Episode 9: Mike O’Hearn Talks with CT Fletcher about the difference between passion and motivation.

CT Fletcher is known as one of the most motivational people on the planet. He has developed some of the most impressive biceps in the bodybuilding and strength sports world. His massive personality and epic lifts have turned him into an icon. So much so that an entire documentary film dedicated to his life story was released in 2016 titled – CT Fletcher: My Magnificent Obsession. It was so motivating that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tweeted about the film urging all of his followers to watch it! In this week’s episode of Generation Iron and Barbend’s The Mike O’Hearn Show, Mike connects with CT Fletcher to talk about passion, motivation, and a key trait that is lacking in the modern generation of aspiring lifters.

Mike O’Hearn and CT Fletcher have one key thing in common – they are both relatively older lifters who pride themselves on their immense strength and ability despite being “over the hill.” They are living proof that with dedication and consistency, you can lift more than a young person even well into your 50s and beyond.

That core value is split into different approaches between the two of them. Mike O’Hearn is more clean cut and lets the work speak for him. CT Fletcher is a foul-mouthed aggressive personality who enhances his actions with truly poetic and motivating speeches. That’s why O’Hearn was excited to have Fletcher onto the podcast this week so they can wax philosophically about the nature of intensity at the core of their personalities. Let’s jump into it.

Passion vs Motivation

It’s often been said that CT Fletcher is one of the most motivational men on the planet. His epic lifts combined with his powerful monologues have led to viral videos. This popularity later led to Fletcher becoming a public speaker to motivate the youth. But motivation has its limits. And Mike O’Hearn pointed out to Fletcher that there is a big difference between motivation and passion.

CT Fletcher understands that too. He describes motivation as being an external source that encourages you to complete a task. Whether that’s lifting weights, sticking to your diet, or something completely unrelated to fitness. Passion is something that comes from within. It’s an inherent desire to complete a task and surpass your own goals.

Motivation, as CT Fletcher describes it, is only temporary. It can only take you so far. Passion burns uncontrollably within you. It’s an evergreen personality trait that will drive you towards greatness.

Mike O’Hearn asks if motivation can be used to teach someone to become passionate. CT Fletcher believes so. The reason he dedicates himself to motivating others is the hope that he can “unlock” a passion within someone. Motivation is a sort of gateway into a deeper dedication.

Ultimately, passion is doing something for yourself. If you’re competing for a reward or money – that’s not passion. That’s motivation. And just as described earlier, it’s limiting and will prevent you from becoming the next elite superstar.

CT Fletcher explains that he grew up poor – but he was happy. He never wanted to be rich or needed a reward. The lifting was something he could do in his means and he was happy. When the money came later – it was a fantastic reward – but he would still do it free to this day if he had to.

“Not giving a fuck is one of the most powerful tools a person can have”

– CT Fletcher

CT Fletcher believes too many “experts” have coddled the modern generation

CT Fletcher and Mike O’Hearn touch upon a topic that might sound a bit cocky at first. They acknowledge that both of them can lift more than kids can today – and they are over 50 years old. Not only that, it’s likely that they will lift more than today’s generation ever will. Why? Fletcher believes it’s because today’s online culture has coddled young folks to play it safe and not push limits.

CT Fletcher thinks there are too many self proclaimed experts warning the youth about preventing injury and how to play things by the book. This prevents an “off the leash” mentality that you see in athletes like Fletcher, Mike O’Hearn, Branch Warren, Ronnie Coleman, and many others.

Because of this – CT Fletcher beleives, and O’Hearn agrees, that majority of the modern generation will achieve less (at least in terms of weightlifting and bodybuilding) because they are conditioned to not risk getting hurt.

CT Fletcher even jokes about young folk who state that watching CT Fletcher or Mike O’Hearn lift makes their bodies hurt. That’s a signal that they will never push themselves hard enough. If it hurts just to watch others lift – how can they drive themselves to lift to new levels?

“When you watch Mike O’Hearn do 50-60 reps of something and you say it makes your back, your shoulders hurt watching him do it. You are screaming to the world that I am a fucking pussy.”

– CT Fletcher

ABOVE: An example of CT Fletcher’s aggressive and poetic motivational speeches.

Wrap Up

Mike O’Hearn has often talked about the importance of internal desire trumping external rewards and motivation. He believes that today’s generation are too conditioned to avoid being uncomfortable and desire rewards – that they will not push to deeper levels like past legends have. CT Fletcher seems to agree – and he’s not afraid to state it in more aggressive and possibly insulting terms. That’s just his style – straight from the hip.

You can watch Mike O’Hearn and CT Fletcher’s full conversation in our latest episode of The Mike O’Hearn Show above. Make sure to catch new episodes every Friday only on the Generation Iron Fitness Network or wherever podcasts are downloaded!

Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.