One of the main reasons why a lot of people seek a personal trainer is because they seek motivation which they think a trainer will provide. I once worked with a female client who was trying to lose weight and she had this strange habit that every time we met she told me all about how she overate just before we were supposed to have a training session. She then expected me to be very authoritative and tell her how she is not supposed to do that. Here is how the conversation went:
Her: “I ate a kilogram and a half of cherries driving in my car from the coast just before I came here.”
Me: “I hope you enjoyed it.”
Her: “No, you’re supposed to tell me that is wrong.”
Me: “Do you know that is wrong according to what you’re trying to achieve or not?”
Her: “Of course I know. But as a coach you are still supposed to tell me that is wrong.”
Me: “What good would it do if I told you again what you already know?”
Her: Silence and frustrative expression on her face.
That is just one of many totally unreasonable examples I had over the years. I don’t believe a good coach is supposed to be like a military drill sergeant. When a coach is overstimulating or over motivating his or her clients they will never develop their own qualities such as discipline or understanding. Sure such a person may achieve good results with his or her physique but inside he or she remains the same lazy and uninspired person as he or she was at the beginning.
So when you have a lazy person and you motivate him or her that person becomes even lazier. That is the dark side of motivation. The next time such a person will need even more stimulation. So in that case motivation acts like a drug. You need to be drugged all the time so to speak in order to do anything. It’s different if you have a disciplined person who needs a little push from time to time. It’s perfectly fine to provide a little motivation in such a case. The problem is when someone becomes dependent on motivation.
In my experience the harder a coach is pushing a client during their stay together the more the client will slip back into his or her bad habits the longer they are apart. And if such a person stops to work with a coach altogether he or she will slip back into bad habits completely. So my task as a coach or well-being specialist is to help a person as a whole not just to help shape a person’s body as many people imagine. Coaches who solely motivate or push people all the time do that because they don’t know how to do anything else. They don’t know how to really help a person on different levels or how to open new horizons for them in the field of optimal well-being.
That is where inspiration comes in. If motivation comes from somewhere outside, inspiration comes from within. Inspiration is so much more powerful than motivation. If you run on inspiration you’re like a car that makes its own fuel. It doesn’t need to stop at fueling stations at all. People who are successful in their lives usually run on inspiration, those who are not usually run on motivation. Those who run on motivation need to be either rewarded or punished all the time to make something happen because they are unable to see the bigger picture.
Inspiration on the other hand many times begins from a crystal clear vision. A vision does not mean just imagining something to happen. It means to really feel what you want to achieve or who you want to become. For such a sensation to come alive inside of you and to understand profoundly the purpose of that vision. But such a vision or inspiration does not come about sitting by the river and listening to classical music as many people would imagine. It comes about by asking ourselves the deepest and most meaningful questions possible and then try not only to answer and connect them on an intellectual level but actually live them.