What is motivation? Webster’s Dictionary defines motivation as a motivating force, stimulus or influence. Motivation is synonymous with incentive or drive. Everyone has a source of motivation, but sometimes it isn’t evident to us.
Motivation is important; ultimately it’s what gets us out of bed in the morning, helps us fight our way through the daily rigours of life allows us to develop goals. Motivation applies to everything, not only your fitness.
Recently, I had to suffer a step backwards in my career. Nothing terminal, mind you. After all, some people don’t even have a job. But it’s caused me to seriously question what motivates me.
One of the concepts I’ve examined through the years through my Buddhist studies involves a simple three-sided relationship that maintains a strong motivational lifestyle. The concept is as follows:
- Everything that is alive has movement: Even plants display some level of movement though their growth. Some plants can even move to angle themselves better to get the most sunlight they can or are even carnivorous. The takeaway is that everything that is alive, moves.
- Movement creates energy: This one makes sense, doesn’t it? Humans have known for decades or longer that locomotion has the kinetic energy necessary to create energy. This is why we use hydroelectricity and wind turbines. The same concept applies to the human body. Our locomotion has the potential to maintain our energy.
- Energy sustains life: The last side of the triangle is rather self-explanatory. If there is no energy, there is no life. Something comparable to your smart device dying out once its battery red-lines.
So, the equation is simple: Movement brings energy, energy maintains life, life creates movement and so on and so forth in a sort of loop. If you remove or allow one of the sides to lapse, this is where motivation wanes and life fails to flourish.
For example, if you spend your days sprawled on the couch binge-watching Netflix (I’ve been guilty of this one on more than one occasion), you eliminate movement from your daily routine and this will cripple your energy. You’ll gain weight, have blood pressure issues and develop unbalanced sleep patterns. And if you cripple your energy, it affects your life. Make sense?
Obviously, there are other factors at play. Proper nutrition, rest and a supportive environment (family and friends) are the building blocks of what’s required to maintain a motivated lifestyle.
So, let’s ask the question: what motivates you? Is it your family? Is it your health and well-being? Is it your career? What if it’s all of those? It certainly is for me. But when one of those is torn away from you, you have to work all the harder to keep your motivation up. When you fall, there is nowhere to go but up. So rise up, and like the proverbial Phoenix, dust the ashes of your loss from your shoulders and be reborn! Find the reason for your motivation and there’ll be nowhere to go but up!