It got me thinking: is it better to be motivated by love or hate?
There have been times in my life when I’ve been more motivated by hate than love. Even though I did well in school, I didn’t love it. I just hated failing, and anything less than a B was failing. So I mostly got A’s, but I can’t say that it brought me much joy to get them.
I used to be obsessed with my weight when I was in my 20’s and 30’s, so I was much more disciplined back then about exercising and watching what I ate. I weigh more now, which doesn’t thrill me, but I can’t say that I was happier when I was thinner. Every now and then I will get into that obsessive mindset again, but then I decide that I’m just going to stop looking in the mirror so much. Because even if it’s an effective weight loss strategy, it’s just too painful to hate my body.
I know I said in a previous post how it’s more important for me to play with friends than it is to win, but I have to admit, losing is starting to get to me. I haven’t had a single win in either of my mixed doubles teams this year. Still, losing hasn’t diminished my love for the game or my motivation to get better. I can’t say whether I love winning or hate losing more. I think it’s more accurate to say that I love competing and I love the fight, and that is all the motivation that I need.
Plus, win or lose, at the end of the day, you still get to have dinner with friends afterwards. And for me, food is the greatest motivator of all.
Here is a picture of my only winning team this season. Which I am not captaining, of course.
You are a seriously deep thinker, ruminator (all of which I relate to, trust me) and you bring great insight. I guess most people would say (cheese-ily?) that the “journey” should be the most important thing of all. Swell 🙂 I always worry about athletes who are terrified of losing. Who loathe it. This is perfectionism of the accepted kind, but it is a form of self-loathing. I know this, being a recovering perfectionist as I am. I think your post says a lot about self-esteem. We all struggle with our levels of it. No one seems immune. 🙂
Thanks Abby! I think you do have to be a perfectionist to be a top athlete, and there are definitely costs for it. I think it's sad that fans and the media also think someone should retire when they start losing. What's wrong with playing just because you love it?
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