#74: Inspiration and Motivation [Fight for a Happy Life podcast]

#74: Inspiration and Motivation [Fight for a Happy Life podcast]


All right. Welcome to episode #74 of
Fight for a Happy Life, the show that believes even a little
martial arts makes life a whole lot better.
My name is Ando. I will be your host and your guest in this episode. And what are
we talking about today? Well, seven years ago that’s when I started my website. One
of the first articles I wrote was called Motivation is a Waste of Time. now of
course there weren’t many people looking at my website back then so most people
didn’t hear that advice but I still believe in it very strongly so I thought
I would come on today and say it right to your face if you can hang out a
little while I think this advice might save you some time some energy and maybe
even spare you some heartache so let’s get to it motivation let’s talk about motivation I
get emails in comments all the time I mean daily from people who say something
like I’ve always loved martial arts but I haven’t practiced in 20 years, or I’ve
always wanted to do martial arts my whole life but I haven’t signed up for a
class and I’m 60, or gee I really want to lose weight but it’s really hard to get
off the couch, or gosh I’m really tired so I haven’t been to class lately, or gee
I don’t have money, I don’t have enough time, I don’t know where to go, and then
they asked me for the advice to tell them what to do to get them going. Now I
know this is going to sound harsh and did I back up to even say I have a 7 day
challenge on my website 7 days it only takes about 5 minutes a day and I even
get emails from people who will write me after day 2 or 3 and say hey I started
your 7 day challenge I got to day 2 and I just haven’t found the time to keep
going can you give me some advice now this is gonna sound harsh perhaps but
I’d hope that you’ll think that it’s actually wise I tell all of these people
the same thing I always have and I always will I tell them
to give up I tell them that it’s not my job to give you a reason to change your
life for the better you really can’t think of a reason to be healthy you
can’t think of a reason to become more empowered you can’t think of a reason to
be a better person in your family’s life and your friend’s life and your
community’s life if you don’t see the value in working out or taking martial
arts if you haven’t found enough inspiration to take you to the next step
of being motivated to go get the information you need I can’t help you
does that sound harsh now this was something I learned the hard way of
course like most things when I started martial arts it changed my life I was a
very excited new student I was like wow I’m getting a workout I’m challenged my
character is changing for the better it’s fun I just thought it was one-stop
shopping for a Type A personality like me it was just helping me out to be more
successful every part of my life so of course I became an evangelist I went
around to my family my friends anybody who would listen to me for a second and
say hey you got to take martial arts come with me to class or go sign up for
a class someplace else but you got to get into martial arts people would say
all the typical things yeah I really should oh yeah maybe next week oh yeah
I’ll just save up a little bit of money yeah I’ll see you there in the years
those early years I think I only succeeded in getting two people to class
and they only stayed for a couple of months each but that’s out of I’m gonna
say a hundred people more it was really a big waste of my time and my energy now
this is important because as you get older though that time and energy and
your enthusiasm is a very privileged resource this is something that I feel I
can only share with the people who deserve it and I found out early on like
wow I’m losing my voice trying to give people pep talks and of course I’m
talking about more than just martial arts I’m sure you are in the same
situation all the time right you’re a nice person aren’t you
so you have a friend who says I really want to write a book I want to start a
business I want to move to a new town and find a new job great I whatever it
is and what do you do yeah that’s a great idea
maybe you buy them a book or you send them some links you do some research
form you throw all kinds of information at them trying to support them and
encourage them but how many times do your friends or your family who told you
that they want to do something and who you helped follow through on it it’s not
that common is it and then how do you feel you’re the one who actually starts
to feel resentful like man I’m trying to help you why am I the one who keeps
bugging you and nagging you to keep going I thought you wanted to do this
and how do you think they feel every time you call them or text them or
remind them hey how you doing on that diet and you know that they’re not even
on that diet anymore and you think you’re being helpful but you’re not
because they’re not actually trying to do what they say they wanted to do it’s
a very ugly little cycle they’re someone you love tells you they want to do
something you jump in both feet try to help as best you can they didn’t really
want to do that in the first place for whatever reasons and now they resent you
for nagging them all the time or they feel bad when they’re around you because
you keep telling them that you were supposed to do these things that they
never did and you on the other hand is completely frustrated because you keep
trying to help them and they don’t want your help
