Is “Motivation” a dying topic?

I was chatting with a prospective client this morning when the challenge of navigating conflict in high performance sports came up. We were chatting about the body language and conflict strategies needed for officials in the sports world. The chat shifted to the mind set necessary to gain the biggest ROI from these discussions when the prospect hesitated. He felt that, although he is open (himself) to discussions around mental toughness and grit, that he felt this might be too motivational for the group.

Interesting? Too motivational? When it comes to grit (mental toughness) it is the little daily commitments one makes that produces the biggest outcome.
I wonder about this idea that “motivation” is too light to discuss.
In my novels, (The Accidental Audience and Chasing Rhinos), the main character has to wrestle with her own mental toughness and perception biases in order to succeed at her profiling business.
So if motivation is a dying art – how do we frame up the emotional unrest that most of us feel as we navigate the ups and downs of our passions, hobbies and careers?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this one!