There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life. – John Lennon
Although fear can be a motivator as well (fear of failure, of getting hurt, of the unknown, of letting people down), love is the most powerful force and inspiration we have. Sports psychologist Saul Miller says that “to make the most of any situation you’re facing, even a challenging one, choose it, use it, love it, and transform it. Love produces energy. Fear produces dis-ease. Fear causes tension, cuts down breathing, reduces energy flow, and ultimately limits performance. Love opens us to new possibilities.”
You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t love what you’re doing, it doesn’t mean a lot for your personal idea of success. When reflecting on what made Mr. Hockey so great and why he was able to enjoy a long career, Harry Neale said “The degree to which a player loves the game determines whether or not he’ll be a great player. A big part of Gordie Howe’s greatness was his love of the game and his dedication to it. It was a passion that Howe kept alive throughout his career.” Let yourself be motivated by love rather than the negative driver of fear. When you push yourself to succeed because of fear of failure, you’re more likely to run yourself down when you don’t perform well. Instead, dedicate yourself to something because you love the challenge. You don’t need to achieve something to be someone.
“To me, hockey always was tremendous fun. That’s what kept me going. I simply love to play hockey.” – Gordie Howe
Game Plan: Find things to love about the challenges you’re facing. Love yourself. Love the situation you’re in. Go after the things that you love. Let love drive you, not fear.