January 1st is about the time of year that the motivational images start flooding the interwebz.
Your gym’s Facebook page lights up with motivational quotes, pictures of hot models doing strange yoga poses, or flexing their dehydrated muscles, and other such ‘motivational nonsense.’
Ya I said it: NONSENSE
First, most people confuse motivation with inspiration, and these images provide the latter.
Inspiration is temporary and rather superficial; it doesn’t last. So you have to ride that wave when you can.
Real motivation comes from within, it’s deep, lasts indefinitely and there isn’t a damn motivational image, quote, tweet or facebook post that will ever give it to you.
But Darren, why are you being such a debbie downer, these images and quotes make me feel really good about myself.
Ya unfortunately that’s kind of the point, they make you feel good about yourself, for a little while, but the source is artificial; it’s marketing.
This is why people post millions of them the first month of the year when everybody is trying to get their fitness ambitions back on track; they make you feel good about yourself, and they grab your attention in the Internetz, so that marketers can market fitness ads to you every where else on the website.
Heck they probably even have Adidas, Nike, Reebok, or some other major ‘fitness’ brand right there in the image.
The bigger problem is that tomorrow, you’ll just need another hit.
Sound like something else you know? An addiction maybe?
Ever find yourself hunting down images to find a little spark? Next thing you know, you’ve wasting 30 minutes just trying to pump yourself up?
The moment you hit a rough patch and these images don’t cheer you up, what do you do?
Try this little test, look at the image at the top of this post, does it make you feel jacked up and ready to exercise?
Are you now suddenly in the mood to go to the gym and get shit done?
Good, go to the gym immediately, tell me how you feel right before you go and exercise; do you still have to talk yourself up?
It’s because your initial hit of feel good hormones you had originally from viewing the image has worn off.
It’s this externally driven, inspirational, marketing crap that leads to sayings like:
‘When you want success as badly as you want to breath, you’ll be successful.’
‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.’
‘If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying!’
If you don’t train like a Navy Seal, you must be lazy or soft right?
If you’re not hitting big weights, throwing kettlebells around like a badass, running hard, giving 110%, why even bother?
I’m honestly tired of watching, reading and listening to this bullshit, and it’s the same story, every January.
How about this, why don’t we just try to bully fat people into being skinny? Sound like a good idea?
Of course not!
I hate to burst everybody’s reality filter bubble, but if we were all supposed to be tough as nails Seals, we would be, if we were all built to perform like all-start athlete’s we would, if we were all physically designed to have shredded six-packs, chiseled backs and shoulders we would have them by now.
So everybody I would like your attention for just a moment, as I have some very important late breaking news…
You’re Not Lazy
You’ve never been lazy.
You have lazy moments maybe, but these are in place to combat the fatigue of willpower and self-control.
You’re not lazy, and I don’t think you should be spoken to as if you were, in fact I don’t think you should accept this crap as fact in the slightest.
There is a new unwritten stereotype that shows like the Biggest Loser (and other knock-offs) perpetuate that makes the general population just assume that if you struggle with your weight, you’re fat and therefore lazy.
Your perception is lazy.
In a great article on the Huffington post, a doctor recently spoke out against the Biggest Loser and it’s hate mongering ways, and I would take it a step further to say that it’s making the problem worse, not better, as we separate rather than cooperate on solutions for the obesity epidemic.
So here is what I think you should do instead:
1 – Find EXPERIENCES that inspire you (see this post for suggestions) instead of ‘things’ (images, quotes, etc…)
2 – Make Inspiration Ritualistic
— Meaning: if you choose to use an image, quote or something similar, make it the same and make it routine to refer to
3 – Choose ‘Ritualistic Inspiration Practices’ that play to your sense of internal motivation
— Meaning: if you want to engage in repetitive inspiration practice, choose external sources of inspiration that tie into your values, purpose, etc… (see this post)
4 – Always remember that you’re not naturally lazy
Lazy is just a temporary feeling, you with have moments when you feel lazy and moments where you feel inspired, this is a natural cycle.
At the end of the day, it’s really important to realize that you’re not lazy — and the people that work with you, or for you are not lazy either…
Then leave a comment whether or not you agree or disagree with me.