no they don’t so that’s how I learned this right fitness martial arts any
advice that I’ve ever given particularly in my late teens early 20s was a big
waste of time that’s just the way it is and I’m pretty sure you would agree that
you’ve been in that situation too because you’re a nice person trying to
be helpful okay so let’s break this down a little bit more specifically because I
do believe that you can be inspirational to the people around you the way you
live your life the way you treat people your friends and family can see that and
say I really like what you’re doing over there
and then maybe secretly or they say it I want to be more like that I want to
participate in whatever it is you’re doing maybe even ask you a question what
are you doing now here we go here’s the interesting stage when you move from
inspiration to information we are now calling them out to see if they’re
serious or not because I can’t motivate them to take action on the information
all right let me let me go through that again
first people are inspired inspiration is cheap it’s common every time I watch
someone tap dancing I think I want to be a tap dancer if I see somebody doing an
amazing sax solo at some jazz club all right I haven’t been in a jazz club in a
while that was that was a weird one I want to play saxophone everybody’s
seeing anybody who’s good at something he just thinks wow I want to do that
that’s inspiration the inspiration is cheap what’s very expensive and very
uncommon is the motivation that comes after the inspiration to seek out the
information that they can execute to actually achieve that goal that they had
the idea for you with me on that so in my mind I would hate to ever be thought
of as someone who’s motivational because I think that’s not true
on my best day I would hope that maybe I could be inspirational I make videos the
way I teach the way I live maybe someone would look at that and say well he seems
like a nice guy he seems sincere he seems helpful he seems knowledgeable
great let that be the inspirational part if someone takes those first steps to
sign up for that martial arts class or they have a problem achieving the next
step in their process in their plan and I have information that I can provide
that’s my next duty as a good citizen as a good person if I can inspire you great
if I can give you information to help you fantastic even if I can help you X
cute on your plan and execute on that information great you know no problem
however in no way should you or me ever be fooled into trying to motivate
someone to start that plan when you’re not looking that to me is the test
nowadays let’s say okay I have this podcast so some people I run into say oh
I want to do a podcast now I fall into this trap all the time even though I
should listen to my own advice I’ll say okay you wanna do a podcast great and
I’ll start writing down some ideas I’ll give them the links to the servers and
you know how to set this stuff up I try to encourage them I inspire them
you can do it here’s here’s my recommendations here’s my advice here’s
what I’ve learned and then I catch myself 20 minutes 25 minutes later I
catch myself out of breath sweating excited and I realized well well well
hold your horses here they haven’t actually proven that they want to do
this at all they’ve just very cheaply said yeah I want to do a podcast okay
what I should do when someone says that to me even if I love them especially
since I love them yeah I really want to do a podcast that’s awesome I think
that’s a great idea you should do a podcast yeah yeah yeah I want to think
about that great and that’s it I’m supportive of the idea inspiration they
breathe in this idea they have their head full of it I say that’s a great
idea you could do that go for it what do you have to lose but that’s it if the
next day they text me hey how do I start the podcast now I have some clue that
they’re serious they were motivated to ask me again about the podcasting or if
I write to me and say hey I just bought this course on podcasting and I ordered
a mic on Amazon can you help me figure this out what’s the technical side of
this now I’m all-in they on their own took that first or
second step to actually make what they thought of happen now you got me I will
give you 100% I will jump to your aid I will give you anything I got because I
have found that most people don’t follow up on what they
say they’re going to do so when I do see someone who follows up then I know my
time my energy my enthusiasm is not being wasted now I can be as giving and
as generous as I possibly can and I would recommend that you do the same
when someone tells you they want to write a book lose weight go to the gym
join a martial arts class travel say great I would love that that sounds like
a wonderful idea then let it go whether that’s an hour a
day a week may never come back it’s likely that idea will never come up
again but if it does come up again then you know okay I’m ready to help you and
you will because you’re a nice person now does that still sound harsh the way
I’ve explained that I don’t think so right let me give you a quick example I
know a guy named Trevor Trevor was a talented martial artist and about 10
years ago 10 11 years ago I was getting involved in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and
Trevor was already into Brazilian jiu-jitsu fantastic so on his own he
called together some guys that he trusted that would be good training
partners on his own he found a facility where we didn’t have to pay any rent or
anything he was a cage and a gym said let’s meet there on his own he put time
aside and sent out the text invites to say hey everybody come down we’re gonna
do some BJJ together on his own he prepared lesson plans so when we would
get there he would share Harry today we’re gonna go over this choke and this
escape and we would have a lesson plan then he would roll with us in coach all
for free just giving it after one of those sessions we were just talking
about the day and he said yeah I said you know this class was going great
thanks so much this is very generous of you and he said yeah yeah I got a little
more work to do one of the guys I won’t mention his name he said you know one of
the guys wants me to write up some notes about what we covered today so he
doesn’t forget it aha do you see a problem here
I said hey man you’re already you found the place you formed the group you’re
already teaching you’re already giving us everything you’ve got and now this
sob is so lazy and so unmotivated he wants you to also take his notes for him
and provide them to him I I encouraged him highly like I said please don’t do
that what what are you crazy we’re already so in the hole in in debt to you
I can’t imagine you then sitting home trying to spoon feed everybody and hold
their hand and bring them along that’s going beyond what a teacher should be
doing all right so this advice works two ways and I want
you to think about that this works two ways on the one hand there is you as the
helper you as the teacher when your friends your family or someone comes to
you and they say hey I want to do this be stingy all right that sounds harsh
but remember what we’re talking about here be stingy about the motivation side
of things let them prove to you a little bit that they’re serious about achieving
that goal once they do then jump in but if they
don’t stop that’s for you save your time save your energy save
your disappointment and your heartbreak it’s just not worth it
don’t ruin that relationship by becoming a nag or making them feel like oh you
didn’t do what you said you’re gonna do and now they feel like a loser no good
the second part of this is to apply the same rule to yourself now this one might
get a little painful so hang in here I’ll bet you say you want to do a lot of
things too how often do you follow up on what you’re talking about
listen to me let’s say you’re the person who says oh I really want to tap-dance
it’s on my head right now because I’ve always wanted to tap-dance but at some
point have you ever looked up a class in your area have you ever asked someone
who knows how to tap-dance to show you something have you ever sat outside of
dance school and said maybe tonight’s the night have you ever looked up an
instruction video on YouTube have you purchased tap
shoes have you bought a book about it have you done anything let’s say you’ve
been talking about tap dancing five years ten years twenty thirty years my
friend you’re never going to tap dance stop talking about tap dancing now that
might sound harsh to I’m no dream Squasher I’m not saying yeah it’s too
late for your dream of being a tap dancer or a singer or starting a
business or finding a new job or losing weight of course it’s not too late you
can start however may I submit to you exhibit a the evidence of decades of
neglect towards that dream you haven’t done it by now the odds are you’re not
going to do it later so spare yourself the heartache of
disappointing yourself this is not a waste listen very carefully you’re not
giving up you’re giving more I’m gonna say that again that came out nicely
you’re not giving up on your dreams you’re giving more of your time
attention and energy to the activities that you’re actually pursuing let’s say
you’re always think about all I should tap dance oh I should do this or that
but you never do and you feel like a loser because you never do when at the
same time there are things that you’re doing in your life I can’t tell you what
those are but there are other things that you never have to be talked into
you just do automatically you enjoy them maybe you haven’t looked at them in that
way where you say this is actually something I love doing it could be
anything of course but once you give up all of that attention on chasing these
ideas around and these things that you thought you’re so inspired to do which
give those up you can give more to the things you’re actually doing right so
again this works two ways the more that you give up helping your
friends who are not helping themselves the more you can give to the friends who
are actually doing something that’s a better use of your time and I’m telling
you as you get older this is the ultimate ultimate game how
are you spending your time how are you spending your energy and your resources
you want to be a smart investor you want to give your advice and give your time
and give your care and love to the people who can use it it’s not that I’m
being mean to the people who aren’t using it but it’s just it’s you got to
do something to protect yourself and they should be more honest with
themselves and be directed back to the things that they’re actually doing when
your friend says I got this great idea I want to start a rock band say great you
know let me know when you sign up for music lessons they never do
great yeah I really would still want to start that rock band you know what
friend let me be honest with you you’re probably not gonna start that rock band
because you haven’t done it by now even talking about it for three years so how
