a goal.  For me, telling people I am going to run across the country...and now tieing a charitable cause to the run ensures I will stay focussed on the goal of achievement.  I don't want to have to look anyone in the eye and say "I changed my mind" or "I decided not to."  I will drag myself on my elbows over shards of glass if necessary to make sure I get there...all because I told people and don't want to disappoint them or myself.

Another article was a solid one (also sent by a co-worker) on setting big goals.  It is a blog written by Kristin Armstrong (yes, that Kristin Armstrong) on Runner's World.  The biggest point the article/blog post made was that if you are not setting goals that you are failing at 50% of the time, you are not reaching hard enough.  Interesting concept.  Set big ass goals that you fail at half the time. The other half that you accomplish pretty much ensures you make huge strides! Enjoy the article by clicking HERE.

I had a great training weekend.  55 miles in two days and plenty of energy and strength to do more.  As I am ramping up still, I decided not to push it past 55.  I will do another 10 tomorrow morning to grab a three day total of 65 miles.   Nearly a marathon a day average for three days!  I lost 6 pounds of water yesterday while running...I am working on figuring out hydration as I think it will be a big monster day in day out on the run.

Have a great week.


  1. Perfect timing Ed! During my race yesterday I was running/talking with a friend, and told her how I told you I wanted to run a sub 26min 5k. I said I felt like it motivated me more to run fast because I wanted to perform as I had envisioned and how I publicly stated.

    I'm proud to say... official time... 25:45. That is a PR of 1 min 46 seconds.

    So, no, I don't agree with TED that one should keep their goals to them self.

  2. Way to go Carolyn...did you accomplish the other race goal?