W.H.Y. = What Helps You to succeed
Why? Why not? Why do anything? Might seem silly to some but these are very important, fundamental questions in any endeavor. Why did you get out of bed this morning? Why did you brush your teeth? Why did you come to work? Why are you reading this? Why do we do anything? Most likely the answers to most of these questions are the result of habits that you have formed in your life. The same is true in fitness and making positive changes in our health. Conscious or not, we all make decisions based on our different “whys” or our personal philosophy about the particular area we are making a decision in. For example, you probably came to work today for a combination of reasons: you have bills to pay, you are a loyal employee, etc. However, you probably didn’t give much, if any, thought to the reasons why. You just sprang into action based on a habit that you have created. But, that habit stems from an initial reason why, which developed into the daily habit of going to work. Nerd Alert: It is a scientific fact that a conscious thought requires only 2,000 neurons, whereas a subconscious thought requires 4 billion neurons!! Translation?? Comparing our subconscious and conscious mind is like comparing an elephant to an ant, respectively, as Vince Poscenti (Olymic Ski Coach) puts it. Therefore, in terms of power, which one would you want working on your behalf? The 4 billion of course! You must enlist the action of your subconscious mind in order to get the results that you want. Ok, I know what you are thinking….”this is weird and I will just do the actions…forget the why! Yes, of course we can always muscle our way through most tasks with our conscious decisions however, it becomes a much easier and faster process when we learn the art of training our subconscious to work habitually on our behalf. Your success rate and result of making something a lifestyle habit goes up tremendously!
Success in anything stems from the belief that we can succeed!
So, you must find your reasons why and believe in those reasons and believe in yourself accomplishing them! According to Dr. David Schwartz in The Magic of Thinking Big, here are
3 ways we can develop the power of belief:
1.) “Think Success, Don’t think failure” (Have a vison for where you are going!)
2.) “Remind Yourself Regularly that You are Better than You Think You Are” (Consider all forward progress a victory and be encouraged that small steps add up over time!)
3.) “Believe BIG! The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief” (See yourself as you want to be and you will move toward that vision!)
*Knowing your Why and Having Belief go together like two peas in a pod*
If you don’t know WHY, then the “what” always becomes a burden. For this reason people often start something new, such as a workout program, with much vigor and zeal, only to fade out and wonder what they were thinking in the first place. One of the real dangers of this happening, is the belief in oneself decreases as the result of every failed attempt. If the reason WHY was big enough, strong enough, and clear enough this would likely not happen. On the days you are tired, busy, or just don’t feel like it you will need your reason why to push through.
In The Phychology of Winning, Dr. Denis Waitley exclaims: “Lasting change is effected only when the need for change is both understood and internalized. Until the reward or incentive has been interpreted and internalized, it has no motivating power.”
So, the secret to change is: if we want to and we know why, we will!
According to cybernetic theory, there are two types of change:
First-order change– doing things differently If you’re trying to lose weight, eating less and exercising more are steps in the right direction and are needed to help you hit your goal. This is incremental change that happens little by little. But, what about what is happening in our mind while it is hard to see this little by little change? Ever tried watching your own hair grow? Losing weight and becoming more fit are the same way! So, make a shift in your thinking and get the results of this second type of change behind the scenes:
Second-order change-quantum change that happens all at once
It’s seeing things differently!
First-order change is matter over mind.
Second-order change is mind over matter.
You must have a vision for the end result you want. And vision always starts with visualization. See yourself as succeeding and belief it!
Athletes have been proving this theory for decades, if not centuries. This practice is not just for highly competitive athletes and can be used in any endeavor. So, put belief and the power of having a WHY to work for you. I can only encourage you that it works. Your job is to find your reason(s) WHY!!
Most of our issues are perceptual. The solution isn’t doing something different. It’s thinking about the problem or situation differently.
“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were on when we created them. “ Albert Einstein
According to the research of Rolf Smith, children ask 125 probing questions per day!(If you have children you have no trouble believing this!:)) In contrast, Adults ask only six probing questions per day! So, somewhere between childhood and adulthood, 119 questions per day are lost, representing an alarming decline of learning and growing and the death of our imagination. According to this research, at some point we stop asking questions and start making assumptions, excuses, and justifications. Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!
In order to find our “WHY behind the what” we must be in the habit of asking questions. To whom might I ask these questions, you may be wondering? To find your why, have a conversation with yourself! No worries! I know what you are thinking! Contrary to popular belief, talking to one self is actually very healthy. So, ask yourself some questions to find out your why. Dig deep!
Initial Question: Why am I participating in an exercise program or hiring a personal trainer to help me? Why do I want to get certain results?
Possible Answers: I want to lose weight. Dig Deep: Why do I want to lose weight? To be healthier, have more energy, feel better about myself, look good for my significant other, etc. Why do I want to accomplish those things? I believe these things will help improve my attitude, my self-esteem, and my overall well-being, etc.
And so I challenge you…..find your reasons WHY and write them down where you can see them often or if you want to get really serious find some pictures in magazines or on the internet that represent your reasons why and put them where you can see them!
Instead of giving myself reasons why I can’t, I give myself reasons why I can. ~Wally Amos
In addition to finding our WHY behind the accomplishment that we are striving for, we must find the reasons why we CAN do something. They always exist!! They are usually hiding behind the reasons why we think we can’t though, so we have to look for them! You may not be on national TV competing as the Biggest Loser, but guaranteed if you find some whys, set some serious goals, and engage in a consistent exercise routine you will have the results of the ultimate champion! Stay tuned for the next article of encouragement and tips to help you on your journey of fitness and beyond!