about you go back to that crocheting you seem to like that you seem to like
shooting guns I don’t know you seem to like baking cakes why don’t you go do
more of that eventually they’ll thank you because they will get farther along
on that path than staring down these dead ends they don’t go anywhere and
then apply the same to yourself starve those ideas that are sucking away your
passion and your time and your enthusiasm and just redirect it back on
double down on the things that you’re actually doing and don’t feel bad if you
write me an email that says yeah I’ve wanted to do martial arts for 20 years I
just still can’t get started what advice can you give me I’m already gonna tell
you right up front stop talking about martial arts you would have done it by
now if you really wanted to do it that’s what people who really want to do things
that’s what they do they just do them have I mentioned my watch yet did I
mention this yet wearing a watch today you see this watch
see this watch this watch cost more than my first car a little Glengarry
reference for you people out there seriously though this watch did cost
more than my first car my first car I think was about 750 800 bucks a lovely
Buick station wagon this watch caught listed over $800 so it was a gift I
didn’t buy that for myself but let me tell you something about this watch
it’s a Movado now are you familiar with the Movado brand I’m a very I’m a big
fan because it’s a very simple dial no numbers on it just a black face I’ll put
a little close up in here for you if you’re watching but here’s why I love
the Movado brand and I’m not trying to get a free watch here although if you
happen to want to send me one I’ll gladly accept the Movado the word Movado
means always in motion that to me is the link to motivation motivation comes from
the word motive motive means like you’re moving there’s motion in your life so
the Movado when I wear this watch reminds me stay in motion always moving
not just thinking about things oh I’m inspired to do this I’m inspired
to do that I got stars in my eyes great now I need to find that motivation stay
in motion on that idea to get the information I need so that I can then
execute and actually achieve it another cool thing about this watch sorry to
obsess about the watch but there’s another something cool of symbolic about
this watch aside from the name it’s also self-winding I didn’t even know that
existed so forgive me if this is old hat for you the watch doesn’t have any
batteries in it okay every time I move my wrist the mechanisms inside keep the
works wound up so as long as I keep moving the watch keeps moving so think
about this watch the way I do like this is your dream this is your passion this
is what you’re always talking about doing if I stay in motion this dream
keeps working it stays alive if I stop moving if I’m not motivated to keep
executing on that dream the watch dies it stops moving whoa how’s that so
Movado always in motion that’s one good reminder keep moving so it actually
keeps ticking that’s my second motivation
I just thought I’d threw that in throw that in there because how cool is that
right alright let’s wrap this up I’ll bet you’re familiar with the old saying
you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink that’s 100 percent
wrong you can absolutely make a horse drink for instance you might leave them
in the barn for three weeks with no water or food I’m pretty sure when you
open that barn door and you lead the horse out to the trough he’ll drink just
fine you could also take that horse just grab him by the hair shove his head into
the water and start beating them until he drinks that water you could
absolutely make that horse drink however there’s a good chance you’re gonna get
hurt in the process that’s what I want you to think about can you make your
friends nag your friends to follow up on their dreams to go after their goals
maybe you can maybe you can just harass them so much with links and seminars and
taking them by the hand and trying to run them through whatever obstacles they
need to get through to get to their dreams but there’s a good chance you’re
gonna get hurt in the process because they’re gonna be dragging their feet
they’ll be sabotaging and fighting you the whole way the question is if they
don’t want to drink why are you forcing them why are you trying to make this
horse drink it doesn’t want the water he doesn’t want the water okay again you’re
not being harsh you’re not being mean you’re being careful you’re being
careful to protect your heart to use your resources wisely and to spend your
time and energy on the people who deserve it and you’re gonna do the same
thing with yourself you’re not gonna beat yourself up every time you let go
of a dream that doesn’t make you a loser it makes you smarter it makes you more
powerful now that you’re turning all of your time and attention on the couple of
things that you actually like doing the things you’re actually good at if you
can find a way to manage your time your energy your enthusiasm your love so that
it’s never wasted but only invested in the people and the pride
jects that are actually moving forward then you my friend have stumbled into a
way to live a happier healthier more successful life okay and that’s the show
thanks so much for being here and hanging out awhile if you enjoyed this
episode I hope you’ll share it with a friend or how about leaving a comment or
review on whatever platform you’re on until next time
smiles up my friend let that smile be your shield and your sword keep fighting
for a happy life

