Episode 15 – Do You Need To Be Motivated To Sing or Practice?
Updated: Sep 13
In this Episode I discuss the huge difference between Motivation and Inspiration.
They may not seem different, but they are totally different!
Motivation comes from the head. Inspiration comes from the heart (and deeper).
Do you need to be motivated to sing or practice as much as you’d like to?
Usually we need motivation to do things we Don’t like to do.
Do you know the extreme difference between the two?
You’ll take away some key inspirations that will get you back to the love and joy of singing – no matter your level. (-:
The Inner Singer Podcast
Episode 15 – Transcripts
Do You Need To Be Motivated To Sing or Practice?
You’re listening to episode number 15.
Welcome to the Inner Singer Podcast providing tools and techniques to strengthen your inner singer, your beliefs, your confidence, your mindset. And now, your host for the Inner Singer Podcast, Mike Goodrich.
Hi there. This is Mike Goodrich. Thanks for listening to the Inner Singer Podcast episode number 15. Welcome aboard here. Today, I’d like to talk about a couple of things. And before I say what they are, I was wondering what I would talk about in this podcast today. I always have a lot of ideas and I speak them into my iPhone or write them down somewhere.
I had this idea and wrote about a page and a half on it the other day and I thought this seems like a good topic, a good idea, something that confused me for a long time and may be confusing people out there, these two words that I am going to talk about because they’re very similar and people think they’re the same. But to me (I’m just going to explain my feeling with them), they’re not the same at all.
It is really funny because I was listening to a podcast. I was actually watching a video of somebody that I like. This guy is a business guy. And on his Facebook page, he had this video of this guy at a TED Talk that was really interesting. It was a minute and a half long. I don’t know if it was the entire video, I don’t know. Usually, TED Talks are a lot longer than that, but this seemed like a minute and a half or two minutes.
There was this guy coming out on the stage and a big video of the same guy behind. It’s like when you’re in a rock concert or something like that. But you see the guy on the stage and you see the video of him doing exactly what he’s doing on the stage. It’s just a video of him. And he is talking about motivation and he’s like, “Just do it. Just do it.” I was like, “This guy is so angry.”
I thought honestly it was going to be a joke. I thought at the end of 20 or30 seconds of this, the guy was going to laugh and go into, “See, this is like what a lot of people do and it just doesn’t work.” But no, he hung right in there.
I have nothing against this guy. I don’t know what his name was. He just hung in there with this and he looked really ticked off, really angry. He’s like, “Just do it.” And he was talking about giving excuses and then he goes back into “Just do it!” I was like, “Whoa, this guy is ticked off.” And he never went to where I thought he was going to go. Like I said, I thought he was kidding.
But anyway, I have nothing against the guy. He’s out there and I’m sure he’s doing a lot of good. But it was just surprising to me and it confirmed what I wanted to talk about today and that is the difference between motivation and inspiration.
I always talk about my own experience. But to me, they are wildly different. To me, the idea of motivation is what I used to get back when I was in businesses that I couldn’t stand. And motivation, I associate with trying to get you to do something that you really just don’t want to do and you don’t like. You got no passion for it, so you’re trying to get motivated from the outside.
To me, in my experience, motivation has been just a pumped up, trying to get you pumped about something outside you, maybe money, maybe a new this or a new that. And maybe the person doing the motivating, if they are not terribly enlightened, goes into shaming. They try and shame you into it. That’s a form of motivation. They shame you into it.
There are a lot of negative forms of motivation. There are a lot of positive forms of motivations as well. But to me, motivation is always speaking to the head. It’s always speaking to the conscious brain. It’s always speaking to the part of us that really is not responsible for carrying out what you’re supposed to be motivated to do.
So it goes back to when I was in the car business years and years ago. It was like a different life. My dad was in the car business, so I just ended up in the car business. My dad was a great guy. He was awesome, completely honest. He’s one of the really good guys in the car business. I know the car business gets a bad rep, but it didn’t used to be though.
Anyway, I ended up in the car business, selling cars. I was terrible, just awful. You can imagine how bad I was at selling cars and I just despised it.
