In the past week I have read two different posts on Facebook about working out. As I start training for my triathlon, these posts were perfect for me. They were not your usual motivation but they motivated me none the less. Each post, although said differently, had the same message: workout for you and nobody else. Workout to get in shape, live a healthier life, or gain confidence. Do not work out to impress others, to get attention, or to be able to show off your body at the beach.
A few years ago when I started working out, I did it because I was scrawny. I was that chicken legged kid who looked like they didn’t eat. I often felt weak and wanted to make a change. That was my motivation, to change who I was to who I wanted to be; who I had the potential to be. As I gained some muscle and started to gain confidence in myself I developed a passion for fitness and nutrition. This was my new motivation: to live a healthy life style. However, as beach season started to approach my motivation change. I started to worry about looking good at the beach and impressing others. I learned a valuable less from this that I did not put together until I saw these post. When my motivation was rooted in myself and my personal goals it was much easier to make those sacrifices of waking up earlier, eating clean, and working my butt off. Once my motivation changed to vanity, I could not keep up the determination and resilience I once had.
This journey has shown me that the root of your motivation goes a long way. Before I started my triathlon training, I was worried. I was worried that all the work I have done this year, gaining weight and muscle, was going to be undone by my training. Although this is still a possibility and maybe more a probability, I am fine with it. Recently, lifting and gaining muscle was not only for me it was to impress others. However, this triathlon is for me. It is to challenge myself to reach a new level of fitness and to prove to myself I can do what I put my mind too (especially swimming because it is hard!). You should take a look at what motivates you and determine if it is rooted in yourself or others.
I believe this may be one of the reasons that people don’t stick to their New Year’s resolution of getting in shape. They feel the need to make a resolution and they wouldn’t mind getting in shape so they go with that. Their motivation is not rooted in themselves. They do not actually have the deep down desire to make a change in their lives. They are just going with the crowd. It doesn’t work.
This does not only hold true for working out either. Look at everything you are doing in your life for where to work, to what you do, even to who you hang out with. Are these things or people who you are doing for yourself or are you going to med school because both your parents are doctors? If after reflecting upon it you realize that some aspects of your life do not come from the right motivation, maybe it is time to make a change. Yes, it will be extremely hard to drop out med school and follow your dream to become the greatest magician ever but it might just be worth it. I am not going to pretend I have made any kind of drastic change in my life, like dropping my life’s plan to go after my dreams, so I do not know if it will be worth it. However, what I do know from my short experience here on this floating ball we call Earth is this: it is going to be a heck of a lot easier to make it through the tough times when you are chasing your dreams than it will be going after something you are doing to impress your parents. Besides , if you are not living the life of your dreams are you really living your life?
Whether you are working out, choice a career, or going after anything else in your life make sure you are going after it for the right reasons. When you are motivated for the right reasons there only exists the limitations you put on yourself. So go out into the world, take some risks, and capture your dreams!