We live in a world full of motivation. We can have emails sent to our in-box with motivational sayings. Our bookshelves are full of self-help books designed to motivate us into changing behavior that just isn’t working for us. We watch TV talk shows full of inspiring guests who have changed their lives or the world. We read about the newest diet or learn how to work out more effectively to get better results. We visit our therapists and life coaches weekly. We are fully educated and know exactly what we need to do and why. We are armed to the hilt to do something, to make a change, to become better. But nothing happens, nothing changes.
Often motivation is the reason for the action. It can be a reward or a punishment. It can be something that gives purpose to a goal. Motivation is the reason we do something. Knowledge about the dangers of certain foods can motivate us to stop eating them. A heart attack can be the motivator to get us to exercise more. An economic recession can motivate us to save more money and spend more wisely. Another increase in our health insurance premium can motivate us to write to our representatives in government to ask for a better heath care system.
Wanting to do something and being willing to do it are not the same thing. Motivation is the “wanting” to do something. Action is the “willingness”. Wanting something usually is just a thought that never leads to any actual change. Will is the determination to do it and get it done. We don’t need more motivation, we need more action. We need to start with action and from the activity comes the insight needed to make the permanent and positive changes we need. When we exercise, our bodies and minds immediately tell us why we should. We accomplish in minutes what hours, days, months and years of just thinking about it never did.