When people typically think about health, they think of physical health. While this is a crucial piece of the puzzle, it is insufficient. A significant portion of the population in North American suffer from some mental issue at one point or another. And most people think of mental or psychological health— if they think of it at all— as an afterthought to overall wellness. This outlook must be refined. In over 25 years of experience training ordinary individuals, business executives, students, and athletes, I’ve learned that the proper balance between the mind and the body is the best, most efficient way to achieve health and wellness goals, regardless of the specific goal. Now, most people are familiar with the physical goals of HW: increase muscle mass, decrease excess fat, eat the right kinds of foods in the right amounts and at the right times, and the like. But not enough people pay attention to the influence that the mind and mindsets have on the nature, understanding, planning, and execution of a health plan. Even many professionals fail to appreciate just how crucial personal psychology is to a training regime. Next time you talk to a doctor, nutritionist, personal trainer or fitness adviser, ask them how involved they are with their clients on the topic of the mind. You will be surprised to learn that the vast majority of them will give you a blank eyed stare. In a sense, this is because the body is easier to deal with from a training point of view. It can be easily monitored. It is empirical. Results are right in front of our eyes. The body can respond to stimuli and stimulate other things itself. But the mind is more murky, harder to control. In questioning and being questioned, the mind wrestles with a vast depth unknown to the body. This explains why so many health plans neglect to focus appropriately on the mind’s relationship to physical health and achieving the goals we set for ourselves— whether these goals be weight loss, muscle gain, or just plain and simple overall wellness. Questions always raise the possibility of unpleasant truths, because it is in the questioner’s quest to uncover underlying reasons, causes, and motivations for a phenomenon or issue. In a word, questions invite doubt. But doubt is not the enemy. It is a first step towards transformation our bodies, minds, and our lifestyles for the better by improving our quality of life. To have a healthy body is to have a healthy mind, and to have a healthy mind is to have clarity of purpose. The power to transform your life resides here.
- No book or person or program can propel you on its own into action, even when you’re given the blueprint for the right action. Only you can do that. No idea or program can do the actual sweating for you. Only you must do that. But, not only is it true that you can. But you must. You will.
- Accomplishing any goal is a negotiation between what we think and feel. Logically we calculate our path, our possibilities, pains, experiences, beliefs, and the like. Emotionally and psychologically we experience a world that either conforms to this logic or it doesn’t. What if our minds and our hearts don’t agree when it comes to our goals? What must be done?
- Motivation is the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action towards a desired goal, the reason for that action. When you motivate yourself, nine times out of ten you are pushing yourself to do something you don’t truly want to do. It is about psyching yourself up. Chest-pounding. Fire-walking. Chanting. Inspiration comes from a completely different place. Inspiration, on the other hand, is to be in spirit. When you’re inspired, you are naturally drawn to do what moves you. The key is to turn motivation into inspiration. You don’t want your efforts always to feel like you’re being forced to do them. You want it to feel natural. The key is to locate the external challenges in your life (the ones I mentioned in the discussion on Ritual) and use that to motivate you towards your HW goals. This is the engine, the motivation.
- Your brain will analyze your goal based on the perceived value of obtaining it. If the results you are supposed to get from reaching your goal add up to enough value in your life, some commitment will definitely rise up. Your brain needs to perceive high value for a whatever it takes commitment level. Worth can be evaluated based on different factors such as money, time, result(s), education, a positive feeling and so on. Value means an exchange of worth. Your brain will logically analyze the changes you are going to get to find out if there is a good balance/trade-off between what you have to do and what you will get. If you think you will get better worth, you will find value in following that plan and staying committed to it.