What’s My Motivation?
Brett Klika C.S.C.S.
Most people have an imbalance somewhere in their lives they want to address. For instance, I’m keyed in to my level of fitness. I attack everything under the umbrella of fitness, including my career, with laser-like focus. However, I just went to the dentist for the first time in 4 years, many of my clothes live on the guest room floor of my house, and I am not proud of my occasional temper.
For me, my fitness is great. Everything else is a work in progress.
Do you find these imbalances in your life? One aspect is working great, some other (or others), not so much. You may have tried to create change to bring about balance, but your efforts were repeatedly thwarted by lack of knowledge, motivation, and/or application.
In this day and age of unprecedented access to information, lack of knowledge has lost relevancy as an excuse. If I present you with an apple or a bag of chips, you know which is the better choice. If you don’t, the Google app on your $500 phone can tell you. I know how to fold and put away my clothes and make dentist appointments. If I don’t, my wife is there to offer repeated “council”.
If we know we want to change and we know how to do it, why don’t we? It’s like we have the directions on how to put together that IKEA TV hutch, but there are other things we would rather do with our time. That is, until we get the new 60” 3d flat screen that has nowhere to go until the hutch is built and our football team is in the Super Bowl tomorrow. As if a miracle, the hutch gets built.
What happened? Did you get better directions? Did you all of the sudden “learn” how to build? Did you get a jolt of “will power”? Maybe. More likely, a powerful enough reason to take action emerged and it steered your behavior. The limiting factor wasn’t the HOW; it was the WHY.
Your WHY is the driving force behind any action you partake in. Lack of HOW is too often used as a crutch. With a powerful enough WHY, HOW will happen.
Constantly assessing your WHY is essential. It needs to be significant and relevant to your current life situation. If it doesn’t drive action, find a more specific, more powerful WHY. An inability to do this leaves people failed and discouraged. Without addressing the WHY phenomena, we chalk failure up to getting old, getting busy, or forgetting what to do.
Take adults and exercise, for example. When counseling people on fitness habits, I hear the common thread of “I don’t know what happened. I was so motivated when I was single. I was eating well and going to the gym every day. Then I got married and just sort of forgot about it”.
Hmm. The person above obviously knows how to exercise and eat right. When the powerful WHY of “finding a hot mate” drove their exercise behavior, there was not issue with there participation. Once they found that hot mate, their WHY dissipated. They could work out and eat right, but why? The hunt is over.
I reassessment of WHY behind exercise would highlight that even once you’ve found your mate and have kids, exercise can improve your mood, give you more energy, make you more resilient to stress, decrease your likelihood of early death by 30%, and aid in providing a reason for getting a lock on your bedroom door.
When your kids move out, exercise can help you have energy and ability to do the things you always envisioned in retirement. It can increase the likelihood of being able to play with your grandchildren. It can decrease the likelihood that they will have to take a day off of grade school to come to your funeral.
Maybe a WHY for exercise is not so much what you want to do, but what you don’t want to do? Do you admire the infirmed, medicated, “voluntarily disabled”, meek, and prematurely aged? My personal WHY’s with exercise are a combination of what I want as well as what I don’t want.
If you have trouble creating change, find a more powerful WHY. Keep searching until you are so powerfully compelled to create action that failure is not an option. As for me, I almost missed a flight last week because I couldn’t find a pair of suit pants in the messy guest room. No flight, no job. Rather compelling. Time to fold and hang!
For more information and video on exercises, programs, and any other information on losing fat and creating the body you have always wanted, check out The Underground Workout Manual – Exercise and Fat Loss in the Real World at www.undergroundworkoutmanual.com.
Brett Klika C.S.C.S., Director of Athletics at Fitness Quest 10, is a world renowned human performance specialist, motivational speaker, author, and educator. In his 14 year career, Brett has accrued more than 20,000 hours of training with youth, athletes, executives, and every day people. He uses this knowledge and experience to motivate individuals and audiences around the world through his writing, speaking, DVD’s, and personal correspondence.