Home PT Motivational Foundations What NASA Can Teach Us About PT Motivation

What NASA Can Teach Us About PT Motivation

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.”

– Gilda Radner

When it comes to Personal Trainer Motivation, NASA is our best teacher.  It’s time to take your mind on a journey through hidden dimensions – and enter Personal Trainer Motivation when Curiosity lands…

On 6th August 2012, NASA celebrated the successful Mars landing of its Rover Curiosity. Its purpose is to simply explore, crush and analyse rocks and send pictures and data back to earth – hoping to find perhaps evidence of life ever existing.  Isn’t it exciting seeing pictures of a planet completely different to ours?

Exploring the unknown is always exciting. In my opinion, it’s what defines motivation. Take a look around. Those who lack motivation are those who are ‘stuck’ not knowing what to do next.

Their ‘why’ isn’t big enough.  And when the ‘why’ isn’t thought out well… the ‘how’ is lost and buried – near immobilising, never to be discovered.

Anthony Robbins defines humans as having 6 basic needs.  And uncertainty is one of them. The thrill of the chase, surprises, expectations, journeys, adventures, opportunity and hope are what makes us move forward.  And those who get things done are the people who just jump in – apply themselves, not caring how scary that monster is around the corner.

“Always do what you are afraid to do.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Isn’t it funny how the ‘smart’ ones who sit back and criticise, (you know, the “that won’t work” people) are usually those who are afraid of failure and dwell in their comfortable cynic views.

Afraid of our success, they try pulling us into their world – jealous of watching us succeed.  Even if there’s a remote possibility of us succeeding, they start their ‘pulling’ tricks.  You know the ones… “that wouldn’t work” “why do you want to do that for?” “aren’t you too young for that” “no one’s going to like what you’re offering” and my favourite… “just stick to what you’re doing”

I remember once when working as a Personal Trainer, I was finishing with a client and this member came up to me and said…

“why don’t you get a real job?”

Obviously he didn’t like what he saw.  He felt threatened.  He was probably thinking to himself… “why do I have to work 9am to 8pm every day when this dude comes in for a few hours, sits back, throws a few numbers at his clients and gets paid for it?”

Yes.  Personal Trainers can sometimes be seen as overpaid lazy nobody’s getting paid to just sit around telling clients what to do.

My answer to that…?

“So what?”

I mean, if I had a choice of doing back breaking labour at a minimum of 7-9 hours per day or long hours at an office, being told what to do by a person who is on your secret hit list, playing on your swirly chair and are forced to use the latest psychological tricks in keeping yourself alive …or… choosing my own hours, getting paid whenever I want and run my own rules that generates maximum results each and every time… yeah, I’ll choose the same option as you.

Perhaps he didn’t see all the hours, sleepless nights, burning through pages of notes, years of application and constant rejection, flirting with debt collectors and all the failures associated with my ‘bogus’ job.

If perhaps he sees emptiness, then…

“What you are comes to you”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Enter the portal of Personal Trainer Motivation…

Running your own business ain’t easy.  Anyone can register a business name, throw a bunch of money at a fitness centre and start working as a PT.  A Personal Training business is exactly the same as running any other dealing.  It ain’t any different.  Passion for training clients only gets you so far.  Without the proper business knowledge, you won’t be ‘passionate’ for long.

As much as uncertainty is a human need of ours, so is its opposite. Certainty.  In other words, security and comfort.

Residing in our comfort makes us feel secure…  Providing the ‘grip’ of reality we need.  It’s what makes the world ‘real’ and the more we’re in our comfort, the more control we have.  And we’ll do anything to protect it.  However, spending too long in our comfort (certainty) creates boredom.  And when this happens, our natural need for uncertainty takes over.

That’s why goal setting is a powerful motivator.  It gives us reasons for taking action.

Just like teasing a cat by dangling a piece of string in front of it.  You can spend hours doing it, and the cat wouldn’t get bored.  Inside its mind, there’s a mission. “I must get that damn string!… and oh…I nearly got it…I nearly got it…” Having it too high – out of reach, it doesn’t bother. It doesn’t wanna play.

Having it within ‘almost’ reach, it’ll play with you forever.  But as soon as you drop the string, it’s game over.  It got its prize.  He now looks at you saying… “I’m bored now, what’s next”

Having even a grain of possibility and belief in yourself, (and even making the slightest of progressions) you’ll never give up your mission.

All the top scientists in the world working at NASA when building ‘curiosity’ were sceptical of its landing.  It was the first time EVER trialling such a sophisticated and advanced landing mechanism.  Its success was flawless.  And because it worked, they’re now one step closer in sending humans to the red dusty planet.

