I love this quote. Between you and me, I wish I could take credit for it. But I have a feeling a certain person may get upset. And really, how could I justify taking credit for it if Rav Brody's name is at the bottom?
So! How are all my almost-gym-goers doing? Did any of you manage to set foot inside a gym yet? Did you at least go for a walk? Cut down on the sugar? Something? Bueller?... Bueller?
Getting in shape, eating healthy, doing anything that brings about success, takes one special, secret ingredient: motivation.
Motivation is what separates the winners from the losers.
When you blame an obstacle for your lack of achieving your goals, know it's not the obstacle's fault. It's your lack of motivation.
We all know that nothing worth gaining in this world (or the Next) is free from obstacles along the way. That's why it's so important to work on motivating yourself every day, as if you're starting fresh.
Whatever your project is, you need to keep pumping yourself up all the time about achieving the outcome you want. And if you don't see changes along the way, don't despair. Maybe at that stage Hashem wants your motivation to come strictly from within, and not from without.
However, if you do see positive changes occurring along the way to your goals, this is great and you should definitely use them to further increase your motivation. For example, when I first started cutting out carbs and lifting weights, I had to keep motivating myself to push forward. The fact that I enjoyed the process was a bonus. But once I started seeing physical changes, it became so much easier to keep with my eating and exercise program. Now I'm at the point where I don't need to convince myself to go to the gym. It's a part of my routine, and I hope it becomes a part of yours.
Giving 50% effort and expecting 100% change is mathematically impossible. I think. I mean, I've never been good at math. Actually, I'm afraid that my oldest son will ask me to help him with his math homework, because I don't know if I can do it. Well, what can I say. Can't be too perfect. It wouldn't be fair to the rest of humanity, right? ;)))
Anyhow. Whatever goals you have, I encourage you to first write them down. Then put them in a place that you can always be reminded of them, like on the fridge door. Then, you need to give yourself pep talks. ALL. THE. TIME.
You know, I just realized something else. Emuna and motivation are so similar. They both need to be worked on every day. But if you work on them, you'll see personal growth and big changes. They're a process, and we should never forget that. We'll never get to the point of saying, "I've had enough emuna/motivation, thank you very much. Now I can go on with my life." Nonsense! That's like a woman saying she has enough shoes, clothes, and jewelry to never go shopping again. Although it may be technically true, G-d forbid!
I'd like to thank Rabbi Lazer Brody for nominating me to be your personal motivational coach, and to let you know that he had absolutely no idea what he was doing when he brought me on. Rav Brody, this award goes out to you and all the wonderful people who put their blind faith in others as they hold their breath while hoping for the best.
I'd also like to thank all of my imaginary readers out there, who for some reason think I know what I'm talking about. You guys rock.
But seriously, keep this in mind: whether or not you achieve your goals depends mostly on you. If Hashem puts up barriers, you need to re-assess if your goals are in fact the right ones. If they are, keep on marchin'. You can do it! Bueller?... Bueller?