When someone is desperate, how hard to they seek to get help? If someone is in pain, how quick to they seek comfort? When someone needs guidance, how much effort do they invest in finding it? If someone loses a job, how hard are they searching for a new one?
Over my years in the fitness industry, I’ve marveled at how many people who desperately need help are not desperately seeking it. I think of the story about a crippled man in the Bible who lay by, what was believed to be, a healing pool for YEARS. He literally lay there waiting for someone to pick him up and take him to the pool to get healed. I think many people (including me at times) are like that guy, waiting on someone or something else to do all the heavy lifting. Sometimes it’s because we are overwhelmed by the task that could be required of us to take action. Many times it is just pure ignorance – we have no idea what to do. Sadly, most of the time, it is just pure laziness. We’d rather hope for a miracle, than exert ourselves in fear doing a lot of work for no reward.
Listen, people who work get the reward. People just have unrealistic expectations, and they have a warped definition of the word “work”. They do a little work, and expect a big reward. They work for a short time, and expect the payoff to keep coming even if they quit.
Seek and You Will Find
It is rare that I see someone really seeking to lose weight who doesn’t lose it. People will often say “I tried, I really tried”, but if you were to reach deeeeep within their soul and could get the truth out of them, the real answer is “I tried a little”, “I tried once”, “I thought I tried”.
If you try to play the piano for the first time, you don’t expect to play Beethoven within a few “tries”. No, you don’t even learn a song at first. You start by learning the basics (#boring #uneventful #nofun). You have to learn the fundamentals before you can even read music or learn a song. With practice, you finally get to learn a song. You celebrate when you can finally play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” with one hand. Then, you celebrate again when you learn to add your left hand. Then, after practicing, practicing and practicing, you begin to play the same song a little better, a little easier. Then you are ready for the next song – and it will be just as elementary as the first.
I can remember piano lessons, and I admit I was SO impatient. I would get so frustrated. I wanted to immediately jump in and play a more difficult “cool” song effortlessly without much practice. As a result, I’d take shortcuts. I’d play by ear, instead of reading music. I’d make up things that sounded good just so I could keep appearing to move forward. The problem was, I wasn’t moving forward. I was exactly where I left off. I might have “sounded” better, but I had not improved.
How often do we act like this in life? We do what we want to do to make us appear more successful (with our job, with our weight loss, with relationships, with God), yet many times we are exactly where we left off – exactly in the same place we were when we stopped actually WORKING.
I want to challenge you today to SEEK HARDER. Seek the things you desire to improve in your life with all your might. Seek answers to your weight loss plateau, seek help in your marriage, seek God in your life – and seek until you find.
God doesn’t ever ask us to do work for no reward. A matter of fact, He constantly talks about what we “get” when we seek Him. The key is understanding the word seek. I think we think of the word “seek” more like Steve seeks something in the fridge. He opens the door, looks at the contents and closes the door saying “Bonnie, where’s the BBQ sauce?” I’ll reply with “it should be in the door”. He’ll tell me he looked there. I will go on to list a few other places it could be and he’ll tell me he looked there too. The fact is, he didn’t really SEEK, he looked. Of course, I’ll go right to the refrigerator, open the door, move a few items out of the way and find it within 30 seconds. Why? I wasn’t looking, I was seeking.
Vines Dictionary’s definition of ‘Seek’:
To “seek” to ascertain a meaning (meaning, seek until you understand)
Are you seeking things like that? Are you seeking God like that? Are you seeking answers to your marriage issues or weight issues like that? Striving for, seeking until you fully understand, seeking until you find what you are looking for?
I had to laugh when Joyce Meyer was talking about how people act like they don’t understand what “seeking God” means. She then listed off a few examples of how we seek out stuff in life, like the woman seeking a 75% OFF sale or the guy in the deer stand seeking the deer in the freezing cold.
Don’t you think your life is worth the effort to REALLY seek the things that really matter? Your physical health, your spiritual health – happiness, joy, peace and well-being?
Today, make a commitment to stop looking and start SEEKING.
Today’s Spiritual Workout:
I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. Proverbs 8:17
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! 1 Chronicles 16:11
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Psalms 34:10
Is it a day you have a ton of energy? Is your definition of a good day when you feel extra motivated to workout and eat right? Maybe it’s that kind of day that nothing goes wrong, all traffic lights turn green for you when you are running late to work, and you get a random check in the mail when you get home from work that covers the exact cost of an unexpected bill.
If you answered yes to any of those “good days”, then maybe you should change your way of thinking. We shouldn’t let our circumstances decide whether we are having a good day or not. We can make any good day a good day by the way we react to our circumstance.
A good day can be one of the crappiest, hardest, most challenging days you’ve had, but your reaction is so great, you go to sleep proud and happy. When your decisions are good, even on a crappy day, you end up stronger, fitter and more proud than you could have ever been on any normal day.
Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals. – Dorothy Height
Anyone can be victorious when there is no opposition, but true victory is when you beat opposition. Make today a great day. Make this year a great year – not by what happens to you, but your response to it.
If I had a dime for everyone who said they just weren’t motivated to workout, I’d be filthy stinkin’ RICH! It’s like people are waiting on this euphoric feeling of magical motivation that lifts them up off the couch like Tinkerbell, slips on their ruby tennis shoes like Dorthy, and floats them to the gym on a enchanting carpet of inspiration and fitness excitement like Aladdin.
