To maintain consistent and positive habits in your life, you should understand “why” and “what,” as guiding concepts. As a personal development writer, consultant, and coach I have frequently come across the words of Friedrich Nietzsche. One of his most famous quotes reads, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” There is truth to the imperativeness of a strong reason to continue any given activity when you experience opposition to continue. However, I also suggest that in addition to having a “why” you should also embrace the necessity of “what,” when it comes to maintaining consistent positive habits.
“The why is frequently an intangible concept. It is a reason for doing something that you frequently cannot see or touch. Whereas, the “what” is something that you can likely physically touch, observe, or experience.”
The separation of “why” from “what” can be difficult to explain, but in this paragraph, I will do my best. The why is frequently an intangible concept. It is a reason for doing something that you frequently cannot see or touch. Whereas, the “what” is something that you can likely physically touch, observe, or experience. For example, my “why” for working out includes the belief system that taking time six days per week for exercise will make me healthier and likely increase the days I have on this earth to make a positive impact. The “what” for my positive habit of consistent exercise is that it makes me physically stronger and it can be visibly measured through observations of my physique and endurance tests.
The Fear of Swim Class
I began exercising at age fourteen. Like most boys in my circle, we started to work out because of freshman swim class and the desire to impress girls. I was skinny and desperately wanted to look strong. It was enough pressure to make new friends as a high school freshman and even harder with a body frame of a preadolescent boy.
The summer before my freshman year of high school, I started to work out three-four times per week. I led a pretty active lifestyle because I enjoyed playing sports with my friends. In addition to playing basketball and football, I also added lifting weights as a means to develop a physically stronger build. My “why” for working out was primarily the belief that girls would like me and the “what” was the desire for the six pack abs and hard pecs that I believed girls were more attracted to in the opposite sex.
My “Why” and “What” that pushes me to continue
Twenty years later I continue to make time for exercise in my schedule. I am the proud husband of a wife and three incredible children. My wife and I are very busy entrepreneurs, but I continue to invest in my health with the positive habit of exercise. The workouts that I do every week include a combination of cardiovascular, weightlifting, and callisthenic movements.
I am a student of the martial art called capoeira which involves self-defense, acrobatics, music, and rituals. Capoeira began out a history of slavery in Brazil among Africans who were enslaved. My workouts are guided by the understanding of capoeira’s history and the desire to pass it on to others including my children.
“My “why” is the positive beliefs that I possess about the benefits of exercise. The “what” is making a positive impact, seeing the visual results, and passing down a unique tradition to my children.”
I can maintain the positive habit of working out because I am centered in a strong “why” and “what.” My “why” is the positive beliefs that I possess about the benefits of exercise. The “what” is making a positive impact, seeing the visual results, and passing down a unique tradition to my children. To create the self-discipline that is necessary to maintain a positive habit, dig deep into an understanding of your “why” and “what” to be successful.