Posts Tagged ‘Motivation’

Martin

Being motivated to continue doing something difficult is usually a struggle. When we’re doing something and then in the middle of it we’re suddenly faced with a big challenge, sometimes it seems hard to press on. There are times that our negative experiences and failures keep us from continuing. We become fearful of making mistakes again. Other times, we just lose our focus and direction. Our environment may suddenly change and we find ourselves getting ‘lost‘ in transition. We forget what our goals are and why we started in the first place. In any case, when you start losing hope and feel under-motivated to continue, keep these things in mind:

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1. Be Thankful. We often lose confidence from past failures and personal weaknesses which then kills our motivation. We have to focus and think of what we want and why we started in the first place, but sometimes it is the same reason why we start to lose confidence in ourselves. As time goes by, our brains start to question why we still aren’t getting what we want. We become jealous of others’ achievements and compare ourselves with them. The solution for this is to focus on gratitude. Be thankful for your small achievements. Remember your accomplishments and what it took for you to get there. If you are a runner struggling to make it past sub-30 or your sub-1 or whatever your target is, be thankful for those few minutes or even seconds that you scrape off from your time. If you have been going to the gym to lose weight, be thankful for the capability to work out and sweat every day, and remember that you are on the road to fitness. We lose hope when we tend to forget about our strengths and dwell on our failures. Make an effort to feel grateful and you’ll realize how competent and successful you are.

2. Focus on Positive Goals, not just on results. We sometimes set unreasonable goals for ourselves and when we don’t reach them, we lose confidence in ourselves. Some people set goals like “I want to lose 30 lbs in 1 month” which is totally unhealthy. I once had a client who wanted to improve her figure by having a thigh gap. I had to patiently explain that this is an anatomical difference and can’t be easily modified with exercise or any weight loss program. Also, being skinny does not mean being healthy. When you run, you don’t reach the finish line by thinking about the finish line, but you focus on each grueling step that you take to reach it.

3. Set Your Direction. If focus means having positive and specific goals, then having direction means to make a clear strategy of your day-to-day actions to achieve your goals. Without an obvious next step, we tend to procrastinate. If possible, make a sequential list of things to do until you reach your goal. Identify the activities that lead to success. Some actions that you take can be good, but may not lead to your goal. Remind yourself everyday of what you need to do next. I think a good analogy of this in sports training would be Periodization. You have an ultimate direction towards your goal with the Macrocycle -your year long or season-long training plan. But you should still have your Mesocycle and ultimately your Microcycle which is specific to what you do for each training day.

It is inevitable to encounter failures and problems along the way as you take steps toward your goal. What’s important is that you strive and persevere and keep negative thoughts from killing your confidence and motivation. Martin Luther Jr said “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”  And after that first step, keep focusing on the next steps ahead of you.

 

Be thankful for each step. Focus on positive and reasonable goals. And set a clear direction for every action that you take.

SHOP

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The best Basketball player of all time Michael Jordan once said:

“My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness,

then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”

 

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Michael Jordan didn’t start off as a champion – he and his team went through lots of challenges and defeat before they claimed back-to-back championships. One of the things that we can truly admire about him is how he continually strived to improve himself. He kept pushing himself to the limits, until the Chicago Bulls win one game after another.

For us, we wouldn’t really know what we are capable of until we push our bodies to the limit. Improvements won’t come easy and there will be lots of sweat and soreness, but after a certain point in time, we’ll be sure that everything will eventually pay off.

We wouldn’t know how fast we can run, how high we can jump, how deep we can swim, or how long we can perform unless we train to push ourselves to the limit.

Upon reaching that point, we’ll realize how much we are able to do not just for ourselves, but for our family and community.
 

Larry Bird, another Basketball great, also said:

“Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.”

No matter how hard the challenges you face may be, remember that the game won’t be over until it’s over.
 

Push yourself to your limits.

Fight until the end of your battle.

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Here’s the motivation for the week:

 

SHOP

 

 

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!

 

Life could be difficult and each day we face different challenges and difficulties, but remember that it is these challenges that makes life meaningful!

 

Are you up for some challenges today?

 

 

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“Courage doesn’t mean you’ll always win. Courage doesn’t mean you’ll always be the best.

Courage means you never give up on your dreams.”

 

 

And that is what the Jamaican Bobsled team did in 1988. There were no snow or ice in Jamaica, of course, but these athletes were determined to join and finish in the Winter Olympics!

