Sometimes we hear successful people and athletes say that they work out even if they don’t feel like it. They do it anyways. They don’t wait around for feelings.

I always wondered what that meant. I have an idea from personal experience.

Sometimes we get angry and then we are motivated to do something, exercise, get fit, make more money, get better grades, etc.

But someone else won’t make us angry every day, so we have to manufacture that feeling ourselves.

It is like we have to be the head coach and the player at the same time. I must be my own Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan.

I must push my own buttons. Some days I need to get angry to work out. Some days I need a reward, a treat to get me excited to work out. Some days I don’t need anything, I am ready to go. Some days I need positive self talk. Some days I need angry self talk. Sometimes I need to build my own competition to beat. My own enemy that I must defeat. A certain person’s name that ticks me off. A certain clip from a movie that motivates me. A certain memory that makes me psyched up to work out.

I have to manufacture feelings that provoke the action.

When they say they work out even when they don’t feel like it, I translate that to: they work out by manufacturing the thoughts & feelings that helps them work out.

They don’t feel like it. They make themselves feel like it. Then they work out.

Feelings can be manufactured on demand. That is the key I have found.

If a goal is important enough for me, I will put in the effort to motivate myself using thoughts to evoke the feelings in order to do the daily task required to achieve my goal.

If I need a burrito today to work out, then that is what I will promise myself and deliver afterwards.