Questioning Motivation

When I was thirteen I had a poster of Michael Jordan on my wall.  I left him to go practice often.  I didn’t see him as the icon the world made him out to be.  He was just a guy who played a lot of basketball and got good.  I was pretty sure I could do that too.

This guy hung above my bed for five years.

It was thrilling to know that someone could be so good at something (especially when they play for your team).  I wasn’t the type who would talk to him or even look at him much.  It was just comforting to know he was around.  He acted as this quiet reminder of specialness you stumble upon now and again. He was my bedroom garden gnome.

Being like mike meant I could be a better me.

I was well into my late twenties when I first started looking up quotes and writing messages on my shoes and hands.  I needed something to look at to get up from the dirt.  My rugby career was in its twilight and I was broken and battered and unwilling to let go.    For the first time in my life it was hard to give 100%.  It’s a haunting feeling for someone who thrived on effort.  I questioned myself instead of questioning what I was doing.
People who like to work don’t need motivation, they need a plan. They only seek motivation when they stop believing that what they’re doing is right for them.

If you’re having trouble sticking to a routine to get to 10% body fat, maybe you’re realizing that it isn’t something you want in the first place.  Motivation is only helpful in getting us to do what we don’t want to do.  Perhaps the lack of is just our gut telling our head to redirect our goals.

Quitters always win when they right the ship gone astray. 

Here are five suggestions to help you determine if redirection is the right direction:

1.  Don’t beat yourself up over not wanting to do something.
Has physical or mental fatigue built up and you need to seek rest and recovery?  Is achieving your goal the most important thing in your life right now?  Should it be?  Say no for a day or two and see what happens.

2.  Assess how you feel after a break.
Do you want the break to continue or are you chomping at the bit to get going again?  During your break to you engage in re-planning?  If you’re an athlete do you look forward to the off-season more than the playing season?  To seek clarity you have to avoid judgement, especially your own.

3.  Recognize if your motivation is based on guilt or fear.  Are you assuming terrible things will happen to you if you stop?  Are you afraid of what will become of you if you change directions.  Do you view adjustments as failures?  Remember that beliefs that are based on ‘what ifs’ can go either way.  Good results are just as hypothetical as bad ones.

4.  Hammer down what you’ll get.  If you struggle figuring out the payoff, you’ll constantly have to convince yourself it’s worth it.  Give yourself proof.  How are you sure being fitter will make your life better?

5.  Stop putting everything on the character trait of laziness.  It’s such a cop out to critical thinking.  What is specifically making the path toward your goal hard?  Is the goal itself the problem, or is it the plan you thought you had to stick to?

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