Motivation is the thing that keeps you moving forward toward growth and achievement. It is the drive that gets you out of bed in the morning, ready to seize the day. Without motivation you become lazy, depressed and hopeless. Over time, lack of motivation affects your attitude and behavior toward others, becoming a downward spiral that is self-destructive and seemingly inescapable. Meditation provides an avenue of escape from negative thinking and depression that can rekindle hope and motivation.
Product vs Process
According to renowned American psychologist Abraham Maslow, loss of motivation can be linked to a cultural heritage that values hard work, struggle, industriousness and goal achievement. You are told to keep your eyes on the prize, to overcome obstacles at all costs in order to arrive at an end product, which might be financial, social or physical. However, Maslow argues that productivity of this nature leaves out joy, fun, love and self actualization that are part of the process of living. They are at the essence of motivation, and when they are absent we begin to lose our sense of self, and of purpose.
Transforming from Within
Meditation is the practice of removing yourself from the constant onslaught of thoughts, information and demands that plague most of us in Western culture. In the meditative state, you allow thoughts to come and go without reacting to them or acting on them. In essence, meditation allows you to live in the moment, and to escape from the struggle of goal achievement. It is like taking a mental vacation from life’s business, to give your brain a chance to rest and renew. Meditation affects your brain chemistry, increasing hormones that make you feel happy and positive so you can escape negativity and once again become motivated.
Meditation is easier than you may think. It does not require any special equipment or surroundings, and it doesn’t demand a lot of time. You can do it in your car, in your office, at home or outdoors. Simply sit quietly, with upright posture. Close your eyes and breathe in and out through your nose. Focus on your breathing, feeling your ribs expand and contract as the air travels into and out of your lungs. When your mind begins to wander and habitual thoughts of planning and doing invade your consciousness, gently redirect your mind to focus once again on breathing. Do this repeatedly for several minutes. The more you learn to direct your mind away from thinking, the better you will become at it, and the more refreshed and motivated you will be.
To stay motivated as a fitness professional, you need to see your clients succeed, and professional growth and education will equip you with the necessary tools. To better understand what makes your clients tick, consider a certification in Lifestyle Fitness Coaching or Personal Training. Learn more about working with children or senior citizens with Youth Fitness or Older Adult Fitness certifications. Or keep your gym members motivated and coming back for more with our Fitness Management certification. At W.I.T.S., your success is our success!
Originally published on the W.I.T.S. blog. Reprinted with permission.
Michelle Matte is Instructional Designer and Senior Faculty at World Instructor Training Schools (W.I.T.S.). Michelle has enjoyed a lifelong career in the fitness industry, making a profound impact on its evolution. From National Workshop Presenter to Aerobics Championships Judge to Trainer of Trainers, Michelle’s dedication to the growth and professionalism of the industry has helped shape and mold the careers of thousands of qualified trainers and group exercise instructors, worldwide.
References and Credits
Maslow, AH (1954). Motivation and Personality, 3rd ed. New York: Addison Wesley Educational Publishers, Inc.