Pushing on the elliptical machine for over thirty minutes, I increased the resistance to simulate climbing stairs for the remainder of my workout. It was quiet until a trainer and his client (who is serious about losing weight) walked in. I had seen them at the gym for the last three months but never had a conversation with either one of them. We all get familiar with those voices that disregard the presence of anyone else around them, and talk as loudly as possible to make their presence known—this duo had that annoying loud pitched voice. Even with no intention to partake in their discussion, I was now forced to hear the conversation of the day.
“It has been three months and I am still struggling with my weight,” says the trainee. The physical trainer nods. “But I think your endurance has increased since you started,” he said in a positive tone. “But what about the weight?” asked the guy looking for hope to find a solution to his problem. “I have also changed my diet like you asked,” he added, as he breathed heavily and sped up on the treadmill. Questioning his weight loss program, the trainee said, “maybe I need more motivation.”
I wiped the machine I was working out on, picked up my keys, and walked out the exit door. Walking back, I realized that as human beings we are apt in blame storming; we rely on all the external sources that we so confidently assume will help us achieve our goals. Whether it is dropping the extra pounds, doing better in our relationship, performing better at work —always looking for some external force—that will help us make our mark. Motivation is that external stimulus that ignites the desire to achieve something more, but, it is not the sole ingredient that helps us accomplish that something.
The difference between those who accomplish their set goals and those who do not, is not the level of motivation. The primary reason why they are successful in accomplishing their goals, is the strategies they create to stay the course, and overcome all the challenges and roadblocks.
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Juggling to crunch in numbers to prepare a costing proposal while my manager Debbie took a day off to enjoy time with her family; her boss Craig walked into my office. As always, he pulled one of the vacant chairs from a cube behind me and made himself comfortable by placing and crossing both his legs on the empty desk next to me. “Do you have everything you need to prepare the quote this morning?” he said, huffing and reclining in the chair. For the next few seconds, I continued to crunch numbers in the red, green and yellow color highlighted spreadsheet that I had been working on non-stop for hours. “I have most of the information, but there are a few questions that I can call Debbie to get answers on,” I replied to Craig in an optimistic tone. I tried really hard not to get him involved. My attempt to keep Craig from asking me questions was futile. Unwillingly, I discussed the concerns I had about some key elements that were needed to be plugged into the spreadsheet to get an accurate costing for this proposal. As always, he came up with an answer which contradicted my boss Debbie. “I would like you to do it my way and not Debbie’s and finish the task,” he replied in a stern voice. “A CEO trumps over an engineering manager any day,” and he walked away.
As I was driving back from work, I ruminated over my conversation with Craig in the morning. It led me to question about titles and designations define us. Often, we take the titles we hold in the organizations we work for, as our true identity. I am a teacher, I am an engineer, I am an accountant, I am a mother, I am a husband and the list keeps morphing as we move through different phases of life. But what is the true “I am.”
To find your true identity — you need to create a connection with yourself, that is beyond a personal or professional title. Creating an understanding of who we are is possible when we rewire the brain: transform the thought processes that make us believe that our job or our relationship status is our true self. Build your unique strategy to create such transformation and find your true identity.
Learn more about Kit Gupta, an engineer turned entrepreneur who is working to create transformation in the lives of individuals around the world through his work at his non-profit IE SIGMA® and by organizing iExcel Events.
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