The 3 Secrets of Motivation NOBODY is Talking About!!!
“If I just had enough motivation I could actually finally stick with this diet and keep the weight off!”
“If only I had more motivation I could actually exercise!”
“I am just not motivated so why even bother!”
“Why can’t I ever stay motivated?”
These are questions that millions of busy, hard-working and health conscious people ask themselves all the time. Not to mention those who aren’t as health conscious.
When we get down to the nitty gritty what is it that REALLY helps people achieve a lasting transformation?
Do the latest and greatest supplements, the newest research demonstrating the long term effects of a high fat diet or the anti-aging effects of metformin and the metabolic boosting effects of goji berries really make a lasting difference? Is poring over the research and equipping ourselves with technical knowledge really our most worthwhile endeavor?
All this technical and practical information at our fingertips and
- more than half of our population and growing still carry more insulation than they need.
- astounding number of individuals who don’t like their bodies and struggle with mental health challenges.
- absurdly more than is ever acceptable feeling sluggish, lethargic, stressed and completely exhausted.
What good is more information if it doesn’t translate into results and permanent change in behavior?
Here is where motivation is essential.
While all the latest research can be helpful and supportive it is not foundational. Why? Because information doesn’t change people.
Facts don’t inspire people. Data doesn’t ignite desire or promote real change. This article talks more about that…
Then what is foundational to lasting transformation? Let’s discuss three secrets about how motivation really works and what no one in the industry is talking about.
Secret #1: Don’t Do What Others Say You “Should”
Stop doing anything because someone else, including well meaning family members, friends or societal peers says you should.
Refuse to do anything out of duty!!
This may seem completely counter-intuitive but one of the biggest issues when it comes to any transformation is many just go through the motions without the slightest intention of continuing on after a short period.
More often than you probably care to admit you may have some outer motivation to lose weight for a wedding, look good for a reunion or family photo or join some boot camp which is short-lived. Your real motivation isn’t that you want to commit to improving your body, you think you should do so.
There is no lasting sense of motivation that ever springs from an attitude of “should,” “ought to,” “have to” or “must.”
How many people do you know that consistently and indefinitely exercise out of duty alone?
How many patients do you think continue indefinitely to “eat healthy” because their doctor says they should?
I see this almost every day as a physician.
And I learned the hard way as a parent what happens when I try to force or guilt my kids into exercising because they should or because “I said so.” Brief temporary compliance happens which, more often than not, leads to long term resentment and abandonment.
It has to be your own personal decision or not at all.
The brain and will of an individual cannot long be compelled or guilted into compliance. It will eventually, and often in defiant fashion, defend its independence and autonomy even if it means potential adverse health consequences. This is what we well-meaning health zealots have a tendency to do, whether spoken or not, and a collective evaluation of the statistics of eating disorders, mental health issues and physical health measures all but confirm it has totally back-fired.
The reality is most people just are not mentally prepared to truly take the leap. And that is ok!
Secret #2: All motivation leading to lasting change is intrinsic and has to come from within.
I find that in this age of information, technology and entertainment we have become soft.
We are waiting for someone to kick us in the pants or until some crisis wakes us up before we want to change.
We have been conditioned to look outside of ourselves, to “experts,” “teachers,” “leaders” and “authorities” whether civil, professional, religious or otherwise to tell us what to do and motivate us.
This is classic extrinsic motivation and it is almost always fleeting. Extrinsic motivation occurs when we are motivated to perform a behavior or engage in an activity to earn a reward or avoid punishment or because someone else tells us to. In this case, you engage in a behavior not because you enjoy it or because you find it satisfying, but in order to get something in return or avoid something unpleasant.
Intrinsic motivation involves engaging in a behavior because it is personally rewarding. Essentially, performing an activity for its own sake rather than the desire for some external reward. In other words, the behavior itself is its own reward.
Can you learn to love eating healthy foods, exercising and engaging in self-care independent of any result or outcome? Then you have truly succeeded and a permanent transformation is as sure as the sun.
Could it be that this obesity epidemic and self-love/mental health crisis we are experiencing is partly because we have been pushing a method (extrinsic motivation) that doesn’t really work?
One author suggested from his research that “the idea that a lifestyle intervention for obesity should occur for a discrete period of time, terminate, and then have lasting effects over the duration of one’s lifetime is outmoded.” (1)
Speaking about intrinsic motivation another researcher has noted that: “only to the degree to which individuals fully endorse behavioral goals and to the extent that the goals facilitate satisfaction of the needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness will their efforts be more likely to result in behavioral change that is effectively maintained.” (2)
Can you learn how to tap into the infinite well of motivation that flows from within? Pay any price to one who can teach you that!
Secret #3: You don’t lack motivation you lack identity.
Believe it or not everything you say and do is a result of your brain acting out what it thinks is in its best interest according to your own self-image.
True long term thinking is goalless thinking.
You will always act in alignment and concert with your self-identity or image.
True behavior change is identity change. You aren’t even motivating yourself you are saying: “This is who I am.” You act in concert with this identity.
The most profound thing I have learned about myself and how the mind creates my reality including every detail about how my body looks is that everything the mind does is based off of this image of self.
This image of self runs your entire life and yet most are oblivious and ignorant of this fact. The great secret is that the never-ending well of lasting motivation that weathers any storm of sickness, crisis, fatigue, inconvenience, or stress is that which flows from a newfound sense of identity.
What happens when you say, feel, believe, and your brain accepts the following statements as true?
- “I am a mindful, healthy eater.”
- “I am a person who frequently exercises.”
- “I am someone who always takes care of my physical, emotional and spiritual needs before anything else.”
- “I am someone who is resilient and tough in the face of any adversity.”
You better believe behavior consonant with all of those statements will, at some point, become second nature, automatic and unconscious.
True motivation will teach you to change your own self-image and identity from the inside out. And it will seldom need any external push to get there.
For more about how you can start changing your self-image and beliefs: How to Fall in Love With Yourself in 5 Simple Steps
If you are really pumped about transforming your life and rewiring your limiting beliefs, my wife & I are offering a 21-Day Challenge that will help you do just that! Check it out here: Fall In Love With Yourself 21 Day Challenge
Are you ready to ignite a whole new you? It is time to kindle and unleash the reservoir of REAL motivation within you that is waiting to take you to unprecedented places. Stay tuned for article about how to tap into that motivation. I would love to know- what motivates you? What is your reason WHY behind your goals and actions? Tell me in the comments!