The 9 Attitudes & Mental
States of Ferocious, by Tom
Venuto - author of
Burn The Fat, Feed The
Eye of the Tiger Motivation
So how's your motivation been
lately? Have you been fired up with so much energy and enthusiasm that you
can't wait to hit the gym at 5 a.m every morning? When you know there's a
grueling, gut-wrenching, sweat-pouring workout ahead of you, do you look
forward to it and shout, "BRING IT ON!" Are you so mentally jacked
up that missing a workout isn't even a possibility in your world? Do you
attack the barbells and dumbbells with a ferocious animal attitude? Is quitting
an option that could never even enter your brain?
If you answered yes to these
questions, then congratulations - youve got eye of the tiger
motivation. If you answered no to any of these questions, then read on
because youre about to get a sneak peak inside the brains of
mega-motivated super-achievers. Even better, youll discover how to "turn
on" your own motivational forces by learning and copying the mental states of
Neuro Linguistic Programming
(NLP) is a branch of psychology and counseling that is based on identifying
patterns of human excellence (such as high motivation) and then duplicating
them, a process known as modeling. According to NLP trainer Robert
Dilts, Modeling involves observing and mapping the successful processes
which underlie an exceptional performance and breaking it into small enough
chunks so that it can be recapitulated and reproduced by anyone.
Modeling has been used to
identify the genius strategies of Albert Einstein, The creativity strategies of
Walt Disney, the persuasion strategies of star salespeople, the leadership
strategies of winning coaches and the peak performance strategies of medal
Modeling the behaviors and
thought patterns of highly successful people does not guarantee 100% identical
results as the person or persons modeled. However, it does allow you bypass a
lot of trial and error and reach the highest levels of achievement and
proficiency possible, as fast as possible, within the limits of your own
physical and mental potential.
Motivation is not a special
quality that certain people inherit and others dont, its a skill
that can be learned and duplicated. People who are motivated use their brains
in a certain way. Since all human beings are wired the same way,
neurologically speaking, then by using your brain the same way, you will become
motivated too, its that simple.
Of course, in order to
duplicate motivation, you must first know whats going on inside the heads
of highly motivated people. That could be a time consuming and difficult task
if you had to figure it out on your own. Fortunately, motivation has already
been studied by psychologists and mind scientists and the mental
states of motivation have been identified. In just a moment, youll learn
each one of them.
Motivation is not achieved by
using a single technique; motivation is a complete set of attitudes
and mental frames of reference from which you approach everything in your life.
Collectively, these states and attitudes create a propulsion system
that drives you towards your goals." According to NLP co-founder Richard
Bandler, a propulsion system must have two directions to be maximally
effective: An aversion away from something you dont want and compulsion
towards something you do want.
behavior is usually associated with something negative such as drinking, drugs,
smoking, nail biting, gambling, or spending money. However, if you can use your
brain to compel you towards something negative, you can use your brain to
compel you towards something positive. After all, it's your brain, right?
Most people let their brains
run on autopilot, leaving their feelings and behaviors to the mercy of chance,
environment and the influence of other people. NLP trainer and psychotherapist
Michael Hall says that Mental Mastery is the opposite of the chaotic way most
people let their minds run amok. Its the ability to control our
mind how we think, what we think about, how we interpret things, and the
meanings we give to events.
Mental mastery is realizing
that you are in charge of your brain, and you are the only person who can
choose your thoughts and attitudes. By choosing the attitudes and mental states
listed below, you will be able to control your feelings, behaviors, motivation
level and therefore, your results and your entire life.
1. ACCEPT EVERYTHING AS A
extremely motivating about a challenge. When someone says, You have a big
problem, its a totally different feeling than when you hear,
I have a big challenge for you. A problem is negative and
de-motivating. A challenge is positive and motivating.
So the first key to ferocious
motivation is to reframe everything in life as a challenge even problems
and adversities (perhaps especially adversity). How you decide to look at
things is your choice. Its called perspective. Two people can
look at the same event and see two different things. Instead of viewing a
difficult job or a tough workout as a chore that you dread, you can call them
challenges. When youre confronted by an unexpected problem, roadblock or
difficulty, you can call it a challenge and say, BRING IT ON!
