This month we have a guest blogger which is all about how to create and build motivation. He uses the analogy of building a fire, something he was taught by his father as a child.  As coaches, we can often come across clients who want to achieve big goals and sometimes struggle with ‘just’ getting started, ‘just’ doing it, and often it can come down to beliefs, confidence, and of course motivation. As you read Luke’s blog, the question to ask yourself might be, how do we as coaches support our clients to be able to build and light their own fire that ignites and motivates them to achieve their dreams? In my view, that’s where our coaching competencies can really support us to ask those powerful, curious, open questions that may evoke new awareness in our clients, enabling them to build their fire and achieve those amazing goals! Coaching is not just about solving problems, it can and needs to be supporting clients in building their fires, finding their spark, and achieving their dreams. That’s where I certainly get the most joy as a coach.

So, which competencies might be important in this work? All of them really!

Competency 3: Clearly, we need a focus for the session, however identifying what needs to be addressed to achieve dreams speaks to Luke’s idea of the fuel and the ‘Why’ of their goal. Then there’s what’s driving the desire, what’s important about it, and what’s stopping them from achieving it already? Digging deeply really requires the whole of Competency 4, creating the environment (oxygen) where the client feels safe and supportive to really share their thoughts and, as the coach, being fully present (Competency 5) in a place of curiosity and not ‘knowing’. To really listen (Competency 6) and reflect on what you hear and see, which may provide them with more fuel to add to their fire. The heavy lifting to support our clients to create their own fire is done through the powerful, open questions which can spark and evoke new awareness (Competency 7). Finally, the use of Competency 8 to look at aspects such as resources (fuels) needed, what might be barriers or things that get in the way, that may reduce the oxygen needed to achieve their dreams and stay motivated. As Luke says, although external motivations can help, it’s finding the internal motivation that really will set the fire ablaze!


Why do you think certain people always seem to have endless energy?

  • Is it their diet? Maybe…
  • Is it because they exercise often? Potentially…
  • Or maybe they are younger than you, and this is a simple way to explain their youthful exuberance..?

These are all likely realities, however, the people who I’ve met over time that consistently showcase this endless energy, are those who are internally motivated.

The notion that we have two motivational drivers isn’t new.

We have internal motivation, and then the flashy, instantly rewarding external motivation. There are several differences between internal & external motivation, the one which most people miss is that internal motivation is endless, whereas external motivation is limited, and expires quickly.


External Motivation

In the simplest form, you are relying on something or someone to motivate you.

Whether this is a motivational speaker putting on a performance in front of you, or someone online saying all the right things to enhance how you feel.
The source of your external motivation could be as simple as a quote, image, music, or the outcome of something you do, or don’t do.

Here’s the thing, while these ‘motivators’ are in front of you, or in the forefront of your mind, they can be helpful. Take them away, then their efficacy rapidly declines.

Time will also destroy your external motivation, as once you’ve had an initial burst of the neurotransmitter dopamine, giving you those feel-good sensations, the downturn has already begun, depleting your newfound motivation bit by bit.

Do not fear, I have a solution, and it comes in the form of knowing how to build a fire.

Internal Motivation

There are specific elements that must be considered when creating an internal inferno; Environment, Preparation, Fuel, and a Spark.

Firstly, let’s start with how fire is created.

Fire needs a dry, still, and oxygenated space in order to thrive.

Identifying the best location for your fire based on the above needs, and where you would like it contained. Maximising the environment through preparation will help sustain your fire.

Varying types of fuel and sizes of fuel are essential in creating a long-lasting and durable fire.

Once you have chosen the ideal environment and prepared the environment to lay down your various types of fuel, it’s time to ignite your fuel with a spark. Whether it’s created by yourself, or from an external source, all fires need a spark.

And that’s it. Now you know how to build a fire! So how do you build your Internal fire?

Your Internal Motivation Fire
A fire creates warmth and can make you experience those same feel-good sensations from the neurotransmitter Dopamine. However, when you take the time to build & create your own internal motivational fire, these flames will never go out.

There are a few things to consider when looking to optimise your environment and allow your internal motivation fire to burn.

Your immediate community:
Friends, family, co-workers, and those who you spend the majority of your time with. Are they supporting your goals, encouraging you, and cheering you on to achieve your success? Or are they a storm that blows in every time you see them, with their pointless conversations, negativity, and constant complaining that sucks the oxygen out of the air you are trying to breathe?

Where are you looking for motivation in your life?
You may be motivated in some areas of your life, but not in others. Be specific with where you wish to start building your personal internal fires.

Being a student for life and looking to learn daily is vital to your preparation. Your daily learning is not made up of random trivia, but it’s specific information, insight, and knowledge, which will help you understand the area of your life where you’re looking to become increasingly motivated in.

When it’s pouring with rain, it’s not the excessive wet pellets swarming from above that drains your motivation; it’s your attitude towards them! You have a choice when faced with a stimulus that has made its way in front of you. Whether it’s a person, an action, words, or an outcome—your attitude towards this stimulus is ultimately your choice.

Remember to focus on what you can control. Your thoughts or reaction to a stimulus will either help or hinder your preparation. When there is a stimulus in front of you, stop and choose your attitude wisely, before you take physical or verbal action.

Just like building an actual fire, you will need various sources of fuel to create and maintain a roaring internal motivational blaze.

Why you want to increase your motivation is a great start to collecting fuel!

Identifying several “whys” and writing them down will highlight some of your initial fuel sources. Then ask yourself why you want to achieve those whys you’ve identified!

Are your goals big enough?
I believe setting big goals can also be a fuel to sustain that motivational fire. However, there is an optimal level to setting goals. If your goals are too easy there is a high chance you will lose interest, and if they’re too hard, it can end in the same result. Goals that seem a little out of your reach now, with some uncertainty of how you will accomplish them are the ones you should be looking to set.

A Spark
Once you have created an environment, spent time preparing, and gathered all your sources of fuel, it’s time to ignite your internal motivation fire.


If you want to be completely self-sufficient with your motivational needs, I have found a few ways which can ignite your own internal spark to get your internal motivation fire roaring.

The first is remembering your past success. Remember the times when you have succeeded or accomplished a goal you set out to achieve. This can be the spark you need to start your internal motivation fire.

The obstacles you have overcome and the setbacks you have adapted to, are all internal sparks you can draw on to get your internal fire burning.

This is why internal motivation is like fire, and why you need to consistently pursue the four vital elements that are essential to tap into your unlimited, self-motivated, fire-starting self.

This is where external motivation, be it a person, quote, video, or song that sets alight what you have already cultivated and ignited can be helpful. Remember, you do need to have your environment, preparation, and fuel in order first!


A former professional football player turned global keynote speaker and author, Luke Tyburski now takes on some of the world’s most extreme ultra-endurance challenges.

Luke created and completed a world-first 2000km in 12-day Ultimate Triathlon from Morocco to Monaco, with an award-winning documentary made about this inspirational feat.

Luke has run through the Sahara Desert, down Mt. Everest, and across a tropical forest in China without food, money, water, and with a plane to catch. He has completed double Ironman triathlons and many other ultra-marathons.

It’s through these mind-bending physical challenges, that he has created & cultivated the mindset techniques he shares with his audiences around the world.

Alongside his busy speaking schedule, Luke works with individuals, teams, and companies, providing them with insight & tools, to unlock their true mental & physical potential and achieve peak performance daily.

Its only at the end of your comfort zone where you will catch a glimpse of your true potential.
Luke Tyburski

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