Today, I am honored to have my son, Adam Bornstein, appear as a guest blogger. Sharecare cited Adam as one of the top 10 influencers making a difference in the world of fitness.
The world of fitness is one of perception. Some people look at a gym and see machines, ellipticals, and televisions. Others look at it and see a chore and burden. While many see a judgmental and uncomfortable environment.
When I look at the gym I see none of that. I don’t notice the equipment, the people, or the swanky (or nasty) amenities. Sure I have my preferences, but ever since I made fitness a permanent part of my life the gym—or any exercise for that matter—has been filtered through a special lens: Opportunity.
Exercise is an opportunity to live longer, become healthier, and be better. It’s a chance to boost confidence, inspire others, and experience an instant pick-me-up on a bad day. It’s mentally stimulating. It’s socially percolating. And it’s emotionally cleansing.
What does this have to do with motivation?
The opportunity I see in fitness is the reason why I think motivation is a misunderstood concept. Motivation is not the reason we struggle to get fit—perception is. And most people don’t think about exercise in terms of opportunity and gain.
Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I have my bad days—heck, I even have bad weeks and months. I struggle with periods of time when I don’t want to go to the gym. When I don’t feel like pushing myself hard. When I’m too tired, too busy, or just can’t find a second. And if you think you feel guilty, imagine how I must feel? My job is to lead and inspire people to live healthier lives. And yet here I am, struggling with the same problems as everyone else. Here I am battling to eat healthy when on the road, make the right choices, eliminate all excuses and keep working hard.
Yet I don’t miss days. And the reason is opportunity.
You can’t fabricate motivation. It’s something we’re all born with. But we are motivated by things that we see have value. It’s something that’s highly personal. But something that anyone can do is create terms for what’s on the line. What do you have to risk, and what do you have to gain.
So let me do my best to lay it all on the line. To let you know that no matter what your goal is, what you look like, or what you want to achieve, this is what you must see when you look at exercise and healthy diet.
You have one life. One chance. And a very finite period of time to leave an impact, creating a legacy, enjoy, be happy, and positively influence those in your life. And none of that is possible if you don’t have your health. Your hopes, your dreams, you potential—it all depends on your health.
This isn’t about 6-pack abs, bulging biceps, or looking better than others. Trying to improve your body as a means to feel superior to others is an empty cause. Everything you should do is about focusing on you.
Growing up, I was fortunate that my parents raised me competitive but not in the comparative nature. It was never about what someone else did or someone else achieved; it’s also been about what is the best version of myself.
My incredible wife has taught me many things, and one of her best lessons was: “The only thing in life that you should be selfish about is your life.”
Think about that. It’s not about how you spend your time or what you buy yourself. It’s about making sure you take the steps to see what you can accomplish. To find out what you can do. And to take advantage of every opportunity—those that you create and those that fall into your lap.
And that all comes back to health, exercise, and diet.
This is the real motivation secret. It’s creating a fundamental understanding of the value of your life and realizing that the foundation of your ability to act and improving can be accomplished by taking action on your body.
Don’t wait. Don’t make excuses. And don’t talk yourself out of your most inherent needs.
Exercise frequently—but do it in a way you enjoy. Eat good foods most of the time—and some bad ones every now and then. Sleep. Relax. Repeat.
But don’t talk yourself out of taking action. Don’t wait till tomorrow or rationalize all the reasons you can’t take care of your body.
Act. Enjoy. Live.
It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, and the only thing that’s standing in your way is waiting to find motivation. Waiting for someone to push your buttons and give you the charge to seize the day.
But that call to action is never coming because it’s already there—living, burning, and waiting to be unleashed. You simply have to see it, realize it, and take advantage of the opportunity. And then the motivation you desire will be yours.
Adam Bornstein is an award-winning fitness and nutrition journalist and editor. He was previously the editorial director for LIVESTRONG.COM and the fitness editor for Men’s Health magazine. His first book, The Impact! Body Plan was a fitness bestseller, and that was followed by The Men’s Health Diet (with Stephen Perrine), The Women’s Health Big Book of Abs, and The Men’s Health Big Book: Getting Abs.
His latest book, MAN 2.0: Engineering the Alpha, was co-authored by John Romaniello. The book investigates all the reasons men struggle to get in shape, lose fat, and build muscle, and offers a scientific look at what really works to transform your life. The book appeared on New York Times Best Seller List.
Bornstein has appeared on Good Morning America, The Early Show, and E! News. He blogs at bornfitness.com to discuss all topics related to health, fitness, and nutrition.
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