The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.” – Denis Waitley
As I mentioned in the last post, most people now have a lot of general knowledge about fitness. Due to the advances in modern technology, namely the Internet, it doesn’t take much for anyone to become a self-proclaimed expert.
And they probably know a lot about dieting and nutrition as well. All of the information one needs to get fit is out there already. Unfortunately, what you know doesn’t mean shit. In the previous post I talked about the “Masters of the Universe” and how they have the brains to make millions of dollars a day yet they still can’t figure out this “fitness thing”.Knowledge is power but for most the syntax is missing. In order to truly master fitness a person needs much more than just understanding. They need to have a goal and find a way to be emotionally invested in that goal. This emotional investment is what will drive the motivation to succeed.
The Vanity of Humans
When people make the decision that they want to work out/exercise, they do so because they are prompted by a trigger. My trigger for the longest time was “I want to be healthy.” Or so I thought. But in order to get the right answer, you need to ask the right question and I was not asking the right question. Why do I really want to get fit? I was not being honest myself. “I want to be healthy.” Bullshit. “I want to get stronger.” Meh. “I look like shit. I want to look good.” Bingo! People want to look good. That is the bottom line. Human beings are vain. Call it what you like. Human beings want to look good, and we look the best when we are lean, shredded, ripped, with abs. You know what I’m talking about.
Once I accepted the fact that the reason I was working out at all to begin with was simply to look good, everything became much clearer to me and I was able to make the decision in my head to go all in on that goal. I decided that I was going to succeed and since then I never turned back.
Motivation from the North Star
“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.” – Henry David Thoreau
The great Arnold Schwarzenegger always speaks about his success in bodybuilding starting with a vision of his goal and how this visualization was the key to his motivation. He would visualize himself on stage winning the Mr. Olympia medal and that image is what he would keep going back to in his mind, day in and day out, when he faced challenges. I believe this to be the most effective “mind” hack human beings have in fitness. Once I made the decision to do whatever it takes to get a six pack, I visualized what this image of myself looked like. I thought about it every day. I played out a film in my head of myself taking my shirt off at the beach and turning heads. As cheesy as this sounds, it helped me get to a state where I was emotionally invested.
Once I became fully emotionally invested into this vision a remarkable thing happened to me. My mentality completely change. The day to day mechanics such as working out, counting calories, tracking macros, they all seemed far less taxing. They no longer were tasks that needed to be completed but rather opportunities to get one step closer to my goal. I had a clear vision of what I wanted and I began to love the climb. So many people want the quick results, the overnight 6 pack abs and I’m telling you that solution does not exist (unless you do liposuction). Fat loss simply does not happen overnight. Forget about tactics for now and train your mind as this will be the most powerful tool that leads you to success.
Remember, it is ok to want to look good! It has as much to do with overall human betterment as it has to do with vanity. Be honest with yourself, get emotionally invested, and visualize success.
Habits for Humanity
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
So you know what you want and now you have the motivation that you need to get there. This last thing I am going to talk about is essential in accelerating your journey to success and that is habits. Tony Robins often quotes “success leaves clues” and if we study the habits of successful people in this world, often times one of the underlying themes you find is a commitment to fitness. In order to have a productive and rich life we must first take care of our personal health and well being and as such we must make exercising a habit.
S.J. Scott talks about a concept called cognitive load in his book Habit Stacking. The idea is that human beings have a finite limit on their short term memories and so we must rely on long-term memory (habits) to maximize productivity in life. These habits come in the form of established processes and procedures that we do on a daily basis such as brushing teeth. The purpose of creating solid habits is to ingrain the action so deeply within our brain that it can be don’t without any thought or emotion, like brushing teeth. I started working out in the mornings back in 2003 and have done so ever since. The action was repeated so many times over the years that it has become part of my daily routine now. And just like how my mouth would feel “off” if I did not brush my teeth first thing in the morning, so would my day feel “off” if I did not get my workout in.
My recommendation to readers is to make a habit of your training, ideally in the morning. No one is really a morning person but you can become one. People often quit programs not because of laziness but because LIFE gets in the way to derail their plans. How do you deal with this? Wake up early and get your workout in first thing in the morning. Not only can life not get in the way, if you accomplish nothing else the rest of the day you can still enjoy the fulfillment of having gotten your training in.