Martial Arts Inc

Motivate yourself to accomplish anything!

Completing goals, and training consistently requires one important factor, motivation. Motivation is the sure will involved in beginning, working on and finishing a goal. Without strong motivation it can be hard to achieve things, especially difficult goals like training to perform the splits, winning a competition etc. Towards the end of the goal our motivation is high for various reasons, so this article will mainly concentrate on the first two phases, beginning and continuing a goal. Motivation methods will depend on the goal, as activities can vary. The most difficult part can be to continue on rather than to begin. It’s all about the environment! Your house, your car, your family, your friends and your life all play a role in motivating you. You may believe that motivation is purely a mind ‘thing’ – you would only be partially right. Motivation is dependent on your environment, both internal and external and both environments are connected, meaning that aspects in one will affect the other. Your external environment greatly affects your internal environment, depending on how you’re past experiences have affected your internal environment.

Example: Imagine you were sharing a messy and disorganised house with people that you didn’t like and that didn’t like you. This would have a profound consequence on your mental activities. It would make it a lot more difficult to achieve your goals. This type of negative environment would start to manifest in other areas of your life and it depletes confidence and self-belief. If you lived in a very negative environment how would you expect to be able to maintain enough positivity to win a Martial Arts tournament or to increase your speed and power?

External Environment: Your External Environment is any stimulus outside of your body%3B it can include people, space, light, heat, colour, surrounds, physical sensations, smells, shapes and distance.

People: People can play a major role in motivating you. Not that they encourage you or give you support, but your feeling towards them, personal pace, appearance and other factors create your personal opinion. Performing certain activities in front of specific people can be awkward at best, we all should know of the feeling of ‘the boss looking over your shoulder’, a state of mind brought on by criticism in childhood etc. Such feelings of awkwardness need to be eliminated for true motivation to break in. Changing this situation involves becoming comfortable with the person(s) that you are uncomfortable with. This is accomplished by getting to know them, a supposedly simple task. If all else fails, inspiration and motivation may depend on these people leaving your life.

Place: Landscape and living environment are also a big topic in self-motivation. Your living quarters need to be comfortable and this depends on really knowing yourself and what you like. Too much clutter, too little space and clashing objects are the main causes of low motivation here.

Stimulus: Apart from your living space there are certain elements that cause the body to relax more then required, the best example is in the living room, the couch and TV. Many of us spend needless hours in the same position allowing our bodies to fall into an un-motivational state, where even the perception of activity is nullified. This is caused by the mind and body, both relaxing to the extreme. In a working environment, relaxing both body and mind would be quite rare. On the other hand, relaxing either the mind or body would be quite common. Depending on your activity, the chances of one occurring over the other changes. In office jobs or activities involving sitting down, your body is given the chance to relax. Typical signs are slouching and over relaxing. The effect on motivation is that you begin to relax and enter a lower motivational state, where you do not work to your best ability. There is a simple cure for this. Take a walk. Stand up, stretch out and go for a ten-minute walk. Basically, change from thinking to exercising.

Internal Motivation: Leaving your external environment aside there are major changes that you can do within your own mind. It has been stated before that your motivation depends also on how your internal mind perceives your external environment.

Positive Thinking: The practise of positive thinking involves your mental perception of tasks. Implication is simple think using positive terms to describe a situation. So now, when problems arise, they are challenges, when situations are bad, they are interesting. Positivity does not change the situation, it changes how you perceive and handle it. In positive thinking, the most important principle is not to swear or curse. Swearing is a form of negative energy that puts your mind into a low motivational state, among other things. Negative Thinking: As opposed to positive, negative thinking is a reflection on the past. Do not think of the present or future in a negative manner. It is much harder to think of the present and future negatively because you can change the present and future, no matter what. The negative thinking process involves focusing on the past, opportunities lost, due mostly to procrastination. Failure and required relaxation are necessary for success. Negative thinking calls on the negative emotions to be used in a positive situation e.g. guilt. The thought of never wanting a situation to occur again is a positive motivator.

Frame of Mind: We are all familiar with the phrase “it’s a frame of mind” it’s true. Many activities in life are completed from ‘the frame of mind’ or ‘being in the mood’. What you need to do is create this frame of mind for every task you need to do. As mentioned before, your external environment plays a role in this. Mentally, what you need to do is stay focused on your goal and on what you want. This has a very simple implementation method: review your goals, before you do any important activity in your life e.g. getting a job, training for a competition etc. You need to define why you are doing it and what you are getting out of it. Write it down on a piece of paper and keep it on you at all times. The process of writing something down and reading it stimulates the left side of the brain, the logical side. This process helps your mind to focus on your goal and what tasks are required to complete it.

Goals: A problem of youth that can creep into adulthood is that of boredom. Not having anything to do and not knowing what to do is the single largest factor in lack of self- motivation. It also has an easy solution: ‘Plan your day’. Every afternoon or evening, write out on a new piece of paper what you need to do and every morning read over it. Simple! Diagnosis is 50% of the cure!

By Robert Devane

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