Motivation and Attitude

Motivation and Attitude
By: William McCormick /
Blue Line BJJ
Written: 03/11/18


This article is geared towards Law Enforcement, but the basic idea can be applied to any occupation. If you are pushing a patrol car, working investigations, supervising shifts, saving basements from fires, leading a fire team, or flipping burgers the observations discussed here still apply. This article is to be a discussion on what drives us on the job and what decisions we can make to keep us moving in the right direction and not getting complacent with our daily grind.

I heard an interesting statement the other day from Pete Roberts on the Hands+Daylight podcast that “complacency is the void of struggle”. This stuck with me. Pete is the founder and owner of Origin Maine, an awesome company building a brand based on American made Jiu Jitsu Gi’s and apparel. What I imagine he means by this is that a person needs stress or hardship to grow or adapt. People often say iron sharpens iron. If you get too comfortable in your position you will not grow. You need to constantly be searching out new struggles to help define your character. Jiu Jitsu is a perfect avenue for this outside of work.

The question is, “How do we do this?” How do we overcome the organizational norm of doing only what you have to do? How do you get a disgruntled co-worker to want to do more? How do you get them to be better?  The easy answer is that you need to be the example. You need to constantly display and voice what you expect as the new norm. You have to continue to do better, finish your tasks with the same attitude as when you began them and move forward. This could be applied to investigations, calls for service, or interacting with the public. Part of this could include starting something new like Jiu Jitsu or getting a co-worker to start. You need to have the discipline to maintain that standard.

A lot of what we do on a daily basis is based on our motivation system. People find their motivations through Intrinsic (internal) or Extrinsic (external) motivations. Examples of extrinsic motivators include pay, job duties, promotions, or rewards.  Intrinsic motivations are harder to isolate. They can include the desire to be the best at your job, always wanting to create the best product available, and wanting self-growth. Intrinsic motivations are much longer lasting and sustainable for overall happiness.

I believe you want to leave something people will remember. When you are looking for motivation to continue through your current struggle or if a new hardship presents itself, think of what your legacy will be. Were you one of the group that did just what was expected or where you the one that excelled. You can be a positive change in the world, even if it a positive change to just one person, you have the ability to influence someone with every decision you make. Be the change you want to see.

Don’t waste time on the factors you can’t control.  I hear arguments every day about short staffing issues, pay not being enough, benefits being taken away, or some new program or procedure “that will never work.” Don’t be that guy/gal. Don’t feed that negativity that breads mediocrity. When you hear others complaining about the same things everyday have the courage to be the minority and voice your opinion. After time you may find you’ve changed some opinions.

In conclusion, remember that only you control your behavior. You make your own decisions. Don’t be the guy/gal that looked back over their career and said, “I wish I would have.” Be the person that does those things.  Don’t let the fear to fail stop you from doing something or starting something like Jiu Jitsu.

As Tyler Durden said, “This is your life, and its ending one minute at a time.”

Do you have any thoughts or comments? Please visit Blue Line BJJ on Facebook to discuss. Thank you for taking the time to read this and be safe out on the streets.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are entirely my own and are not to be taken as official views from the city or law enforcement agency where I work. Any techniques that are demonstrated or discussed are to be done at your own risk. Consult with your local district attorney and your agency policy before implementing anything learned on this site. Federal law, State law, and agency policy always trump my opinion.

Related Topics: Brazilian, Gracie, Jiu-Jitsu, JiuJitsu, Cop, Police, Officer, LEO, Law Enforcement, Corrections, Jailer, Training, Tactical, Courses, Seminars, Functional, Fitness, Police

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