HOW TO FIND YOUR WHY
hack your brain
Why do you brush your teeths?
I`m sure you can name at least 3 reasons right now why you do it every single day since you were a child.
I mean .. why is it so natural and important to teach a kid why and how to brush the teeths? Sure, one of the reasons might be to respect others while talking to them (I`m talking mouth-breath.) This can`t be the strongest reason tho. Why would I teach my kids to brush their teeths at least 2 times a day? Why got I taught to do so? Why don`t we skip it for weeks? And why is it such a fundamental rule - at least in our society - to brush the teeths?
When I think about my personal motivation for dental hygiene first thing which comes on my mind is the FEELING after - especially in the morning. Fresh, clean, awake and ready to conquer the day.
I`m so in love with that feeling that brushing my teeths actually happens automatically.
It happened to be part of my life.
And I`m sure most people can relate.
Imagine exercising would a habit like brushing your teeths.
Imagine exercising as part of your body hygiene.
Would you be skipping it? for weeks? months? years?
Use the reason why you brush your teeths as the reason why you want to exercise.
I know, I know. Exercising seems to be way more complex than taking care of your teeths.
But! It just seems like it.
Here`s my promise: Once you`ve experienced the feeling during and after exercising a few times you will be chasing it like you`re chasing fresh mouth-breath.
Remember back when you were a child. How did you cultivate the habit of mouth-hygiene? Pretty sure someone taught you why and how to do it, right? Maybe your parents, older siblings, the dentist at school. They told you about the reasons: why it`s necessary to take care of your teeths and what happens if you don`t. From that time on you`ve brushed your teeths without thinking about it. You just did.
Now try do transform the proccess of developing the habit of oral hygiene into developing the habit of exercising.
Find someone who tells you why it`s necessary to take care of your personal and what happens if you don`t. Even if you do your own study, but this is the first step. Visualize yourself in 20 years if you don`t start looking after your health today. Believe me - the fear of possible versions of yourself can be such a strong catalyst.
I have to commit, building a habit when you're an adult is a little bit trickier than you were a child. When building a fundamental habit as an adult it`s helpful to know how the brain works. As you grow older your brain got used to comfort and it`s always on the look for fast dopamine-distribution. Within the life-experiences we`ve made during the years our brains developed two different drawers labeled as 'comfort' and 'discomfort'. For instance, my brain places Berlin public transportation in 'discomfort'. The will to avoid taking the u-bahn is so strong that I`d rather take the bike even though it`s raining. I don`t like the feeling of sharing a place with hundreds of other people not knowing how to escape.
Scrolling through an endless loop of Instagram-reels my brain labels as 'comfort'. Most of the time I sit on my couch while 'doing' it and sometimes I laugh so hard at a meme that my tummy hurts. My brain learned that watching reels can give me a good feeling. It's comfortable, I don`t have to think and it let me escape from all the evil things going on in the real world.
Needless to say that movement is not what our 21-century-brains classifies as an enjoyable reward.
Good news is that our brains are actually able to switch up things inside the drawers. Imagine exercising would actually seen as 'comfort'?
Once you`ve found your Why next step is to teach your brain a new order inside the drawers. Every activity which leads you closer to your Why MUST be inside the drawer of comfort.
Every activity which is holding you back from reaching your Why MUST be discomfortable.
Give your brain the best support here: make the new habit as enjoyable as possible. Think about the things you like and try to connect it with the new habit. Do you like buying new clothes? Get new gym-wear! Which music to you like listening to? Set up a gym-playlist! You love connecting with other? Try out Crossfit! They have an amazing community all over the world.
When you focus on making the new habit as comfortable as possible, you`ll notice the activities which are holding you back will disappear slowly. Keep in mind, that this transformation takes time.
Weeks, months and even years.
This is what we call training.
It`s necessary to say that on this journey there will be actions which just aren`t going to be enjoyable no matter how hard you try. But you will learn that you`d rather go through those unattractive activities because the will to follow your Why gets bigger and bigger with every day you keep working on that new order inside your drawers.