Friday, November 7, 2008

What's Your Motivation?

"I'm asking you to believe.Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington...I'm asking you to believe in yours."--President-Elect Barack Obama

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over again in my life--and that is why I succeed."-Michael Jordan

"The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work."-Oprah Winfrey

"Success doesn't come to you . . . you go to it."-Marva Collins

"Success does not consist in never making mistakes, but in never making them a second time."- George Bernard Shaw

"What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?"-Robert Schuller

"It's never too late to be what you might have been."-George Eliot

"Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right."-Henry Ford

Motivation can be simply defined as "the direction and intensity of one's effort". (Sage, 1977)The direction of effort refers to whether an individual seeks out, approaches, or is attracted to certain situations. Intensity of effort refers to how much effort a person puts forth in a particular situation. The view of motivation most widely endorsed by sport and exercise psychologists today is the participant-by-situation interactional view. Summarized, the best way to understand motivation is to consider both the person and the situation and how the two interact. (Weinberg, 2007)

Have you ever wondered why your consistency in exercising fluctuates? Well, achievement motivation and competitiveness are believed to develop in three stages:
1) Autonomous competence stage.Occurring before the age of four, children focus on mastering their environment and on self-testing.
2) Social comparison stage. Beginning around the age of five, a child focuses on and directly compares his performance with that of others.
3) Integrated stage. A balanced combination of stages 1 and 2, this stage represents those who know when it is appropriate to compete with others and when it is appropriate to adopt and measure performance by their own standards. While this is the most desirable stage, not everyone reaches it because it requires introspection and maturity.

So, start by asking yourself, "What's my motivation for exercise?" If the root cause of your decision is tied to an internal characteristic, you are more likely to continue the behavior indefinitely. If your motivation comes from competition, you will likely quit when you defeat your opponent, lose miserably, or if your opponent ceases competition with you. If your desire to impress or please someone is at the root of your desire to get in shape, what happens when that person is removed from the picture.

My point is that,like everything in life, you must do it for yourself. Every decision that you make must be in line with the vision that you have for your life. Whether it be for health, wealth, education, or family, you must know your purpose and act accordingly in everything that you do.

It's a new day. What are you going to do? What's your motivation?
More next time...

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