Picture this scenario;
You’re cold and it’s raining. You see the light of a roaring fire. You imagine the warmth, the comfort of standing beside it. But, there’s a ginormous wall between you and the fire. You’ll have to claw and fight to get over, you’ll break some nails and scuff your shoes.
Now, being warm and dry is nice, but are you going to go through all the hardship and pain of climbing the wall just so you can get warm? When you’re half way up and you almost fall and break your leg, is the prospect of getting dry enough to keep you going?
For most of us it’s not. We’d rather just jog on the spot to warm up and tell ourselves “sure it’ll stop raining eventually” or “that fire will probably go out soon anyway”. When we seek comfort in positives i.e. weight loss/a better body/ a six pack or whatever you like, we are very quick to give up once the going gets tough.
Now picture this;
You see the light of a roaring fire. You feel the heat of it wash over you in waves. It becomes clear that the wooden table you’re standing on is in fact placed directly over the fire. Within minutes it will come asunder and you’ll fall into the roaring flames. You have a choice, burn in the fire or climb the rope that’s dangling above your head. It looks tough, you can’t see the end of the rope or where it leads.
The choice here is easy. You won’t care a damn about how hard it’s going to be or if you get rope burn. You’re fighting for your life. You will climb that rope. All the way. You see, when we seek to move away from powerful negatives i.e. getting burned, heart disease, bullying, depression etc. we are more inclined to stay the course and resist whatever challenges arise.
Powerful emotions are the key to powerful motivation. When have you ever got powerfully emotional about “getting fit” or “losing weight”? When you bring things like protecting children/family from danger, being bullied, having your self-worth destroyed, depression, heart attack, diabetes or disability into the fold then we see emotion. I know that these are negative, even morbid subjects to bring up, but there’s a very good reason.
Pain creates action quicker than comfort.
I call these powerful motivating factors "big whys". It still amazes me how much people focus on WHAT they want to change about their bodies or lives without ever looking a bit deeper into the reasons WHY they want change. When you don't understand or have lost sight of why your doing something challenging it's very easy to stay motivated and push through.
In Part 2 I'll outline the importance of having the right goals, or "whats" as I call them.