Motivation is not the Answer
If you’re waiting on motivation to kick in before working on achieving your goals, you’re screwed before you start! Why? Well because, not to sugar coat it, motivation is BS! It’s flaky. It’s unreliable. It’s a concept that will desert you at the very first opportunity.
Here’s the deal. No one ever feels like doing hard work. Seriously. Our brains are hardwired to stop us in fact. That’s right, your brain will try and stop you, because it’s wants to keep you safe. It wants to stop you hurting yourself. It wants to stop you creating stress in your body.
Your brain is not always your friend!
So, if motivation isn’t the answer, what is?
So, if motivation is not the answer, how is that some people manage to get it done? What’s their secret? The answer to that question is quite simple. Strategy, systems and trickery! Yep, we have to develop strategies and systems to trick our brain so that we can achieve the things we are committed to achieving! That’s what keeps champions working long after motivation has left the building!
I remember many years ago I was doing some martial arts training in a local dojo. I was struggling; a calf strain from memory. This made training difficult, not impossible, but difficult. I was of course reluctant to train. Sensei understood this, so he employed his favourite strategy. He simply acknowledged my reluctance to train, and told me to come in and watch and support the others while they trained. Just sit at the edge of the mats and watch. Devious man! Do you see what he did?
He understood a very simple principle of human nature. I wasn’t motivated to train, because it might potentially hurt. My brain didn’t want me to train because it might lead to further pain. So he took training out of the equation and focused on getting me close to the mats. Of course, once close to the mats, guess what happened? That’s right, I trained! No motivation required, just a little trickery. The hardest part is getting there.
Motivation is unreliable. It starts you out keen as mustard, and slowly betrays you as time goes on. It’s your strategies that will get you to where you want to go. Make a plan, and employ whatever trickery you need to to get it done. You won’t feel like, but do it anyway! If you have to lie to yourself to get inside the gym, then lie. ‘I’ll only go in for a stretch’, ‘I’ll just go for a walk on the treadmill’, whatever it takes. Once you’re there, you’ll probably train, but the main thing is to develop a strategy to get you close to the mats! You have to interrupt your brain before it stops you.