Imagine a world where positive stories reigned all over the news, and everyone was less stressed about the things they cannot control. I’ve learned that much of what we hear from the news or from other people is based on negativity, and as a whole, humans have started bringing negativity as almost a social norm. I feel we need to spend much more of our time concentrating on positivity. I look at some of the most positive people in my life and see how much joy they live in no matter what obstacles they face like my 98 year old grandma who has always been a ray of positive sunshine.
In the hopes of becoming like her, I start each day with my daily log, where I meditate, mark down the time I meditate, write three goals of the day, and one thing I’m grateful for. I love the grateful part because it gets my mind churning towards all the great things of this world, even in my toughest weeks. I also fill out a happiness journal at night, writing down one thing that made me happy throughout that day.
My wife Jackie and I have also started reading “Journey to the Heart”, a book of daily aphorisms that guide you to a life centered around joy and hope, to my daughter each night. We got the idea from my Yoga instructor Lara, who reads the daily aphorisms to us while we encounter “chavastena” at the end of a yoga session, and I can feel my worries leave as she goes through this progression.
Turn negativity into positivity:
How does this all relate to fitness? Have you ever tried to get fired up and get a killer workout on a dreary rain day, or in the cold snow? How about getting fired up to lose weight when you haven’t seen any benefits in a full month of working out. It’s much easier to go for a jog on a warm spring day, or workout regularly when you see and feel results. What if you can convince your mind during a thunderstorm that the thunder is giving you energy, or on a cold day you will warm your body up with fitness.
(side story that 0 people including my wife know: I used to only be able to work out to angry music that fired me up, so it would be hard to train while in a good mood. I would have to get myself borderline upset and have loud yelling music to get motivated to train, which often put me in a bad mood the rest of the day. Now when I’m feeling good and am ready to train, I throw dancing in between sets and it’s amazing how motivated it gets me, while keeping positive energy)
Bring positivity to coaching:
I believe coaching needs to be taught through a positive environment. You often hear gym teachers or coaches yelling, “You have an imbalance”, “you have a weak core”, “you need to stretch more to be healthier”, which makes people feel they are broken and they lose confidence.
I think the best training is built through positive coaching, and an understanding that not all people are created equal but we can all grow and improve. All coaches have probably had that kid who has a weaker core and tight hip flexors, but may be quicker and more powerful than the 6 pack kid who is super flexible, and so on.
It’s hard to make a pitbull as fast as a greyhound, or a greyhound as strong as a pitbull, so make sure to give them what they are good at combined with what they need. Often I will take the kid who I know needs more mobility but is fast as a cheetah, and I’ll let them show off their speed in various drills that bring their confidence levels to the max. I’ll add in some mobility drills as they rest between sets, with them not realizing I’m enhancing that part of training they hate as a part of their rest.
I highly recommend this for coaches, parents, and teachers with training or any form of learning, as it will keep people motivated in the activity.