Spending years and years, (more than a decade!) sleepless nights and their brain approaching near meltdown trying to figure it all out…all for a ‘maybe’ it’ll work and “if it doesn’t, aw well… we’ll try again in a few years” just shows how powerful human ‘uncertainty’ really is.

If it didn’t make the distance, I’m sure they’ll be disappointed… but will also ask “why” and do what they can to rectify the problem so they don’t experience the same set-backs again.

Nearly 20 previous attempts in the past ended disastrously.  Nobody talks about those.  Nobody cares.

The Lesson: Because of their previous disasters they were able to have a flawless landing this time round.

ALL learning comes from confusion.  If someone is teaching you something, and you’re not confused – you’re not learning.

When you attempt something and it doesn’t go the way you expected… ask yourself… What can I have done different? 

Everything we do in life is feedback… not an excuse for giving up.  Failure doesn’t exist.

Whatever challengers you’re facing or any problems you’ve had in the past… others have gone through the exact same ones as you.  Yes.  Some may have given up.  But, others have busted through their limitations and broken barricades in discovering their answers.

There’s always someone out there who’s going through exactly the challengers you’re facing.  Of those, many have conquered those obstructions and are now enjoying life’s progressions.

Say ‘goodbye’ to those holding you back.  Instead, spend time with those moving forward in life.  Pay attention.  Learn from them.  Copy them.  If you do what they do, then you MUST get the same results.  It’s the Law of Causality.  For every effect to happen, there’s a set of causes for that effect to take place.

Apply the causes…and the effects are sure to happen.

Copy the failures of life, and you’re gonna end up like them.  Remember, It’s a universal LAW.  It applies to all situations of life… and no… you’re not the exception.

If you’re hearing yourself saying… “but, my situation’s different” – look at your ego straight in the eye and deliver a one-two punch combo – sending it to a galaxy far, far away…

Bottom Line: For change to occur, you must be true to yourself and admit you’ve got limitations needing attention.

The Risk.  Gamble.  Possibility…

…The scariest, but most thrilling part of Curiosity’s journey was ‘Seven Minutes Of Terror’ – when it had to travel 6km a second – busting through the barriers of Mars’ atmosphere just so it doesn’t get eaten up.  And EVEN after that, the chance of landing was still slimmer than ever.

But, it made it.

All for what…?

Hope.  ‘Maybe.’  Anticipation.  Reward.  NASA’s first goal was just the landing.  Crushing, collecting and analysing rocks for ANY evidence of life ever existing is even more slim than ever.  But it’s hope, passion and possibility that’s keeping them moving forward.

The Other Lesson: When successful people achieve a goal, they’re already working on the next one.  And all their goals are somewhat interacted and related with each other.

It’s the curiosity and hope that moves us forward.  Diving into the world of uncertainty and expecting surprises along the journey is the recipe for a happy Personal Training career.

“I really can’t wait to see that movie!” In your mind, you’re envisioning the feeling you’re expecting from watching that film.  You haven’t seen it yet.  You don’t know what to expect.  You’re uncertain.  But the lead-up is exciting, isn’t it?

Don’t you hate it when your ‘friend’ who’s already seen it and desperate for attention gets a kick out of telling you about it – spoiling it for you.  That’s why you get pissed off when someone fills the gaps of your uncertainty.  Instantly from top level “I can’t wait” excitement to a depressing “I feel like watching something else now”

Explore new methods and techniques.  If learning about business is ‘new’ to you, why not dive in and set a new learning goal each month.  Become a student of getting more sales,  better your communication skills, increase your client relationships and so on…

Pick a weakness you have and start developing it.  To do this, it’s simple.  If your one-two punch combo didn’t work, then add a few choke holds and swift kicks to the head and send your ego even further away.  Give enough time and become one with your true self… and ask… “what do I need learning to move my PT business forward and make more money?”

I would love to know what you come up with.  Please comment below and lets form a mini discussion on the things you perhaps need help with and how we can all help move your PT business forward.  In showing appreciation, I always personally respond to all your comments.

Dedicated In Accelerating Your PT Success Every Step Of The Way…
John Toumpakke

Personal Trainer Motivation Secrets Of NASA

P.S  I was confused… I wanted to learn.  So out of curiosity – I asked that member… “what do you mean by a real job?”

“A job where you have to think”, he replied

“Interesting”… I answered.  “Are you always ‘thinking’ when doing your job…?”

“Always” he replied with confidence.

While walking away, I looked straight in his eyes and said… “so you admit… you mustn’t know your job well”