We've all seen them. The posters with the cats hanging onto a tree branch for dear life with the words "Hang in there!" plastered below the flailing feline. The intent is to provide motivation in a world where we can quickly become overwhelmed. Unfortunately, I think an unethusiastic roll of the eyes is more common.
If you spend more than 5 minutes on a social media platform, you're sure to run across a photo, meme or post plastering some form of inspiration. I know they mean well. But at the end of the day, they're akin to carnival cotton candy - providing a fleeting feeling of happiness followed by an empty need for more satisfaction.
It's not that I have a problem with it. Quite the contrary. I think motivation is awesome. My apartment is covered in it. I have multiple books with thousands of sayings and quotes. Anybody that follows me on Facebook or Instagram knows I love me some motivation.
I think my issue is that too often people rely on motivation alone to get them to their goals. They think that an abundance of quotes and happy thoughts will lead them to making a major lifestyle shift. It's not always that easy.
It can certainly be the driving force. Think of it as the spark that starts the fire, but it will not provide the fuel you need to feed the flames of self-improvement. A motivational quote will not continually force you to forge ahead and find new ways to overcome your obstacles when all you want to do is sit on the couch and binge watch Netflix.
Don't get me wrong, some forms of motivation are more potent than others. Some are more appropriate than others, as well. If you can find material that speaks to your soul, you'll be better off.
If you're having a tough day at work and your computer just deleted your last 15 minutes of work, then the kitty poster may make you smile and realize it will be OK But if you're pressed to finish off a major project, sign a big client or the scale hasn't budged for 3 months, you'll probably wish the stupid cat would just fall already.
If you have something motivational that truly means something to you, truly connects to you on an emotional level, well then you've found something special than can provide you the necessary firepower to forge ahead and make things happen for yourself.
I can't give you tips on what that material may be specific to you without knowing you personally. I can, however, tell you that even with all its awesomeness, emotional motivational material is still limited in its ability to get constant results.
What really gets results? What is it that will ensure you reach your goals, realize your dreams, and find your best life possible? In a word: discipline. It seems scary to some, but as the book Extreme Ownership tells us, discipline equals freedom.
How do you develop discipline? Why would you want to? Heck, what does discipline even mean, isn't that something for bald-headed monks ringing gongs in Tibet? Good questions all, and to find the answers and much more, be sure to visit FreshEvolutionFitness.com and click the blog "More Disciplined."
Until next week, find some appropriate motivation, find out how to become disciplined and let's live the healthiest, happiest lives we can!
Andy Frisch, NASM CPT, CES, PES, WFS, IFT, NESTA FNC, is a successful personal trainer and nutrition coach who enjoys working with clients of all shapes, sizes and ages. He currently train clients at Sports Village Fitness in Lebanon, works with clients online at www.FreshEvolutionFitness.com.