And about every year, we all get together somewhere in a big convention room in a hotel with all the different salesmen and all the dealers all over the place. If a particular dealer had a lot of different dealerships as it happens (they’ll have three or four or five or six different dealerships) and all the salesmen will gather together for this one event, what they’ll do is they’ll talk about the new models and the new things that are going to come out and why they’re so great and wonderful and fabulous and better than anybody else’s cars. And then they’ll have this motivational guy who will get up and tell you everything that you should be doing to make a ton of money and how easy it is.
I would sit there, I’d take notes and I’d be thinking, “Okay. Yeah, this is great because I need more money and I want to make more money. And if I do this, this and this, that’s awesome. This guy is doing it and that guy is doing it. I can do it. Certainly, I can do it. I’m smart and I can do this.” So I am motivating myself and I’m getting all pumped up.
And literally, by the time I got back to the car on the drive home, I was like, “I am not going to do this. I hate this. I am never going to do this. Who am I kidding? This was a complete waste of my day.”
So this whole motivation thing, this poor guy is in a room full of a bunch of guys that don’t want to be there and hated what they do and are only doing it for the money. And for most of them, including myself, the money wasn’t the motivator.
Money for me is not a big enough motivator. I know that may sound odd, but it isn’t and it wasn’t back then. I used to beat myself up thinking, “Gosh, money should be a motivator. I should be doing this.” But I just didn’t really care about it.
And then, when I reflect back on my life to the things that I’ve gotten really good at fast, I never had to get pumped up to do them. When I was playing baseball as a kid, I didn’t have to listen to Zig Ziglar or anything, motivational speakers.
There’s nothing wrong with Zig Ziglar, he’s terrific. But I wasn’t listening to motivational speakers at 11 and 12 years old, trying to get pumped up to go out and play ball. I loved it! My buddy, Allan and I would play ball from sun up to sun down. I got really, really good because I played all the time.
And then when I was in high school, I played guitar. I wanted to be the next Eric Clapton, so I played all day and long every day. When I wasn’t playing baseball, I was playing guitar. And then drums, I was playing drums all the time. If I wasn’t playing baseball or guitars, I was playing drums hours and hours and hours. Nobody ever had to tell me to practice. Nobody ever had to tell me to do it. Nobody ever had to shame me into it. Nobody ever had to motivate me into it. I was being pulled from another direction.
I know everybody gets in bands when they’re kids to get girls. I wasn’t doing that. That was one of the after things. “Oh, girls like you when you’re doing this. This is pretty cool.” But that wasn’t the motivator. I just loved it. I just thought, “Wow! I’m getting good at this and this is pretty cool. I love this music.”
So I just played and played and played. I played in bands and I played in baseball and played in bands. Nothing I ever got good at was a chore to get good. And even the things that I enjoy in business today are not a chore to get good at, maybe a little taxing when you’re learning a new editing program or something like that. But for the most part, if I don’t like something, if I am not inspired to do it, if it’s not fun, I’ll do my best to just farm it out and get somebody else to do it.
But singing, I was inspired to sing. As many of you know (many of you know me or know of me at least or you know my background), I was terrible. I was an abysmal singer. And when I was in high school, I was a good guitar player, a good drummer, awful, awful singer. It would actually hurt when I sang. I had no high notes, I couldn’t sing loud and I really couldn’t sing soft, I had no vibrato. It was just a pain to sing. I mean the straining actually hurt my throat.
So anyway, nobody ever had to tell me to practice. “Practice! If you want to get good, you got to practice. Here, listen to this, read this motivational book.” I just loved it. I was really inspired, which goes to what I want to talk about inspiration.
To me, motivation is appealing to the head. Motivation is appealing to the conscious brain, the part of the brain that’s responsible for 2% to 4% of what we do, believe, act and behave.
Inspiration to me however is something that’s much deeper. It’s bubbling up from within, from within that authentic part of ourselves that we can become in touch with and live out from, which is certainly probably all of our goals. It’s when we become aware that there’s a bigger part of us rather than the operating system that has been running us forever (which we talked a lot about in these programs), a bigger part of us that we can begin to live out from.
