The Mystery of Motivation

I get asked all the time what keeps me motivated. When I sit down and think about this question it boils down to a few things. I listened to this TED talk (link here) and it clicked. This talk explores what motivates humans and what drives better performance. Most companies are set up to give incentives or rewards for better performance, but research shows that this may not be the best way to motivate people. According to research, people perform better better when 3 things are present:

1. Autonomy (the urge to direct our own lives)

2. Mastery (the urge to get better and better at something)

3. Purpose (yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves).

We do things because they matter, they are important to us and because we are part of something bigger than ourselves. I have always been a highly motivated person, but this is because I know and understand my why and I engage and partake in activities that light me up.

If you are trying to get healthy, or more active but you just can't seem to stay motivated, you may not have nailed down WHY you want to do it. I want to share my WHY so you can get a idea of what I am talking about and hopefully start to understand yours.

My Why:

It is important to me to fuel my body with healthy food and take care of my body BECAUSE:

1. I lost my mom. That is a pain that I will live with the rest of my life. I do not want my kids to lose their mother at a young age. I know accidents happen, and some things you cannot avoid, but I want to give myself the best chance possible to annoy my children for as long as possible. In other words, longevity.

2. I want my family to be healthy and happy. If I want them healthy and happy, that means I need to do that also, and I want to be a good role model for those around me.

3. I am able to serve others when I feel good. This means I have to take care of myself first. Prime example: Have you every had to take care of your child when you had the flu? It is the worst feeling in the world... you want to be there for them but you physically can't.

It boils down to 3 things: family, children and service to others. I cannot lead my family or serve others without taking care of myself. This is what runs through my head when I really want to skip that workout at 8 pm, or eat an absurd amount of junk food. Understanding my "why" has taken time and a good amount of thought on my part. I challenge you to dig deep and find your real Why. I think you will be surprised at the results.

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