How to Achieve Any Goal (It’s Not What You Think)

In 8th grade I was passed over for an advanced class that most of my friends were put into.  Ironically, not being seen as one of the “smart” students was what motivated me to be a really good student in high school. My motivation was fear. I was simply afraid – afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my friends, afraid I would flunk tests.  I was so fearful  that if I didn’t know EVERYTHING I would fail and probably overly prepared for every test. What is surprising to me now, is that even though I did very well on tests, I never developed enough confidence to relax a bit and not spend all my time studying. 

Pain and Fear Motivates.

Turns out, according to science, the secret to maintaining motivation might actually be more counterintuitive than we originally thought.*

“When we first embark on a task to achieve a goal–like losing weight, for example–we first focus on the positive outcomes. We’ll be able to feel lighter, more confident, and get new clothes. Yet, what really pushes people to effective, consistent action isn’t necessarily focusing on the potentially happy ending that could come from our actions. It’s thinking about the potentially negative outcome–not being able to wear clothes that you barely fit into now, not being able to look good for a certain event on your mind–that get us thinking about concrete steps we can take to actually achieving our goals.”

“When people begin to experience the fear that accompanies a potential failure or disappointment, it actually encourages them to work harder to prevent that than if they were motivated by positive, promotional reasons. The desire not to let someone down–even if that person is yourself–is strong enough to get us on the path to success.”

I was much smarter than I knew choosing fear

as my motivator!

 (PA)

*Peter Economy,  https://www.inc.com/peter-economy/neuroscience-the-one-thing-you-need-to-achieve-any-goal-its-not-what-you-think.html

Brain Degeneration & Weight Research

One of the all time biggest motivators is fear & pain.  My guess is it’s a throw-back to our cave-men and cave-women days when fear & pain helped us seek safety, harness fire and stay away from poisonous mushrooms and berries (not to mention snakes and tigers).

I have needed to lose 20 pounds for several years.  NEEDED because my blood pressure is too high, my knees too painful and much of the weight is around my middle (considered to be the most dangerous for health).  I try to motivate myself to lose pounds by reading about the dangers of being over-weight.  Here’s my latest:

 

Scardy Cat

Scaredy Cat by Peggy

“More recently, a brain scanning study including more than 500 participants confirmed that being overweight or obese is associated with a greater degree of age-related brain degeneration. These effects were biggest in middle-aged people, in whom the obesity-related changes corresponded to an estimated increase in ‘brain age’ of 10 years.”

“Obesity is a complex condition with many contributing factors, however; so exactly how it might affect brain structure and function is still unclear.” Body fat is the defining feature of obesity, but you’ve also got things like insulin resistance, hypertension, and high blood pressure” . . . “These can go hand in hand with behavioural factors [such as overeating and lack of exercise] and they can all potentially cause changes in the brain.”

If this doesn’t inspire me perhaps fear isn’t my biggest motivator after all.

 What is your most potent motivator?

(jw)

Click here for the article: why-obesity-damages-your-mind-as-well-as-your-body

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