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3 Easy Tricks To CRUSH “The Curse of Motivation”

By Alex On August 30, 2010 Under Sports Training

So we surpassed our 30 comment quota on the last blog post, “The Curse of Motivation”…coolness.

NOW, it’s time to get freaky with the good stuff and, as promised, my 3 BEST tricks for you to absolutely crush the “Curse of Motivation” and keep rocking and rolling with your athletic success.

So, let’s get it on:

1. Write a thank-you letter to yourself TODAY

This little trick is all about personal accountability..

I discovered it a few years back when I was actually writing thank-you letters to some friends, and because I’m awesomely weird, I decided to write a thank-you letter to myself.

It started off something like this:

“Hey Alex,

You don’t know me that well, but my name is Alex and I’m a big fan, and here’s why:

You work your ass off, you’re really fast and although your prose may be a little purple at times, I like reading your writing and listening to you speak.

Kidding aside, you’re unstoppable because..”

And then I went on for about a page or so to tell myself why I’m always going to succeed and stuff like that, and thanked myself at the end for working so hard.

I thought I was just being my eccentric normal self..

So I put the letter away and forgot about it until I found it about a month later and re-read it..

‘Cause “hot damn!”, wouldn’t you know it, I had NEVER felt so motivated and confident as I did right after I finished reading.

It was like I would get a super-charged “pat on the back” every time I’d read it.

So I’d go back every few weeks I felt “The Curse” coming on and give it a read.

So after you finish reading this post, I urge you to do the same.

Find somewhere quiet, take out a pen and paper and write yourself a “thank you for being awesome” letter to yourself.

You’re gonna love it..

2. Find ONE video and ONE song that INSPIRE you

Going back and reading all of those comments we got in the original “Curse of Motivation” post, I noticed that lots of people would watch videos or listen to songs to motivate them when they felt it waning, which is great.. It’s a proven formula to re-ignite motivation.

But here’s something that’ll put you even further over the top:

Find ONE song and ONE video that motivate them and ONLY listen/watch them when you’re re-igninting your motivation.

In that same comments section, one of our readers, Shawn Horwood, mentioned something about a section of psychology called NLP, which stands for “neuro-lingusitic programing”.

Shawn said that he uses some parts of it for motivation, but it was probably too complicated for the brevity of a comment section, which is certainly true.

I’m also a big “study snob” of NLP and think it’s awesome — IMO, it kicks traditional psychology on it’s arse.

And in NLP, there’s one tactic called “anchoring”, which is defined as a state change or memory recall associated with a certain stimulus — in normal people terms, you associate something with a certain feeling or memory and every time you hear, see or feel that “something,”, you automatically get that certain feeling or memory.

This is GREAT news for us. Here’s why:

All you have to do is find a video or song (STIMULUS) that motivates you (FEELING) and ONLY use it when you need that motivation (because you don’t want to over use it).

BUT, the key is that you only listen to it or watch it when you want to get motivated.

You don’t:

  • Listen to the song on the radio in the car
  • Play the song it on ITunes when you’re chatting on Facebook
  • Watch the video for fun with your friends
  • Other stuff like that

JUST when you want MOTIVATION.

So what you’re gonna want to do now is FIND your song and your video, decide that they’re ONLY gonna be used for this one purpose and then whenever you feel the “Curse” coming on and don’t want to read the thank-you letter, listen to your song or watch your video.

This is one bad-ass technique.

For example, back in the day, this used to be my “motivating” video (since Steve Nash was by far, my FAVORITE player):

And, now that I went over to YouTube to find it and, of course, had to watch it, I’m insanely motivated (anchoring) and want to do nothing but finish this blog post so I can crush something somewhere.

So find your song, find your video, make sure they motivate the HELL out of you and ONLY listen to them when you feel that big ol’ “Curse” coming on.

3. Find someone’s STORY to lose yourself in.

I CANNOT stress this one enough.

We as human beings love stories — it’s why we watch TV shows religiously, get caught up in books (Harry Potter anybody?) and always want to know peoples backgrounds and why they act/think they way they do.

So here’s how you can use this little trick to really ramp-up your long-term motivation:

Find ONE person’s story that resonates with you.

It should be someone who has a similar background like you.. Maybe they struggled through similar things you struggled with, but then, OVERCAME it all and did all of the things you’re working towards everyday.

And find out their story, find out their background, find all of those little details most people would never even care about.

And then, whenever you feel that “Curse” coming on, sit down somewhere, relax and think about that person, think about their story, think about their TRIUMPH.. this is your long-term motivational strategy.

For exmaple, it’s WHY I have that tab at the top of this page that says “The King of Quickness” story”.. I wanted every athlete out there who maybe also wan’t born to be really fast or athletic to find someone else who was once in the SAME position and came out of it ON TOP.

I’ve gotten tons of emails from people who used that story to motivate themselves too, SO you know this tactic works.

So there are the 3 BEST tricks for crushing the “Curse of Motivation”. And here’s what you need to do now:

1. Write a Thank-You letter to yourself. Store it somewhere it’ll be safe and you can go back and read it every so often.

2. Find you song and video that you’re going to anchor to MOTIVATION and ONLY listen to/watch them when you want a quick jolt of motivational juice.

3. Find someone who was in a similar position to the one you’re in and overcame all of it and read their story. Memorize it. And never forget it, because it’s going to be your long-term motivational strategy.

Have a great day out there.. I’ll talk to you later.

Your Coach,


PS – If you still want more jedi mind-trick strategies and mental toughness-getting methods, go watch this video from my buddy Todd Herman:

The Champion’s Challenge Video

He’s got some great information for you that gets my HIGHEST recommendation.

PPS – This is kinda off-topic, but I’m looking for some new music to download to my IPod training playlist. What do ya got for me? Let me know in the Comments Section below!

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15 comments - add yours

August 31, 2010

C’mon Baby! I love this guy! awesome posts!


August 31, 2010

as in love him like a brother – that would be pretty cool if he was lol.

Shawn Horwood

September 1, 2010

First off, thanks for the mention!

Anchoring is one of the keys I use for motivation. There are different ways of using anchoring and the one you mentioned is one of them.

It’s definitely powerful.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of writing a thank you letter to yourself…I’ve heard of doing similar things, but a thank you letter is a nice twist.

These are some awesome motivation tips Alex – and it’s nice to see you’re also a studier NLP. It definitely kicks the crap out of traditional psychology.



September 1, 2010



September 2, 2010

Alex, you don’t have to apologize for being confident – it’s a trait of ALL champions. You are wise beyond your age, thanks for all the excellent content.



September 2, 2010

Thanks Kester. You might like this too:


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September 23, 2010

Possibly the BEST blog that I read all year?!



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