Derek LaBonte | June 3, 2018
There has been a surplus of “influencers” on the Gram (Instagram) who aim to motivate you. After reading something like that you may feel jacked and motivated! This time, you will do it... So you tell yourself. As time goes on though that motivation goes away, and we say, “I have no motivation :(" Here is a mind twist… are you ready?
Motivation NEVER goes away! We associate motivation as a feeling of whether or not you will do something. For example, after we clean the house, then walk the dog, then workout, then mow the lawn, and cook a huge dinner we associate that with feeling of being motivated (which is still cool). However, motivation isn’t a feeling. In fact, the Webster Dictionary states:
“The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.”
Simply put, the absence of motivation does not mean there is no motivation at all. If we do nothing, then we are still motivated to do so. Here are a few more examples to provide clarity for what I mean.
- I am hungry, therefore I eat. Hunger motivated me to eat (eating = behavior).
- I read a motivational Instagram post. The post motivated me to workout (working out = behavior).
- I laid in bed this morning instead of going to the gym. The discomfort of getting out of my warm bed motivated me to stay in bed (staying in bed = behavior).
Instead of relying on our feelings which are fickle I suggest living your life based upon your values. Who are you? We don’t always take time to figure those out. I will give you an example: I am someone who values family. If I don’t call, text, or visit my mom or brothers at least once a week then that goes against who I choose to be as a person. So, I may feel lazy and not want to get up off my comfy couch to get into my truck and drive 5 minutes to my mom’s, but I will do it because I love her and I am committed to making that important in my life.
So let’s bring this back to the gym. If you base your actions on feeling a certain way (usually called: motivation) then it will ultimately fail you. It has to be deeper. We call this our “why?” I challenge you to find one for yourself. May be you value crushing weights because you want to be able to lift you grand kids one day; Or you value health because you want to be off of diabetes medication. Perhaps you value family and want to be a good role model for your kids so you go to the gym; Or you value learning and you want to prove it to yourself that you can do what you put your mind to. I promise once you find out what it is, well… those times when you feel unmotivated you will just do it because it is who you are as a person.