Over the next week and a half our television screens will be filled with inspirational people competing in a series of awe-inspiring feats of sporting excellence.
But just how do the world’s best athletes motivate themselves – especially when they have been through adversity on an unimaginable scale?
This week the Paralympics start in Rio, and are set to wow us once more with displays of remarkable sporting achievements from motivational athletes.
Athletes like British swimmer Sascha Kindred, who has competed in six summer Paralympic Games and taken home 12 medals – despite being told by a doctor he would never walk in his life.
The incredible athlete has said this year’s games will be his last, despite clocking up an impressive seven world records.
So what makes the 38-year-old, who was born with cerebral palsy, so motivated, and determined to succeed?
“A broken body isn’t a broken person” – Janine Shepherd, Australian former cross-country skier
In an interview in 2012 he told reporters that his motivation came from a desire to do everything his able-bodied twin Timo did, that got him into swimming in the first place. But it was his passion and drive to succeed that have got him to where he is today, as one of the most decorated Paralympians of all time. Sascha proves the theory that being told you can’t do something is often far more powerful motivation than being told you can.
Another athlete who lives by this rule is Patrick Blake Leeper. The American Paralympic athlete who was born a bilateral below-the-knee amputee, believes the only disability in life is a bad attitude.
His dad was quoted in the Kingsport News as saying “he’s heard a lot of nos in his life, and there’s a lot of people out there who don’t want him to be the best.” So, having been told he would never walk, let alone play competitive sports, he made it his goal to shatter expectations and do exactly what he was told he could not.
Maybe this is where we need to take a look at our own mindsets and think about what we can achieve?
Motivation is the driving force that pushes you to go after all the things you want in life, and can be applied to virtually every action and goal in life.
A motivated workforce results in increased output caused by extra effort from workers, improved quality as staff take a greater pride in their work, and a higher level of staff retention.
Motivated individuals are goal orientated, and will work hard to push themselves to achieving that goal, whatever it may be.
Motivation is the spark that sets the fire, and keeps you going. When life gets hard, people who are motivated will keep going despite the problems they face. If you keep your motivation high and your eyes on the goal, no problem will seem insurmountable.
“Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly” - Stephen R. Covey