An intentional path to cultivate intrinsic motivation
Great, great piece.
It reminds me of what Andrew Huberman says in his episode about dopamine, something along the lines of "learn to enjoy the effort."
This means we can actually get satisfaction and reward from doing the thing itself, rather than some reward (a protein shake!) afterwards. It means our motivation and reward pathways get trained to fire during the thing itself, which makes it more sustainable over time.
After 10+ years of consistent exercise, I feel like I'm 80% in the embodied/intrinsic zone, but still 20% of me lives in the extrinsic. I mainly exercise because I love it, but a part of me still wants to get jacked, look great, etc. which I'm fine with as I feel it motivates me but isn't primary.
I really like this! For the past few months I've been exploring this intuitively, specifically for gaining flexibility and strength (and also self-massaging). I intend on writing posts about these topics myself eventually, but I might just have to link here now lol.
Have you experimented with those three areas? flexibility/strength/massage
Sam, love this. Your connection between intrinsic motivation and embodied exercise is key -- it's much harder to be attuned to your body if you're fighting the clock, the scale, the weights. I'm going to push back a little bit on how "natural" or "easy" this is, though. It's like achieving enlightenment -- you just have to stop getting caught up in all that suffering! Simple!
I think embodied exercise is a lesson in contradiction. You've heard me preach this before, but sometimes samsara is nirvana. Sometimes you need a goal in order to detach yourself from it. You start meditating by focusing on your breath, but you *start* meditating when you stop focusing on your breath. It takes a little bit of grinding, putting some reps in, building a base before you can really appreciate what it is you've done -- or, are doing.
I'm going to write about this more in a few weeks on CWD, but I'm stoked to see where this conversation goes!
Awesome, inspiring piece. Gonna try out upon next exercise!
What a mindful experience, I did body scan on each set of kettlebell swing. 🙏