Motivation vs. Guilt

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I've been struggling the last few days with learning the difference between motivation and guilt. For instance, when you hear from another Sparker that they started on Spark just three months ago, having never exercised before, and is now running half-marathons, is that motivational or does it induce guilt because you are still struggling with jogging even one mile?

After struggling with the concept for a while, the answer suddenly became clear to me. Guilt only exists where you allow it. No one else's story is quite like mine, and no one else's journey is going to be the same.

So when I hear someone else's success story, what are my choices? I can see it as a condemnation of me, because I'm not on the same journey, OR I can see it as a message of hope that I too can be successful on my OWN journey, whatever that is. Not everyone is destined to be a marathoner, or a weight-lifter, or a bikini model. If my journey over the next year is simply working towards becoming healthier, both physically and mentally, then that's how I measure success.

Maybe next month, or next year, my goals will change, but today I'm happy that I went 3 miles, and managed to jog for some of it. And I'm happy that reading someone else's journey towards success can motivate me towards my own goals.
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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