A few years ago I found out something that has changed my life forever. I want to tell you about it here.
You see, for some reason, I’ve never struggled to motivate myself to workout, so when I was talking to a friend about an online business he was working on, and he told me that loads of his subscribers suffered from the ups and downs of motivational slumps (you know the ones, where you simply have no motivation to exercise, no ‘get up and go’ to spur you on to your next hideous workout), I was intrigued.
Imagine how much more intrigued I was when he told me that he also suffered from this ‘lack of motivation to workout’!
I had no idea it was such an epidemic (I profess the innocence of ‘not knowing what we don’t know’). But I soon found out that not only was a lack of motivation to workout a huge problem, but that the solutions being offered were weak. And that’s putting it kindly.
So what did I do?
Did I shrug my shoulders and walk away smugly, knowing that I never, ever suffered from a lack of motivation to exercise or workout, or be motivated to go to the gym?
Or did I want to help and give people the strength and resources they need to succeed?
I’m sure you can guess the answer; I’m a fitness professional, I like helping people. But more than that, I’m also an NLP Master Practitioner, and that gives me something else to offer. Now, if you don’t know what NLP is I’ll leave that for another article (and you can go and read one of the thousands of articles online about it), but for our purposes right now, NLP is a set of tools that allows me (or anyone else, I’m not special here) to understand HOW someone does what they do.
This is important in two ways;
1: I can find out ‘how’ I and others naturally motivate myself.
2: I can find out ‘how’ other people don’t motivate themselves. Or to put it more succinctly, how they mis-manage their brain to create ‘low motivation’, or ‘motivational peaks and troughs’.
So all those years ago I started a project, in NLP terms a modelling project, to find out how people are ‘broken’ (actually they work perfectly, but it’s not the type of perfect they want!), and how they can fix themselves.
Here’s what I came up with:
1: People are not broken, they work perfectly. It’s just perfectly wrong! (this is actually a good thing, as it means you have learned ‘how’ to do what you do, and that means you can also learn to do something else, something different, something that means you feel like you work perfectly).
2: Any system of motivation that relies on anything other than you and your brain is destined to failure in the long term (think gadgets, motivational videos, motivational music, motivational quotes, motivation buddies, personal trainers, etc)
3: There’s no such thing as ‘natural motivation’, and there’s also no such thing as ‘naturally un-motivated’. There’s simply a set of programs, strategies and behaviours that someone has learned, and the repetition of these strategies and ‘motivation programs’ is what gets you your results, good or bad.
4: Anyone can learn ‘how’ to be motivated. I’ll repeat that again, as it may be something close to heresy for some of you: ANYONE can learn how to be motivated, that includes YOU. All you need to do is let go of the stuff that’s holding you back, and learn some new programs (and this is very, very easy to do).
5: It takes, on average, 3 – 5 hours to learn how to naturally motivate yourself. ‘Hang on a minute, you said there’s no such thing as natural motivation?’ I did, but it serves as a good label to help you understand the difference between useful habits (‘natural motivation’) and un-useful habits (naturally un-motivated, or uncontrollably, variably motivated). The goal is to make it feel like you’re doing your motivation naturally…
So it should come as no surprise to you now if I told you that I (and …