Andy Murray, the end of the tax year and Geoff Rawlings

Andy Murray is down to 8th in the men’s tennis world rankings, many people are coming to the end of their business financial year and Geoff Rawlings has had a “nightmare” month.

What links these three things?

For us it’s the performance mindset, tactics and particularly motivation that enables some people, more than others, to go again, and again and again.

Going again

Andy Murray had a back operation last September and given the system of world ranking points in tennis (which means that unless you do at least as well in every tournament you competed in during the previous 12 months your points will go down) that’s bad news. Tough enough to be under the surgeon’s knife but now he’s ranked eighth in the world he’ll be seeded lower and so is more likely to face seeds numbers one or two in the quarterfinals of the grand slams. So annoying for him don’t you think? So how does he go again in the highly, highly competitive world of elite sport where everyone he plays really, really wants to beat him?

At the end of your business’s financial year there might be whoops of joy, or tears of despair, or somewhere in between, but one thing for certain is that the next financial year will begin for you on your next working day. It might well feel relentless and even if some things have changed for better or worse there is little choice but to restart or face the negative consequences of easing up for too long. You have to go again.

Geoff Rawlings is part of an eight strong team, which includes five K2 coaches, cycling 150 miles in a day, coast to coast from Whitehaven to Whitby at the end of June. Geoff’s had a “Nightmare month, travelling & ill & it all starts again in April…” and he’s faced with the choices of quitting or doing what he needs to do training wise to get him over the line and in a manner he’d like. He has to go again in April even though he’s not where he wants to be.

So how do you go again? Where does the motivation come from for these people and for you to go again, and again and again, in a world where it seems like it never gets easier you just perform better.

The answer (because of course there is a correct answer)

The answer is a personal one, but tapping into sources of motivation that work for you could make a significant difference between a good, great and successful performance. Where do you keep finding the energy? There are multiple sources of motivation and energy, including using goals, feeling part of an organisation with a purpose, feeling part of a team and having the confidence that you can do it (e.g. Andy Murray knowing he’s been there before). Some people take a step back and look at progress over a career or a five year block, rather than falling into the trance of the annual cycle of corporate madness. Others remind themselves why they started on their personal mission in the first place, while others are fascinated by the constant chance to see if they can do things with more focus, efficiency and effectiveness than they’ve ever done before.

Whatever your story and whatever your journey, tapping into whatever you need to, to get and be motivated, is the essential energy that sits at the heart of your performance. Without motivation, you can have all the ability in the world but there’s not the drive to apply that ability. Without motivation, the very effort of regrouping to go again, no longer feels like a choice, so any drive you do have just keeps you involved rather than something that helps you drive to a new level of commitment and performance. Without motivation, ‘WHY?’ seems like a pointless question to answer, rather than an invitation to reconnect with the personal reasons why you wanted to test yourself out in the first place. Going again, regularly, was probably part of the deal that we all signed up for in the first place and the opportunity we all have is to see how effectively we can go again, feeling like we’ve got the level of motivation we had when we started the first time around! How’s your motivation at the moment?