18 thoughts on “#74: Inspiration and Motivation [Fight for a Happy Life podcast]

  1. I've seen so much of this. I live in a small mountain community, our entire county has a population of 5,000. There's a real need to bring in new students to keep our school alive, because the pool we have to draw from isn't large. As I run through everyone I know, letting them know how great our martial arts school has been for me, I just can't believe all the excuses I hear. Some of them are just sad, like they don't know who will take care of their kids while they're at class (our school takes kids alongside adults). Or it would force them to shuffle their dinner schedule. But then some are just borderline offensive, such as: You refuse to go to our school because it's traditional instead of MMA? You refuse to go to our school because it's Korean and not Chinese??? You live in a county of 5,000, how many choices do you expect to have!

    I think you really learn something about a person's true character through the process. What I find in most instances is that they just have problems in their life that are far beyond anything that martial arts or exercise could ever help them with. They have to resolve those issues first, like in Maslow's Pyramid, where they're unable to consider self-actualization priorities because of underlying deficiencies.

    Sometimes it isn't the lack of WANT that prevents the move from Inspiration to Motivation, it's that they have bigger problems that prevent them from taking that leap.

    I was told that 15-20 years ago, our school had at least 30 students at every class despite our low population, and I've seen photos from those days, it looked really great. Today, even though our population has nearly doubled since then, there are a lot of classes where we only have 2 students. The maximum I've ever seen at a class is 12. Continuing my Maslow's Hierarchy train of thought, I have to believe that there's a tremendous amount of psychological dysfunction out there that's preventing so many people from doing what they really want, with contributing factors that cause stressful instability in their daily life: living paycheck to paycheck, getting into huge debt, overwork, family problems, addiction (including video games and social media), etc…

    It's as you said though, there's nothing we can do about it, so you don't want to get in the habit of taking that roller coaster ride. Let them know it's there if they want it, and you can help them get there if they decide to go for it. Just be prepared to hear another ridiculous excuse and move on.

  2. i just love u teacher Ando, i have two teacher in gym, they are great I'm thankful for training me, but the way u benefit me is more satisfying cause u giving me my brain food, thank you

  3. Awesome how you nailed the issue down!
    Thank you very much for speaking out clearly what troubles many of us! 🙏🏼
    I can also understand better now why some teachers don’t get too excited with super motivated newcomers. They wait until they proof to be serious and willing to listen.

  4. Motivation great when you have it but it's easily lost we've all been there and have good intentions to start something but don't see it though but end of the day we only get one life so let's do what makes us happy even if we don't stick to it.
    Ando i say let the horse find its own way to water

  5. Excellent pcast. You and Jordan Peterson are the two scariest dudes on the internet, and i am so glad we will never see you in tap shoes.

  6. Excellent synopsis! Our time is precious….. pretty much says it all. Thanks for caring to share this valuable insight!

  7. Yep this has happened so much. I’ve even tried reverse psychology and let a friend know he’s a loser and doesn’t have what it takes. I seriously thought this would make him want to prove me wrong. It didn’t work.

  8. Well hey ando! So I've been researching street fighting and I've come to find out about different phrases of warm up and heat level

    And I call them heat level to better understand them.

    Level 1
    Your muscle is relaxed, giving you some speed in jabs and kicks but that's all there is to it.

    Level 2 ( warmed up )
    Your muscle is loosen making faster and your muscle is heated meaning you'll have better power in your attacks.

    Level 3 ( weak fight or flight )
    Your muscle tense up a bit making your hooks , elbow and grapple stronger but in consequences you lose speed.

    Level 4 ( fight or flight )
    Your muscle tenses up very much, you won't be able to kick at all, your muscle finally uses 100% of its strength but because you'll get muscle cramps and panic attacks, you are likely better off having level 3 or 5.

    Level 5 ( fight or flight, warmed up, usually only achieveable in professional ring )
    Your muscle is active but loosen up. Making your speed and power all increase dramatically but although you still don't use 100% of your muscle's potential you are better off having this.

    Don't you feel your same punch with the same technique sometimes feel weak while other time feel strong? This just proves my point.

    Now that you think about it, whenever someone is in street fight situation they just jumps to level 4. So that explain why kicking is bad in street fight and while warming up is not possible, you can do so but fighting. Like gaining arm up by throwing jabs at your opponent to warm up your hands and jump around in heaps to warm up your legs.

  9. Real talk, but at the same time reality is cruel. I always keep thinking in my head that i will enroll at an martial arts class, yet i dont do. I did, but lost interest or due to lazyness.. Bjj. This very thought will nag me the rest of my life, or i'll step up and finally do it and commit to it. Or dont finally decided to stop and focus on the things i'm already good at~ Thanks, Ando Sensei –

  10. I have a question for you, sensei Ando. If a person A apologizes to a person B and gets motivated to send him/her a friend request in order to reconnect with him/her, and then a person B ignores that request, is a person B a nice person?

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