Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Power of Positive Motivation

English: Unconscious Motivation
Unconscious Motivation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by Edward Macejka and Kelly Macejka

I was driving home the other day and I was thinking about the evening ahead.

My plan was to go home, change into my gym clothes and get to my evening workout. I then became fixated on the word "workout".

The first part of that word is "work". We all know that it takes work to become better at something, to improve ourselves.

Nobody ever became better by lying on the couch with a bag of chips on their chest. Believe me, I've tried it a number of times and can speak from experience.

The word work can strangely enough have a negative meaning during the course of our lives. I know there are days when I wake up and tell my wife, "Man, I don't feel like going to work today." She then responds, "I'm not your man." But that is beside the point.

It's not so much that I don't want to do the work, I actually love my job. It's just the idea of going to work, going through the process of preparing when I want to choose to stay in bed. Don't get me wrong, the word work is not a bad word. Our country was built as a result of the hard work of those before us. But it seems to me that back then the word was more of a positive motivator.

Think about a marriage that is going through a rough patch. A common piece of advice is that a couple needs to "work on it". I don't know if that is the best way to phrase the advice. A loving relationship should not have to be work, but I get the meaning.

Whether it be our job, our bodies, or our relationships, we should always strive to do our best. It's much easier to achieve our goals when we are positively motivated and I think that the term "work" can sometimes be a de-motivator. I'm not saying we have to be perfect.

Sometimes we miss a deadline, skip a workout or say something before thinking of the negative ramifications. These can all happen even if we are positively motivated.

But if we can find that positive motivation and continue to use that in our day to day activities I believe we can minimize the physical and mental hurdles that prevent us from being the best we can be. We won't look at it so much as "work".

Confucius said, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life". I love the quote and I completely agree with it. However, if I were to change anything about it I may change "job you love" with "positive motivator", because with positive motivation everything in life becomes easier.

My initial motivation to fitness was my wife Kelly. Her journey to fitness has inspired me and I am motivated to share her story with others. She also has motivated me to strive to be a better person, physically, mentally and spiritually. Motivation is a positive energy and as it feeds it gets bigger and stronger.

Case in point, about ten years ago my father found out he had prostate cancer. A few days after the surgery when I was visiting with him he began to talk about all the people who had come to visit him, who prayed for him, who sent him cards and flowers.

He then said to me, "I've really got a lot of friends." That simple statement has stuck with me these years because I believe that those around him gave him positive motivation to aid his recovery. He is now cancer free and healthy as ever.

Now take the opposite - there are many stories of couples who, when one of the spouses dies after a long time together, the other dies shortly thereafter. Why is that? It is said that the person "died of a broken heart" but the truth is that they have just lost the will to live, they no longer had the motivation to go on living without their spouse.

Being a motivator in someone's life is powerful. And I've found out firsthand that this is reciprocal. That evening I was driving home thinking about my upcoming workout I was tempted to skip it. I was tired and had a long day. But then I thought of all the people who had told me that this site and our journey has been a positive motivator for them.

This feedback motivates me even more to go to the gym, to be a positive influence, to affect positive change in people. The motivation I give to others is given back to me and it strengthens me, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

The next time you hear the word "work" and it comes with a negative meaning, find a positive motivation. I'm betting that the task at hand will seem less "work-like". And share that motivation with as many people as you can.

Like a boomerang, it will come back to you (I guess, I've never actually thrown a boomerang but for the sake of this article let's go with it). The more lives you effect in a positive way, the stronger the boomerang effect will be.

Edward Macejka and his wife Kelly write blogs and articles on their website, http://www.ourjourneytofitness.com, a website dedicated to sharing the experiences of the journey to physical, mental and spiritual fitness.

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