In my opinion, the single most important thing to have a solid grasp of before you begin your fitness/physique/health/wellness quest is motivation.  What exactly is motivation?  In the dictionary, motivation is defined in two ways:

1. The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

2. The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

In looking at these two closely-related definitions, it’s clear that (a) one needs a set of reasons or a reason to perform a given action and (b) these reasons create the desire to carry out the said actions.

The first fundamental element of gaining strong motivation is setting a clear goal.  Without having a goal in mind, how can one begin performing actions to accomplish anything?  Think about it – having a goal is essential in creating a demand for you to perform certain actions.  Let’s take an everyday example I’m sure many of you can relate to.  Say you want to get that crazy ripped six pack.  If you truly want to get one, then each action you perform in your daily life will help you move forward in achieving your goal.  If you already know how to go about getting a six pack, then you’ll follow the steps needed to do that, and if you don’t you’ll consume lots of resources (such as this one) that give you a template of things that you need to do in order for your goal to be accomplished.  Once you know what these things are, then you must act on the knowledge you’ve acquired.  All of these actions are guided by the initial goal of getting that six pack.  Without having that clear-cut goal, performing all of those actions (some of which may prove to be mentally and physically painful) would be significantly harder to endure because of the absence of a structured goal.

What are some tips to help you stay motivated in your daily life?  For one, I think it’s essential that you surround yourself with a network of positively-minded people who don’t put you down.  I can’t stress enough that getting positive feedback from others is key to maintaining that tireless drive.  Also, be sure to reciprocate!  If someone you know is busting their butt to do something, be sure to let them know that you recognize their hard work and progress.  If people ever put you down, however, it’s not the end of the world.  In knowing that you have control of how you think about things, you can use this negative energy to fuel your drive for success.  Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time, used hate to fuel him through exhausting workouts.  He hated to lose more than he loved to win, and he channeled all of that pent up energy into bettering himself on the hardwood.  Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of the greatest bodybuilders ever, was different from Jordan in that what fueled him to such immense success was his desire to win and be the best.

The bottom line is this: you’ve got to use whatever is thrown at you and channel it into positive energy that’ll help you achieve your goal.  So, if you’re making progress and getting positive reactions from people, use that and channel it into energy to become better and improve.  And if you have some haters who are knocking you for having the fortitude to chase your dreams, take that negative energy and turn it positive by helping you fuel your workouts and other actions that move you closer to your goals.  Having the ability to adapt is critical and this’ll allow for nothing to stop you from achieving what you want.

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