Being healthy and fit is a part of life that often goes through emotional and cognitive cycles. Some time periods are packed with positive energy, good feelings and drive to go after our goals and dreams. However, for every up there is a down. Other times, it’s hard to gather thoughts, focus and or even get yourself out of the house; not to mention into the gym for a training session.
The motivational component has grown into its own industry. Everything from motivational speakers, how-to books and daily quotes, the industry is booming with great lines, uplifting advice and encouraging speeches. But, as this motivational avalanche is getting bigger, it is not leaving a significant impact on the general population. Its great to hear, that you are a good person and you are capable of many things. The problem comes down to harnessing this positive energy into goal productivity.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the common terms used—inspiration, motivation and dedication—their function and applicability to our success.
Fitness Industry Mask
The health and fitness industry is at the front lines of motivational reform. The industry packs a powerful punch consisting of healthy, fit people, professional athletes portraying an image of always being happy and excited about their next training session. These same people are slightly tanned, with big smiles explaining how they have so much energy, love working out and eat broccoli and chicken all day and every day. This positive image of always enjoying eating healthy and exercising may not be as motivating to the masses.
The reality being, never having a bad day, always having energy and looking forward to the training session or another chicken meal, is simply a lie.
If you don’t always feel like working out, or crave sweet and savoury treats, you’re not alone. As a matter of fact, even the best of the best experience difficult times. Some may have hit a plateau, or inquired an injury in the gym. Others may be experiencing some personal issues generating a cascade of other matters, pushing training and clean eating further down the priority ladder.
Victor’s Personal Experience
My own story is like many others. I grew up reading bodybuilding magazines like Flex and Muscular Development. Each edition was filled with monstrous looking guys and gals, who were always smiling while posing, showing their large muscular physiques. The articles talked about various topics on training and diet. Ideal training routines for bigger biceps, a perfect squat or seven different ways of how-to bake chicken, were the popular topics.
Reading these stories, often served as a form of motivation. I would often buy-in to the notion that by performing three sets of twelve reps with about fifty percent of one rep max (1RM), my arms would grow into superstratum twenty-one inch gun salutes. After reading some of these articles, I was filled with energy and excitement that the results discussed in Flex magazine were going to translate onto my 190 pound frame.
However, I never achieved that visually presented and verbally indicated massive muscular physique. For years, I continued to read, collect, and analyze this content. Professionally photographed images of hulky guys gave me a sense of direction in terms of physical aspirations. However, this journey of strength and development consisted of highs and lows.
The highs were great, full of excitement and possibilities. These peaks came from instant motivation by reading a new article, seeing new sets of visual photographs, or articles discussing overcoming personal struggles and achieving success. The lows were the opposite, lasting much longer than any high. Low time periods were filled with struggles both physical and mental. This is where I wasn’t making desired progress, realizing that the muscle fantasies of big arms and huge chest were marketing ploys to purchase magazine subscriptions and would not give result into advertised gains. Also, interruption in training either due to injury, training plateaus or life issues further increased already growing discontent. There were many days where I didn’t believe in progress, or that I can achieve it. The diet often plunged during these valley times, as I was getting sick of continuously eating chicken.
When I was feeling good—the training, diet and everything else seemed straightforward and simple. But, hard times brought many struggles stemming from not seeing results or lack of personal direction.
Inspiration – the Big Picture
Think back to something or someone from the past that had an influence on you.
- recall an athlete whose poster was on your wall,
- ate something delicious someone cooked or served you,
- saw a firetruck or police car racing through the streets to help someone in need,
- treated at a hospital by a doctor who made you feel better, or
- visiting some place and wanting to be a part of it.
Our own parents often serve as role models through love, care and commitment by performing variety of duties without any special equipment or designations. Our experiences have created a kind of imprint on us, planting the seeds of future development. All these people, things and places inspire us to be and live in a certain way.
Motivation – the Possibility of Success
Everyone seems to have a slightly different take on its interpretation. Some refer to motivation as an emotional surge of positive energy, a belief, or a possibility of becoming successful. This form of motivation is served by many sources around us—from motivational speakers, to books, articles, pictures and re-assurance from others. Because this form of energy is provided by someone or something else, it is often referred to as external motivation.
The goal of any motivational speech, book or video is to get you excited and believing in your own potential. In other words, the external motivation is a mechanism to spark your internal motivation, also known as dedication. This personal, internal component is vital to success, and without it all positive emotions gained from motivational speeches are only temporary and will subside. Some external factors stay for days, some only last hours, but in the end if discipline isn’t engaged, it all fade away.
Dedication – the Way
The final and most important part of anything is personal drive. Known by many names—the drive, internal motivation and discipline—this personal factor produces an everyday journey towards those desired goals and dreams.
At Science and Strength, we use the term dedication, as it represents a method of not only desiring or hoping for things, but making them a priority and working daily on achieving them. Here, the rubber meets the road.
It is simple to get inspired by external force, but it takes dedication to translate this positive energy into effort. Along the way, you engage physical as well as psychological components. The mind is an intelligent organ set on using as little energy as possible. This follows mental trickery trying to convince our own selves in stopping the goal pursuit in sake of time and self preservation. Life is a balance, and like many things, for us to succeed motivation needs to be followed by a dedication component.
We all have good and bad days. Each one of us has dreams and goals that we try to achieve. Some days are filled with good spirits while others are full of struggles of most basic things. In today’s world much emphasis is placed on motivation and inspiration. These are great cues to create positive energy towards personal dreams and goals. Knowing what you want is half the battle. After all, without clear goals, we’ll have no way of reaching them.
To reach goals, we need something else—the drive that comes from within. This is dedication which is an internal component that keeps us staying on course through daily efforts towards our dreams. Life will not always happen according to plan, but the key is to keep going, stay motivated towards our goals, and dedicated in achieving them.
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