Life usually throws plenty of
challenges our way, but challenges are so important, that if they
arent imposed on you externally, you must impose them on yourself!
Intentionally put yourself in challenging situations and environments. Set big
goals. Impose deadlines. Enter competitive situations. Step up to the plate.
Get in the game. If you dont have a game to play, then
youd better find one or invent one
Challenges give you the
opportunity to learn and to grow. The bigger the challenge, the more you will
learn, the more you will grow and the stronger you will become. NO challenges =
no learning and no growth. Dont shrink from challenges
them and sign up for them!
2. AN INTENSELY CURIOUS
STATE OF CHILD-LIKE FASCINATION
Motivation grows out of a
curious and fascinated mind. I like to call FASCINATION The Mr. Spock
attitude. An attitude of fascination can make any experience an
interesting and beneficial learning opportunity, even one that most people
would view as negative. For example:
"Hmmmm... my diet is darn
near perfection, Ive been bustin my ass in the gym for months, I'm not
seeing any fat loss at all and I'm actually losing muscle... fascinating! What
could I learn from this?"
Curiosity is a questioning
attitude. Its an I wonder attitude. Questions can be one of
the most powerful motivational strategies of all, capable of instantly inducing
a complete shift in perspective, mental state and attitude.
Be inquisitive. Always ask
questions; New questions, weird questions, hard questions, wild questions,
What could I learn from
How can I make this mine?
What goals would I set if I knew I
What am I doing right?
What could I be doing better?
Contrast those power
questions with these typical loser questions
Why can't I do it?
it always so hard for me?
Why cant I lose this weight?
What Am I doing
What kind of answers do you
think your brain will come up with when you ask loser questions?
What kind of mental state will you put yourself in?
Young children are intensely
curious. They are like sponges for information; constantly exploring their
environment, asking questions and learning. Thats why young children are
naturally energetic and motivated. Somehow, we seem to lose some of that when
we become adults.
Stay intensely fascinated,
curious and inquisitive like a child, ask the right questions and youll
always stay motivated and resourceful.
3. COMMITMENT TO
Excellence is the continuous
process of striving to become the best you can be and to fulfill as much of
your potential as you can. One of the keys to becoming excellent is repeatedly
asking yourself, "Am I settling for less than I can be?"
Excellence is an attitude of
exploring your potential. With a curious and inquisitive attitude, ask
yourself, What lies out there? How much more potential do I have?
Lets find out
Ive GOT to know what Im really capable
of! It's easy to see how this attitude can keep you motivated, isn't
Excellence is not
perfectionism. Excellence is not necessarily winning or being number one
either. Winning is a by-product of excellence. Excellence simply means that you
make the commitment to be the best YOU can possibly be and work towards it
4. AVERSION TO MEDIOCRITY.
Aversion to mediocrity is an
example of moving away from an undesirable outcome. For some
people, negative (away from) motivation can be the most powerful.
Many highly motivated
achievers despise mediocrity to the point where it literally becomes a
phobia. Just as someone with acrophobia will go out of their way to
avoid heights, a mediocrity-phobic person will go to great lengths to avoid
being average or living below their potential.
Richard Bandler once joked
that some people need a good "phobia." Does the idea of living at an
average, ordinary level scare you to death? How much do you despise mediocrity?
Is it disgusting and repulsive to you? If you know youre living below your
potential, does it bother you? Does it make you sick? Would you rather die of
thirst than drink from the cup of mediocrity?
5. A FIRED UP, TURNED ON,
GO FOR IT ATTITUDE.
This state is an aggressive,
ferocious, highly energized state of determination. Its the polar
opposite of uncertainty, indecision, withdrawing, backing down, backing up or
staying in your comfort zone.
Whenever you want to mobilize
your energies to achieve a goal, put yourself into an Im going for
it" mental state. Just visualizing your goal and saying those words with
emotion IM GOING FOR IT - can instantly get you motivated.
Im going for it must become a daily mantra and affirmation.
Eventually it can be more than words, it can become a way of life and a state
of mind you live in daily. It can even become an anchor that leads you from
fear and indecision into action.
