Motivation is a powerful tool, but has its drawbacks, unless one’s motivation comes from within. The limitation with extrinsic motivation is that once the spirit, which spurred the individual to move is gone, so is the desire to continue whatever resolution was undertaken.
This is particular true when an individual has made any of these resolutions: to lose weight, join a gym, and even more cumbersome, to eat healthy. The extrinsic motivation, if any of the aforementioned resolutions are even started, lasts about two weeks.
Which is why most individuals are paying for memberships to gyms they do not attend. Others are eager to see results and want instant gratification, and when there is no discernible change in their physique, quit, stating that they are much too busy to exercise.
Intrinsic motivation is much more potent, which leads one to make a commitment and adhere to it, no matter what obstacle tries to get in the way. I have touched on this subject before, stating that “commitment to continuity leads to emotional stability.
However, it goes much deeper than that. Intrinsic motivation when it borders on obsession creates a burning desire, which will not be satiated until the goal has been accomplished.
Although, the following incident occurred almost 20 years ago, I remember it vividly as if it had just happened today.
We lived in a side duplex house. The way it was built, allowed one to enter without being seen. I had just come through the door from work, when I heard my daughter exclaim, “First you see daddy’s belly, and then you see daddy.”
I never found out what prompted this conversation between my wife and daughter. She wasn’t even in her teens at the time, so one would consider her statement innocuous. However, at that age, kids can’t help but tell the truth as they perceived it.
I should have waited before entering further, but so astounded by her revelation that I interrupted the conversation, which of course ceased the moment my presence was acknowledged. Of course, to this day, neither recalled the incident.
I on the other hand could not forget it. I was overweight. I had a distended midsection, which I tried to hide by wearing loose fitting shirts. Worse, I attempted to suck in my stomach around people, and failed miserably.
I would have continued in that vain, but upon hearing my daughter’s “first you see daddy’s belly” the desire to rid myself of my unsightly stomach became the bane of my existence . . .