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Dr. John Jaquish: Motivation vs Discipline

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I see threads, pages, Instagram accounts, that are all about fitness motivation, or weight loss motivation. Well, there’s a problem with seeking motivation, in that it usually revolves around pictures, or videos of individuals, who may be 10,000 decisions away from being at a fitness level of where you are.

So, for example, pictures of Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Jeremy Buendia: these are people who are at the absolute peak of physical development. Even NFL players – absolute peak, perfect genetics, all sorts of things.

And so when somebody presents you with a potential bad decision, like they put a chocolate cake in front of you. You think, “Oh, I have 10,000 steps to go, so if I just screw this one step up, it’s not gonna make that much of a difference.” That is fake news.

Discipline can be simple

Instead of looking for motivation, what you need to do is find discipline. Because discipline you can use. It’s a very simple decision making process. This is a lizard brain process.

Do you wanna wake up tomorrow morning and be the guy who screwed up your principles and decided to break from what you’ve already committed yourself to? Or not? It’s one decision. It’s one decision, one moment, one day.

I asked a friend of mine who’s really been struggling to lose weight. He says, “Well, I don’t wanna give up pizza. I don’t wanna give up beer. I don’t wanna give up chocolate cake.” It turns out he doesn’t really wanna give up anything. And I said, “Look, have you ever had a day without pizza, or without beer, or without soda?”

Yeah, of course, right. You’re traveling, whatever, didn’t get that, and you had something else. So if you made it through one day and you didn’t go insane, then maybe you can make it through another day. And then if you make these decisions day by day, nutrition is much easier, and you don’t have those moments.

So when you sit down, and you have a choice between ordering that really healthy meal or having nachos with your friends, say, “Yeah, I don’t wanna be that person today. I wanna be the person that stuck to what I committed myself to.”

And it’s much easier to stay on that path. And then day, after day, after day, 10,000 decisions later, or less – you have what you want.