Keep on Pushing” is a semi-documentary about the Jamaican bobsleigh team supported by Samsung Galaxy.

 

Watch the first episode here:

 

 

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The Professor doing the One Arm Elbow Lever (OAEL) at age 74.

The Professor doing the One Arm Elbow Lever (OAEL) at age 74.

Fred E. Samson (1918-2004) was a dedicated neuroscientist and a Professor of Biochemistry and Physiology at the University of Kansas-Lawrence Campus for 21 years. He spent another 29 years at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and became the Director of the Ralph Smith Mental Retardation and Human Development Research Center until 1989. He was recognized as Emeritus Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology until 2002.

He was a very active scientist and he involved in conferences that brought together neuroscientist and scientists from many fields (mathematicians, physicists, chemists, etc) to focus on the basics of brain function. Amidst his busy schedule, he still found time every morning to swim across Lake Quivira and commit to physical training. He also enjoyed water-skiing until his early 80s. He is a person who definitely understood the capabilities of the human body and maximized it!

What’s your excuse not to be fit?

Bonus: another old guy performing the OAEL.

Have a fit Friday!

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My wife has successfully persuaded encouraged me to watch one of her favourite shows, The Amazing Race Canada. The last (and might have been the only) reality show that I remember watching loyally was the first Survivor season. I agreed to watching the first Amazing Race Canada because as my wife said, it’s very informative and even educational about the places, people, and culture in Canada.

True enough, from the latest episode that I saw, I learned about one of the inspirational people from Canada- Terry Fox. I researched and read about him after the episode and I learned how inspiring he really was:

Terry Fox (July 28, 1958 – June 28, 1981) was a student athlete: he was a long distance runner and basketball player in his high school and college days. At the age of 19, he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and his right leg was amputated. This did not stop him from his passion in sports and he continued to run using an artificial leg. He even played wheelchair basketball in Vancouver and won three national championships!

His optimism, courage and determination to outrun and outplay his disability wasn’t the most inspiring. Three years after his surgery, he began a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research and called it the “Marathon of Hope.” He began his run from Newfoundland and hoped to raise $1 for each of Canada’s 24 million people for Cancer research when he finishes at Canada’s west coast at Vancouver, British Colombia. In his request for funding, he told the Canadian Cancer Society that he would finish the marathon even if he had to crawl every last mile. He was also quoted saying “I remember promising myself that, should I live, I would rise up to meet this new challenge [of fundraising for cancer research] face to face and prove myself worthy of life, something too many people take for granted.”

Terry fox memorial at St. Johns, Newfoundland

Terry fox memorial at St. Johns, Newfoundland

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His dream of raising money for cancer research was not really smooth. He met a lot of discouragements and road blocks along the way, and he had a hard time to get support from his mother and family. In spite of his disability and all the challenges, he was able to run a marathon everyday and even ran on his 22nd birthday (why not?). However, when reaching Thunder Bay, he was forced to stop his run as it was later found out that the cancer has spread to his lungs. He was able to run for 143 days and 5,373 kilometres, raising $1.7 million. Support still came in after his hospitalization and after a few more months, $23 million had been raised.

His condition worsened even after getting chemotherapy and he died after just a few more months. He was recognized and given high honours, and the Prime Minister back then said in one of his address Terry Fox: “It occurs very rarely in the life of a nation that the courageous spirit of one person unites all people in the celebration of his life and in the mourning of his death … We do not think of him as one who was defeated by misfortune but as one who inspired us with the example of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity

Passion, selflessness, and valor are the virtues which pushed Terry Fox to outrun his disability for the good of others. He didn’t let his condition bring him down, and he kept going forward for the hope of reaching his dream for others. It started with a dream to reach out to people in spite of his disability. He believed that a miracle could happen and he could do it, and he did.

Yes he is inspiring for how he overcame his physical condition, but more so, it was his desire to help people and his selflessness for others that made him honourable and truly worthy of life.

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This is what attitude can do: The arrogant runner (Steve Ovett) waved to the crowd and ‘claimed’ the first place while he was still a few hundred meters away from the finish line. John Treacy on the other hand focused on the road ahead of him and persisted in pushing his body to the full, until he reached the finish line.

 

“The game is not over until it’s over.”

Watch the video below:
 

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