You know what you should do, but that does not mean you will actually do it.
For example… Being overweight or obese significantly increases your chances for developing heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and a host of other mental and physical disorders as you age, and nearly 80% of all colon, breast, and prostate cancers are linked to diet and lifestyle factors. These statistics clearly illustrate the importance of a healthy lifestyle. As a result, you would expect that everyone would be certain to eat the right way and to exercise consistently.
However, over 70% of the U.S. is overweight or obese!
Is this because overweight/obese people are not aware of the importance of eating healthy and exercising? Of course not.
Instead, most people are overweight for 2 main reasons. First of all, it’s because they have chosen (usually subconsciously) to ignore the long-term, negative consequences of repeating behaviors that feel good in the short-term (i.e. eating junk food or watching tv on the couch). Secondly, most people are out of shape because they don’t believe they can get into better shape. As a result, they don’t bother trying.
Our motivations (and subsequent actions) develop as a result of our associations and thought processes, most of which we are not aware of. In brief, if you avoid something, it’s because you have subconsciously or consciously linked it to more pain than pleasure. On the other hand, if you pursue something, it’s because you have subconsciously or consciously linked it to more pleasure than pain.
If you want to achieve a new goal, whether it’s related to your health, your career, or anything else, you will need to change some of your behaviors. However, you need to change your thoughts FIRST. Otherwise, you will just be relying on the ineffective motivational strategy known as “will-power.”
Be open to the possibility that you can achieve your goal, and focus on all the benefits you (or others) will receive when you achieve your goal. The right mindset is a prerequisite for being and staying motivated to endure the inevitable challenges we all face when we try to do something worthwhile.
Win the “battle” in your mind first, and you can win any “war.”
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-President of Idealize Enterprises
-Creator of The Dream Job College Tour
–Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day