It’s a Fantasy Wonderland where cauliflower tastes like Feticcini Alfredo and grilled chicken tastes like Filet Mignon rapped in bacon and topped with Gorgonzola cheese. It’s where a low calorie diet satisfies you each and every day – and, no matter how low your calories are, you have enough energy to power the entire the gym as soon as you walk through the doors. …Oh yeah, and Snow White is your best friend, saying “just one more rep”, and you say “No! I can do 100, because that’s how you roll!!”
Yeah, I’m pretty sure that place doesn’t exist. While motivation is surely preferred, it is not required for success. Sadly, many people wait on it to show up, like it’s a workout partner you can’t train without.
Listen people, motivation comes and goes. Motivation is just a feeling. Determination is what will get you to your goal – not motivation. Motivation will drop you faster than the drunk on a mountain bike.
Motivation Where Art Thou?
Does it mean you quit searching for it? NO! It can surely help you, but it’s not something you should rely on. You have to rely on the decision you made to reach your goals – on good days, on bad days, on days you are motivated, on days you are completely exhausted and discouraged. You keep showing up because you have a goal to reach. You don’t stop for anything, anyone or anything. Your decision has been made.
Heart vs. Mind
While there are many real things in life that motivate us to do stuff, most of us think of motivation as the warm and fuzzy energizing feeling. I’m here to remind you, feelings will let you down. They lie to you, they cheat you, they mask the truth and they rob you of your joy. However, determination is a DECISION. It’s not that people who are determined have extra super-powers or don’t have bad days – they just decided ahead of time to not let their feelings change their decision.
- A quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult
- A fixed intention to achieve a desired end.
- The settlement of a dispute or question. (Another words, quit debating with yourself. The decision has been made. There is nothing else to discuss or think about.)
Determination is not a quality you are born with, it’s learned. It’s practiced. It’s acquired over time. And, the more you practice it, the easier it will come – and the reward is what will motivate you to stay determined.
Start practicing these traits today, and say goodbye to doubt, hesitation and indecision.
Synonyms: resolution, purpose, resolve, drive, energy, conviction, courage, dedication, backbone, fortitude, persistence, tenacity, perseverance, willpower, boldness, firmness, staying power, stubbornness, strength of character, constancy, single-mindedness, earnestness, obstinacy, steadfastness, doggedness, relentlessness, strength of will, resoluteness, indomitability, staunchness.
Antonyms: doubt, hesitation, indecision, vacillation, irresolution
There’s no question you WANT it.The question is how BAD do you want it. Because if you really, REALLY want it, you will do whatever it takes to get it. In my line of work, I hear a lot of people who say they “really want to lose weight”, they “really want to get healthy”, or they “really want to have a six-pack”. But, honestly, they don’t – because if they really did, they’d really follow up and really make it happen.
Sure, they’d PREFER to be thin, fit, healthier, leaner – but in order to actually get thin, fit, healthy and leaner, they have to do more than “prefer” it, they have to be willing to DO it. What are your actions saying about what you say you want?
What gets you in the gym? What gives you the desire to put on your tennis shoes and go for a run on a hot day? What is the driving force behind your workouts and your diet? Is it based on motivation? Or is it based on determination?
Motivation varies. It comes and goes. Determination is constant. You are either determined to reach your goal or not. When you are determined, you no longer rely on feelings, you rely on the knowledge that your work will pay off.
Don’t get me wrong, your goal can motivate you to stay determined, but relying on “feeling motivated” is totally a different thing. Feeling motivated doesn’t last. It can leave as fast as it came. But, if your goal is real and your desire is strong, your goal can motivate you to stay determined enough to keep showing up day after day until you succeed.
Ask yourself: Are you Determined?
TRAIN WITH YOUR BRAIN.
When I think of willpower, I think of a supernatural superpower deep within someone’s soul that gives someone a unique mysterious ability to resist all temptation and wrong doing. A super inner strength to do the extraordinary.
I can stick my Face in the Hole of a super hero all I want, but I’m telling you right now – I don’t possess this wonder I speak of. When you are married to a “Steve”, who seems to have Superman Willpower, it’s easy to get discouraged as you watch those around you seemingly do the supernatural day after day. Then it hit me. Willpower is not something you HAVE, it’s something DO.
WILL – Let’s divide the words up a bit. First, look at the definition of will. As you read it, notice all the action words.
will 1 (wl)
1. The mental faculty by which one deliberately chooses or decides upon a course of action
2. a. Diligent purposefulness; determination
b. Self-control; self-discipline
1. To decide on; choose.
2. To yearn for; desire
3. To decree, dictate, or order.
4. To resolve with a forceful will; determine.
5. To induce or try to induce by sheer force of will
POWER – Let’s look at the word POWER. Again, more action words.
1. The ability or capacity to perform or act effectively.
2. Strength or force exerted or capable of being exerted; might. See Synonyms at strength.
3. The ability or official capacity to exercise control; authority.
4. Forcefulness; effectiveness
I think once we accept that willpower is not some unexplained inner strength that you are either born with or you’re not, you can then begin to make serious changes in your life. Willpower is nothing more than choosing to control one’s actions. It’s not a phenomenon. It’s not a gift. It’s a choice – and the choice is yours.
Claim today: I will CHOOSE to have POWER over my body starting today!