“I find that the harder I work, the less I call it work” – Thomas Jefferson

The more energy you apply to your work, the more meaning you place on that work.

“Workaholics”get a bad rap, but research has found a large difference exists amongst types. Typically someone with an uncontrollable need to be constantly working ends up burnt out, stressed, dreading what they do, and sick. This study found the opposite for some folks.

What was the differentiating factor between workaholics?

Enthusiasm.

Jefferson was right – the harder one is working and caring about what they are doing, the more engaged they become, and the less they consider it work. “Work” becomes something they enjoy.  Involvement, drive and enjoyment were directly related to positive engagement and health as well as decreased stress and burnout.

“An acquired positive expectancy, therefore, is related to positive motivations and health. This theoretical stress framework suggests that if the enthusiastic “workaholics” are enthusiastic due to positive outcome expectancies we expect low stress levels, low reports of “job stress”, and good health.”
“If the nonenthusiastic “workaholics” have low enthusiasm due to low expectancies of success  (helplessness, hopelessness), CATS predicts higher stress levels, more complaints of “job stress”, and health problems.”

Our expectation of our experience, and further the motivation to “get work done”, is nothing more than our semantics and neurology – it doesn’t have anything to do with what we are actually doing, other people, the situation – rather, it’s the meaning and value we place and our interpretation of it. The research found that if we expect a positive outcome, and therefore go into the work with increased enthusiasm for that result, we respond accordingly.

This directly applies to YOU and the effect of this Monday Motivation. Sure, I can move you to action with these weekly newsletters (a girl can dream, right?) – but how you stick with it is up to YOU. Have you stayed discipline in your pursuit to make this the most manic and mad March you’ve ever lived? Do you see value in your work and go after your day with enthusiasm? This newsletter may be the start – but the rest is on you to make it happen.

It’s about having enthusiasm and a positive outlook on your “work”.

“I have to go to work”

“I need to work out”

“This is hard word”

Why do our days revolve around “work” that we “need” to do? The negative connotation of the word “work” itself often entails an arduous task – something forced upon us that will be spent in misery.

There exists three simplistic ways to drastically change our perception of “work”:

– Find value

  • Blur the line between work and life…and make your life a piece of work! Create it, be in control of it, and have ownership in the choice that you have to make it your own.

– Establish a routine

  • Establish a routine and this whole “motivation” thing becomes irrelevant.

– No more excuses

  • Lastly, cut the excuses. Just be done with that option.

If you’re taking part in the March Madness Mania (and if not, I’m sure you’ve experienced this on your own) – you are half way through our challenge and by now you’ve found that getting to your workout is second nature. You walk up to COR, check in at the desk, set your keys down in the cubby, start foam rolling…the rest is history. The need for motivation goes away when you make this part of your lifestyle – yet you maintain enthusiasm and drive to continue.

Something can motivate you to action but to sustain that purpose, YOU must find the value behind what you are doing.

What are you doing this week to turn your “need to work out” to “I can’t wait to work out”? What about your work – whether it be your exercise fix, your job, or chore – fuels you?

Written by Amanda Presgraves. Amanda is a senior Kinesiology major, Division I student-athlete and entrepreneur at James Madison University. As an advocate of health and personal growth, she’s on a constant pursuit to optimize life and inspire others through her commitment to healthy living. If you can’t find Amanda bouncing between the classroom, pool, kitchen, or volunteering, you can find her online as she continues to lead and motivate others towards a happier and improved life at COR through her article contributions, newsletters and community motivation. (@amandapgraves, linkedin).