WORKOUT MOTIVATION - How Physical Training Develops Your Character
I love sports. And I love working out. I’m not saying I’m an expert on this. I’m not saying I do it all correctly. But I love movement and physical activity. And it’s important that we people take care of the wellbeing of our mind, feelings and also the body. I’ve been talking a lot about mental development, but what about the simple issues of the body? It’s important to stay healthy and fit, because our physical well-being also has an impact on our emotional and mental well being. We shouldn’t live just in our heads, but also in our whole body which is so real and therefore important while thoughts and feelings seem so fleeting and intangible. More than that, regular physical training and workout can teach us so much about discipline and willpower, which are incredibly important mental virtues for personal growth.
There are three body types. Ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph. Ectomorph is long and lean with quick metabolism. That’s what basically I am, quite slim with really little fat on me. Mesomorph is the middle one of the three body types. It finds it easier to build muscle, can be lean and muscular at the same time and has natural athletics build with well-defined muscles. At last, endomorph is stocky build, wider body with more muscle but usually also more fat storage. This body has the best strength advantage but also has problems to stay lean due to its very slow metabolism.
Now, I’ve always wanted to look athletic and build muscle. I’m happy with my form, but I try to gain weight, and I have a very hard time with this. But I’m on my way and moving hopefully in the right direction. Besides, I like staying fit, so I would continue training even if I hadn’t had any specific body goals in mind. It’s about body maintenance anyway, so physical effort will always be part of it. So because I loved doing what I do, motivation has never been a big problem for me. But many people do indeed have a problem with self motivation, and physical training is not everyone’s cup of tea. So you might wonder how to stay motivated?
And the answer to that is: don’t. Motivation might give you energy, that spark that you need at the very beginning. But you can’t be motivated at all times in all things for the rest of your life. It’s hard. But training requires consistency and regularity. So what do you do? The answer is: you develop a habit out of our intention and goal by doing what needs to be done, regardless of whether you feel like doing it or not. You just listen to your will power and disregard the laziness of the body and the doubts of your feelings. Trust me, it’s easier than it sounds once you establish a habit, and this takes me to the main point in today’s video.
Whatever you do in life, whether it’s personal goals at work, with your family, character development, or workout at home or gym, you need to establish right habits that will push you through everyday and let you achieve your goals. It’s really just pure psychology: you do something once, then twice, three times, many times, and you get used to that new thing. The new experience, the new way of doing things sinks from your consciousness into your subconsciousness and becomes a part of your inner being. In this way you establish a habit, and the sum of all your habits basically make up your character.
It’s the same with physical workout. You might have a specific goal in your mind, e.g. building mass, or losing mass. And you know what to do. But then when it comes to actually going to the gym or do the home exercise, you become lazy or start making excuses to yourself, or you lose yourself in another activity, just to avoid training. That’s your body being lazy and trying to exercise control over the willpower of your mind, although your mind wants another thing. In this case you need to train your will power and will power is an ability of your mind, of your intellect, of your mentality, of your thoughts. What you think, that you create for yourself in your consciousness which will ultimately define your behaviour. So you need to think yourself into the right habit of doing what you want to do and not get sloppy or lazy for trivial reasons.
In our example you would still go to the gym even though you didn’t feel motivated, because your mind established a habit that you need to go and do that specific thing. At some point you wouldn’t even need motivation, you would just do it, in the same as you brush your teeth every morning. You just do it, because that’s what you do. Simple. If you skipped your training, you might even have bad conscience or feel underwhelmed, again: will power, motivation, intentions, habits - it all comes down to pure psychology which means the working of your consciousness.
As you can see, training and taking care of your body through strenuous effort has serious impact on your personal development. In this way you develop will power, determination, endurance, consistency, discipline - these are great and extremely important character traits. And if you feel like you miss some of those, you can use workout and physical training to refine your body as well as character.
Now you could take these insights and project them on other areas of life: relationships, career, friendships, personal projects - in all those things you need to have will power, determination, discipline and all those other virtues so that you can succeed in life and feel like you’re progressing somewhere. Remember, taking some kind of burden in life and holding responsibility is the essence of meaningfulness. And I hope that the simple example of physical workout can help you understand while you need to make the effort to claim things that are meaningful. Feel free to spin this concept further and apply it to whatever area of life is important to you. My message for today is done.
There’s so much that can be said about fitness. It’s a science in itself, and to get the physique you want, you also need the right nutrition. That’s why you have to do your research and also test how your body reacts to many things.
Stay fit and healthy. Be nice to people. Let’s exercise!