There is a bible verse that comes to mind when I am contemplating lifestyle choices. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12). I do not interpret this to mean, when you finally get what you want, then you can be happy. On the contrary, I believe you can find happiness in the desire itself. Desire is a life giving, powerful force, and it is the beginning of everything, including fitness.
It is common to think that the best part of fitness is reaching the goal, or the end result. For example, weight loss, decreased body fat, or muscle gain are typical goals we set for ourselves. Results certainly are a large part of building a healthy lifestyle. In fact, results are the measuring stick by which we chart our progress. However, we cannot overlook the significance of the initial desire that burned in us to get us off the couch in the first place. That is my favorite part of fitness, because that is the magic of life.
Desire comes when it is least expected, and it moves you, from the inside out. You may have seen a thousand weight loss commercials, glanced at various products, or looked wistfully at your jeans that no longer fit, all without ever feeling inspired to make a change. But when real desire comes, it is as if nothing can stop you from moving in that direction. Desire shifts the focus from your thoughts about fitness to deliberate action. Suddenly you find yourself actually doing the DVD workout you purchased a year ago, or grabbing your keys to head to the gym for the first time in months. At this point, excuses and perceived limitations that you have recited for years become insignificant.
Desire is the fuel behind your workouts, and the driving force guiding your decisions. It wakes you up in the morning and accompanies you throughout your day. However, desire is frequently born from the most uncomfortable or unpleasant circumstances. Often, when whatever you are currently experiencing becomes unbearable, something inside you shifts, and you begin to move to a different place. It may take time for your circumstances to catch up, but be assured, desire indicates that change has already occurred. A well-known quote by Napoleon Hill says it profoundly, “Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.”
So how do you spark desire? That is a little like asking, how do you fall in love? When you are open to it, it comes. And when it does, it absolutely produces life. It shakes you inside, and propels you forward. It moves you in ways that no external force could possibly match. Decide to be open today to the kind of desire that makes your heart beat faster, inspires you to action, and puts you on the path to your dreams.
Every decision counts.