And these inspirations, these gut feelings, these ideas, these intuitive senses that we get are inspired from something much deeper within rather than the outer motivation, which to me comes from the head and goes to the head. Inspiration comes from the heart or the soul or a very, very deep place within us. And that’s why things that we are inspired to do, we don’t have to “be motivated” to do. We just do them.
So referring to your singing now, do you have to be motivated to sing? When you practice singing, are you calling it practice? Or is it playtime? Is it just fun to make sound?
For me, I don’t honestly ever really remember saying, “I am going to go practice singing. I am going to go practice my guitar. I am going to go practice my drums.” I just took up guitar again. I just pick it up. My wife laughs at me. I just pick it up and start playing. She goes, “No, no, no. Please, not now. Not now. It’s time for you to go to bed. Don’t pick it up.” I can’t help it. I picked the guitar up and I start playing. Why? I don’t know, because I like it. It’s fun. I love to play.
I’ll sing. We’re shopping in Whole Foods and I’ll start singing. “Don’t sing now. Don’t. What are you doing?” “I’m singing.” “Yeah, I know. But people are looking.” “Well, let them look.”
So I can’t stress enough. If you feel like you have to practice your singing, perhaps you can reframe that in a way that comes from a different place, that comes from a more inspirational intuitive place. It comes more from your authentic self of just playing so that you no longer think, “I have to practice. I am practicing an hour a day and that’s my New Year’s resolution. I’m practicing an hour a day.”
I don’t know many of you, but I know behavior and I know statistically, those of us that set New Year’s resolutions and goals with the conscious part of our brain are going to hit up against a non-conscious wiring that’s responsible for 96% to 98% of what we do and how we feel and what we believe and what we think and our behavior and our results. And I know that if those goals, if those intentions, if what we’re trying to motivate ourselves for go against that wiring in the unconscious brain, we’re going to be hitting up against the wall.
But if we can now reframe this practicing into playing, I would just love to see people take the word practicing out of their vocabulary.
Even tennis, I just took up tennis again. And it’s play, it’s fun. I’m going to take some tennis lessons. I’ve got a guy on the internet that I really like that I spoke about in the previous podcast. But to me, it’s just fun. It’s just playing.
So if you are looking at singing ever – and this may not be you, but it may be – if you’re looking at singing ever as work, as you got to practice and you got to get this far and you’re doing any kind of self-talk and self-motivation, trying to pump yourself up, you might have this whole thing framed in a way that’s not supportive.
If you have to motivate to do it, if you have to motivate from the outside or get somebody to help you motivate or write down a bunch of goals and write down how much you’re going to practice and all these types of things, if you have to do that, I say in a very kind, loving way, you might want to look at reframing that a bit because singing is supposed to really be fun. It’s not supposed to be work. And practice is supposed to be play, so if you can just reframe everything to playing…
I’ll tell you, in the last couple of years, to me, my voice, my tool is in a completely new level and it was as a result of no, zero formal vocalizations. Now, I know, granted that I’ve done this for a long time and I’m smart enough to know that I’m maybe in a different place vocally than a lot of you (and that’s fine), but I still think there’s a takeaway here.
I would just walk around and I’d sing a note. I’d be inspired to sing. And then, I’d warm up a little bit, but not necessarily any kind of a formal way. And then I’d play around and I’d sing. I’d sing some notes. I’ll tell you, it was so unbelievably random and yet, I completely went to another level in my singing.
Now, I don’t say that to say, “Okay, just stop practicing altogether.” That would be ridiculous. But I do say that if you have this framed in a way that it is work and that it is practice and it’s something that you have to do and it is formal, my suggestion would be to open it up a little bit to include a lot of playtime, a lot of fun, a lot of random things, a lot of just popping off a note here, popping off a note there;
Things that aren’t formal, things that aren’t something where, “Okay, I’m going to sing now. I’m going to sing now,” something where it just becomes much more natural like you’re just walking to the refrigerator or you are watering the plants or you’re making the bed or you’re just doing whatever, playing with your children, playing with your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your spouse, it doesn’t matter, something that’s just really normal, really natural.
