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Motivation 101

When people talk about not having the motivation they need to get things done, we can now understand that it is more than just a concept, something you can hold in your hand. As one of my friends who has a PhD in psychology says, you can’t open up the human body and point to the motivation.

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What motivation is, what your MOJO is, will be whatever you need it to be, for whichever given purpose. Doesn’t it make you wonder some times how some people can be so strict with their exercise, ensuring they only eat the right foods for their body and yet have a messy house?

 

Or how some people can train for years to be an elite athlete and then retire to a life of tubbiness?

Motivation is specific to the individual, to the task, to the moment, to the goal. If you have already started yesterday’s task to be mindful of when negative thoughts or limiting beliefs occur, you will have already realised that even when you are thinking about something that really excites you we start limiting ourselves because of those internal voices telling us we can’t do it.

When I have one of these thoughts I take time to reflect on why I have the thought. I try not to castigate myself for it, merely accept that it happened. Over time I’ve realised that the reason I have that thought is that I’m applying my past experiences to my future goal. If something hasn’t worked in the past, it may not have been that the goal wasn’t a good one, it may have been that I didn’t apply the right skills to it, or I didn’t try to do the tasks in the right order, or I simply didn’t deep down believe I could make it happen.

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Why do we not achieve these goals, when doing that would make all of our dreams come true? Is it a lack of opportunity? Is it a lack of money? Do other people in the world contrive to stop us? We can, and do blame external events for why we fail time and time again to achieve our goals. But deep down, we need to accept that we ourselves are the reason whey we didn’t make it.

 

Consider if you have every had a goal of losing a certain amount of weight. (I hate this goal but that’s a discussion for another day!)

We all know that if we stuck to the eating plan, ate healthy foods all of the time, exercised at the right intensity and put all of the small steps in place that we would eventually achieve it, and if we maintained that once we reached the goal that we would be happy, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. But a lot of people never get to that point because they can’t maintain their enthusiasm, or their systems for long enough. Perhaps the goal seems unattainable, or the systems are either too rigid, or not strict enough. Should that stop us from trying? If quitting when it got tough was the way all human beings operated, then we wouldn’t have air travel, electricity, running water, agriculture, internet, sport, relationships.

A few years ago I completed a leadership course and was introduced to the concept of a BHAG. A BHAG is a Big Hairy Audacious Goal. An absolute cracker, the big one, the one that you’ve always wanted to do, the one that you feel would set you on the path for achieving, doing, being what and who you want to be.

So how do the MOJO and the BHAG fit together? You need both. You need a big, big hairy goal. It needs to be audacious, astounding, incredible, amazing, seemingly impossible. In order to have motivation you need to have a specific goal in mind to apply it to. Why does it have to be BIG? Because losing 5kgs is boring. I’m truly sorry, but that is not a life changing event. I have members who lose 5kgs and it doesn’t change them, doesn’t make them a better person, or add value to other people’s lives in a massive way. Your BHAG needs to be so big that it scares the crap out of you, terrifies you about what is involved, makes you wonder if you aren’t in fact a little crazy to be thinking it.

Why shouldn’t you be able to go back to University and complete your degree, or to build a brand new business, or apply for and get that position with that company you have always wanted to work for? Who exactly, what exactly is stopping you? You are.

So whilst you are working on yesterday’s task of being mindful of any negative or limiting thoughts, start to get excited about that goal, that truly big one, the incredible one that WILL change your life. Make it BIG. Make it HAIRY! Make it AUDACIOUS. Because when you make it happen, life will be AMAZING for you!!

So having a BHAG is a big key to finding your MOJO!!

Go and create a great day!

Written by

Matt Jolley has been coaching fitness and sports for over 25 years. He has led several treks to complete the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea as well as operating a multi day trek along the Great Ocean Walk several times a year and also runs a Bali Fitness Adventure and a Lombok Trek Adventure - encouraging everyone to take on a challenge and grow from it

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