Motivation Prevents Success
Imagine a person who feels motivated to learn guitar but has no guitar, learning system, teacher, time to practice, or plan to rectify that landscape. That person feels something, sure. But she isn’t ready.
Imagine a person who feels motivated to do anything else. Any skill. Any subject. Any language. Any change. Visualize what happens when he doesn’t make his environment include the tools to get there. I don’t question his emotions. He may feel incredible motivation. I just KNOW he isn’t ready.
Emotions are beautiful.
Emotions are not concretely who you are.
Emotions do often choose for you who you’ll be in the next millisecond. And indeed who you are is always becoming and never fixed. Some milliseconds you are motivated. Most you aren’t.
Healthy lifestyle readiness is not that. Ready is painful self-awareness. What WILL you do on your least motivated weeks of your life? How WILL you stay disciplined WHEN YOU DON’T WANT to do this? If you have brilliant answers for this, you’re getting close to ready.
Nearly every weight loss or fitness program in existence capitalizes on buyers feeling motivated. One of the largest, WW, after tens of millions of members, only has a few thousand long-term successes: https://www.calpoly.edu/.../weight-over-two-cal-poly....
That’s a success rate of bout 1 in 10,000, or 0.01%. This is worse than the unguided general populace. In the general populace, 10% of resolutioners keep going after week 6 (when all initial feelings of motivation wear off): https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/.../Results%20for.... Around 4% keep up what they say for a year, mostly, sort of.
Ready is not like that. Once you are ready, your discipline supersedes wavering emotions and feelings. When you are ready to change, you will continue to walk the steps of change WHEN you don’t feel like it.
Motivated is not ready. Motivated is not close to ready. Motivated is shorter than the blink of an eye. Ready persists.
As such, I DIScourage people who aren’t ready. I don’t want motivated. I want ready. Trust me: I’ve met many motivated people. I’ve met incredibly high net worth, famous, business owners, execs, well-known speakers, and self-proclaimed “A-type”s and “driven”s. That’s nice. Cool. But are you READY?
And mostly they aren’t. People will peak in emotion and confuse that with readiness. That isn’t readiness. It’s the opposite. You can see this with people who have near-death experiences, survive car crashes, cancer, near fatal surgeries and brushes with disaster and THEN DON’T CHANGE LIFESTYLE. They get a new lease on life and continue to eat, act, and think precisely the same way that caused their brush with death.
Wake up calls work for a moment. They’re highly emotional. They will invoke all kinds of feelings. And you WILL FEEL MOTIVATED. To quit smoking. To quit drinking. To quit various addictions and counter-productive behaviors.
That’s a flit of a heartbeat. It’s nothingness in the vast cosmos of reality. We don’t need that. We don’t even want that. We need ready.
More than in exercise or nutrition, I encounter this confusion with executive coaching clients and their professional journeys or career paths. A bad moment makes them feel motivated to leave. Lack of readiness keeps them there. A hopeful moment makes people feel ready to launch a business. They never launch, no matter how motivated they get, because they never ready themselves.
What steps WILL you take WHEN you have no time, kids are sick, work is crazy, you’re defeated, demotivated, and it all seems hopeless?
WHEN you have SOME good, honest, realistic answers to this, you are almost ready. When you are fully prepared to shoot down all of your own valid excuses and victim narratives, THEN, and ONLY then, are you ready.
Motivated is not ready.
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