If you’re in a position to have to motivate to do this, then something isn’t right. Something is not right if you’re having to motivate to do this. Something has gotten convoluted. The love has gone out of it, the joy has gone out of it and we want to bring the inspiration back so that all of a sudden, you just feel like doing it. You feel like singing, you feel like running some scales, you feel like vocalizing just because making sound is so much fun.
You don’t care about the outcome, you’re just making sound. There’s no judgment. You’re just making sound and having fun. And the more you do in that playful atmosphere of inspiration, the more you do that, the better you’ll get and the faster you will get better. Playing in the atmosphere of joy is the absolute, most conducive way to getting good at something fast.
Just look at our poor kids in schools, how stressed they get. We home school for that reason and many more. And I don’t say that because we’re so great, we home school. We just made the decision to home school because of the stories we hear from kids and how stressed out they are about tests and about keeping up and about homework and all this is just unbelievable.
Our society teaches people how to be rigid and stressed. They don’t teach people how to be open and expansive and inspired because we’re always in a position when we’re young of doing a whole bunch of stuff we don’t want to do and we have to figure out how we’re going to make ourselves do it. We get motivated and we get pumped up and we get adrenal and we get all excited and we get all phony and we go, “We’re going to go and we’re going to do it” just like this guy on the video. It’s like, “Dude, are you kidding me? Really?”
If you’ve got to do that stuff, you’re doing the wrong thing. If you got to do that to sing, something needs to be reframed here because the motivation is coming from the head and going to the head and oftentimes no further. But the inspiration is bubbling up from within, from the heart space, from something that’s really calling to you.
Allow yourself to be inspired. I guarantee, I don’t care who you are, I don’t care why you’re listening to this podcast, but if you are a singer, you started making sound because it was fun and you are inspired to do it. And if somewhere along the way, you lost the joy and it became work and it became keeping up and it became competition and it became comparison and it became where the stakes are too high and it became stressful, then it got framed in a way that is no longer conducive to you having much fun doing it or making progress. It needs to be reframed back to where you were inspired to do it when it was fun, when the stakes were not high.
I don’t care if you’re on Broadway, I don’t care if you’re up for a Grammy, I don’t care whatever you’re doing, but you have to allow yourself to get back to the place where it is fun again no matter how high the stakes seem like they are on the outside. Set the stakes inwardly to be fun.
I’m really interested to know if you guys agree with me on this. As you can see, I am pretty passionate about this whole idea. I didn’t bother to go to the dictionary and look up motivation and inspiration because I have a feeling if I looked up motivation, it probably says, “To inspire” and some ridiculous things like that. To me, they are totally different if I haven’t stressed that enough now. I probably have, so I won’t say it again. But to me, they are completely the opposite.
Motivation is from the head and inspiration is from the heart. Allow yourself the same inspiration that inspired you to sing in the first place and fill it full of joy, fill it full of love, fill it full of expansion, non-judgment, no competition, no comparison.
And I invite you to try this on no matter where you are, whether you’re seeing in a wedding, whether you’re singing in your bedroom, whether you’re singing at karaoke, whether you’re singing on a Broadway stage. I guarantee it, it’s much, much, much more joyful, fun and inspired when you allow the inspiration that originally got you going with this to come back to life, to come out and just have fun.
And as always, I look down at the time here. It’s almost 22 minutes. I really thought this would be about 10 minutes. So anyway, wow! That’s almost mysterious, isn’t it? The same amount of time almost every time.
Okay, I hope you guys enjoyed this. I hope you get something out of it. Please let me know if you agree or disagree. It doesn’t matter. I love to hear from you no matter what. It’s been my joy as always. I will look forward to seeing you in the next podcast and I will talk to you soon. Bye-bye.
Thank you for listening to the Inner Singer Podcast. And please share this with all of your singing friends. Head on over to iTunes and subscribe. If you found it of value, give us a nice rating. Thank you so much.