Throughout decades of teaching, I have noticed a couple of different types of motivation in effect on the mat … one seems to be more effective than the other; here’s my two cents …
The first kind starts out well but usually has a pretty short shelf-life; and that is the repellant kind of motivation. In other words, we feel motivated to move away from something – being overweight, being scared, being weak, etc. This starts out with a bang but the problem arises when we have successfully removed ourselves to some degree from the thing we are moving away from; for then, the motivational impetus tends to lose momentum. The further we remove ourselves from the picture/idea/feeling we are trying to escape then the weaker the motivational force becomes.
The other style of motivation (that I actually prefer) is when we moving TOWARD a new paradigm rather than away from one. The thing about this style of motivation is that when we begin seeing results (we are in fact getting in better shape, feeling more courageous, etc) the motivational force tends to become stronger; we build momentum and move closer to our goal.
This style of motivation is also a much more positive way to think but it does come with a few problems; the main one being that we don’t tend to recognize and applaud ourselves for those first small incremental gains. When we make small gains but fail to recognize that we have, we tend to mistake this for ‘wasted effort’. Eg: We lose one kilogram (out of 15 that we need to lose) but we fail to see a result in the mirror and so we may give up thinking that our efforts are wasted. This is a great pity, because the big secret to success is to aim for small incremental gains and recognize them when we achieve them. When we improve our situation by 5%, and we recognize that we have done this, we can more easily do it again and again until we begin to see obvious results – at that point in time, momentum takes over and our motivation increases exponentially.
Recognize your incremental achievements – roll on.


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