Cake
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    • I had always detested gyms, working out, and exercising for exercising's sake. I'd happily move if it was fun, like horse riding or dodge ball, or if I was being chased, or if movement was purposeful like chopping wood; but working out for the sake of working out always seemed abhorrent to me.

      In recent years though, I had a few medical scares and came to a conclusion that I needed to exercise whether I wanted to or not because being a digital nomad and living on the road, while really good for the soul, isn't always the best for the body.

      I've tried a few different exercise systems like yoga, HIIT and running, and each time I started something, I'd quit within a week or two - just like back in my twenties, I'd quit gyms and pilates and swimming because it was boring, repetitive and felt absolutely pointless.

      And then one day, I saw a quote from a strength trainer. It was absurdly simple.

      "If you sit around waiting for motivation, you won't ever start exercising. You have to go and do it, and motivation will show up as you go along".

      This, combined with a recently read book about neuroplasticty:

      ...was absolutely revolutionary for me. If motivation was a myth (and therefore, I wasn't a weak-willed sloth, after all) and my brain was so malleable, and I could form new habits THAT easily, surely I could hack my own distaste for exercise?..

      I now do at least four full strength workouts a week and... do not hate it at all! In fact, I'm starting to enjoy it. And dropping down a size.

      What's your relationship with motivation?

    • Wow, good for you. I don't have hard evidence but my sense is the time invested in that much exercise is like an investment that pays back with interest in our productivity, mental and physical health, and a sense of well being.

      I am the opposite with motivation and I have no idea why. Sometimes I wonder if I'm okay since my family thinks I'm crazy. When my family goes on vacation, they like to lie on the beach, play board games, stay in a resort, nap and eat. 99% of people are probably that way.

      I have to go to the gym, read a great book, climb a peak, learn something, do something constructive, check my email. If I haven't had exercise for 48 hours, I gotta have it. I'm probably psycho. My family thinks so.

    • Hahaha. I must be a psycho, too, then :D I would love one day of pigging out, napping and lazying around on a beach, but I'd be going nuts if it was the same the following day! I'd need to learn something, climb things or see stuff, too. I'm not sure this has to do with motivation though. Maybe we just bore easily? :D

    • I have this same experience -- I really don't enjoy lying on the beach (or elsewhere) for long periods, which seems to not be the case with most people. Glad to hear that there're others who feel the same way...I definitely get some weird looks when I try to tell people how I experience what I mentally categorize as "unproductive" activities. They drive me crazy!

      That's not to say that things that I think of as unproductive are bad in some way, I just don't personally enjoy them.

    • Exactly! I don't mean to sound like I think I'm better than, but here's the thing: life is SO AMAZING and it could end any second. Why not make every second count? I'll lie on the beach if I have a great book, but I don't like to veg.

    • "To veg" :D :D That's awesome. I'll have to remember this :D

      I can't stand doing nothing either. At the same time, I can't stand busyness just for the sake of busyness, too - but that's probably a whole different topic.

      I'm curious: if motivation can be hacked, is it possible to hack talent, too, or is that something we either inherit or don't?

    • I hack motivation all the time. It pops it head up and I hack it off like a knights arm in Monty Python sketch. ;) Now is talent earnt or born with........ that's for another long connversation.

    • What's your relationship with motivation?

      Super motivated in the summer, usually get up to 4 to 6 miles a day of hiking by mid-July. But winter does a number on me, and it takes regular reminders to get in some exercise—instead of camping out on the couch. I’m planning to do some serious hiking in Colorado this summer, however, so I’m trying to leverage that goal to stay motivated and hit the local hiking trails on the weekends in December and January.

    • Oooh I'll have to check that book out! This topic reminded me of something I've been chewing on for the last few weeks:

      "The dictionary defines grit as ‘courage and resolve; strength of character.’ The ancients called it virtue: the strength and will to do the right thing, regardless of how we feel.  Our feelings will follow. To let them lead is folly."*

      I think people who are unmotivated are letting their feelings lead. We're all subject to inertia and it takes some effort to get moving. We won't "feel like it" until we're already on the move and the rewards start kicking in (beautiful vistas, endorphins, stronger muscles, etc.)

      There are definitely things I'm not motivated to do, but I think that's one of the challenges of life: Figuring out what we really want out of life.

      If I want a strong, healthy body, I need to start sweating. But I'm pretty unmotivated to clean my shower at the moment because it's not *that* dirty and I'd rather be playing games with my kids. I actually don't want an immaculate house because that means I spent more time cleaning it... and it would also mean I had fewer kids. ;)

      *From this blog post: https://www.simplyconvivial.com/2017/develop-grit/

    • That's so spot on with feelings leading! I just finished watching this, and it's sort of what dr Dispenza talks about, only he goes into detail about neurons, chemicals, and epigenetics: