For the sake of it

I understand the need for people to have external rewards for their actions but I don’t necessarily agree with it.

We teach our kids this very early in life:

“Finish your vegetables and you can have dessert”

“Help clean up and you can watch a TV show”

“Be good and Santa will bring you stuff”

I’ve never been a big fan of this way of thinking. Why not do things for their own sake? The same thing applies to training. If your actions and work are always a means to an end there is not much depth in the actions themselves. If the training part of the equation is drudgery and work so you can have some external reward or outcome then you’re missing the bigger picture. Fall in love with the work, fall in love with the action required to get the external reward and you’ve realized the real goal- to do things for their own sake.

Finish your vegetables because vegetables are good for you and they come from the ground and they are awesome.

Help clean up because the act itself instills great things like discipline, respect for shared space and how to be helpful.

Be good not because Santa will bring you stuff but because it’s just a better way to be in the world.

Train hard and do the work because that’s where the intrinsic value comes from. Love, respect and appreciate the work part of the equation for its own sake and you will experience sport at a much deeper level.

About Jasper

Jasper is an Ironman Champion and professional athlete turned coach and entrepreneur. He also has a passion for the philosophical and creative side of life. This is his personal blog.

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