Whenever you feel hesitation,
withdrawal, indecision, or fear, immediately change focus and think about your
goal and what it would mean to you if you achieved it. Then get fired up and
repeat the mantra, IM GOING FOR IT. Then, immediately take
some type of action step towards your goal, no matter how small.
When you repeat this pattern,
eventually negative states like fear and hesitation will become neurologically
linked to a GO FOR IT attitude. There may be occasions when you
continue to experience fear, indecision or hesitation, but you wont be
able to stay there; youll feel fear, but rather than causing you to back
down, the fear will be a trigger to get you fired up.
6. AN UNSTOPPABLE,
Have you ever seen one of
those great plays in a football game where a powerhouse running back plows
right through the defensive line, knocking linebackers right on their asses,
literally bulldozing his way down the field? Maybe the defense eventually stops
him, but not until three or four 250 + pound men literally pile on top of him
and slowly drag him down. He just keeps on running right through it all.
If you hit a problem or
obstacle, imagine yourself as that running back. Never back down or back off.
Plow right through it. Be unstoppable.
Visualize yourself sitting up
in the drivers seat on a giant bulldozer or steamroller, looking down at
your little problems or obstacles, and saying to yourself, I Am
UNSTOPPABLE, as you roll right over anything that gets in your way.
7. COMPULSION TOWARDS
An easy way to generate
motivation quickly is to become a great student. Become an expert in your
chosen field, but never think that you know it all. Highly motivated super
achievers are compelled towards lifelong learning. They simply "have to
A open minded learning state
spurs you onward to continue moving and developing. Learning keeps you engaged
to constantly invent, discover and create new strategies, methods, models,
patterns and processes.
Lose the intense interest in
your craft and you will always lose your motivation. Immerse yourself in
information about the field you want to master and you always build your
8. COMPULSION TOWARDS
In studies of highly
motivated achievers, one thing they all have in common is compulsion towards
constant and never ending improvement. They are never satisfied or complacent.
The improvements dont
necessarily have to be big steps they can be tiny, incremental
improvements, but those add up to huge improvements over a long period of
Improvement is motivating,
even small improvements. With each little step forward in the right direction,
you get a little buzz of satisfaction like an endorphin rush. That
generates more motivation to improve further, and you set up a self reinforcing
9. INFINITE PERSISTENCE
WITH A NO QUIT CLAUSE.
One of the basic
presuppositions of NLP is that there is no such thing as failure, there is only
feedback; only results. Success is the progressive realization of a worthy
goal. It doesnt matter if youre not getting the outcome you want
yet; as long as you keep pursuing your goal, gathering feedback and learning,
you're a success. Theres only one way you can really fail, and that is if
When you begin pursuing
something you really want, you must make a contract with yourself that you
wont be denied and you'll never quit. You will stubbornly persist until
you get what you want, no matter what happens and no matter how long it takes.
This attitude will infuse you with energy and motivation that youd never
experience if you began the endeavor with an Ill try it and see if
it works out attitude.
The classic example of
infinite persistence is Thomas Edison. Edison conducted 10,000 experiments
before finally finding a filament that would burn in the electric light bulb.
When asked how he felt about all his failures, Edison replied, I
didnt fail, I learned 9,999 ways that didnt work.
The next time you feel
unmotivated, ask yourself, Whos in charge of how I feel?
Whos in charge of my brain? The answer of course, is you.
You're in charge of your own motivation. The ability to achieve a highly
motivated state is a matter of grabbing the wheel and driving your own brain
for a change. By studying these mental states and attitudes, consciously
practicing them in your life every day, literally installing them
into your brain, youll become so charged up with motivation and fierce
resolve that it would take an army to stop you from getting what you want.
Warmly, your friend and
Tom Venuto is a bodybuilder, gym
owner, freelance writer, success coach and author of "Burn the Fat, Feed The
Muscle" (BFFM): Fat Burning Secrets of the World's Best Bodybuilders and
Fitness Models. Tom has written over 150 articles and has been featured in
IRONMAN magazine, Natural Bodybuilding, Muscular Development, Muscle-Zine,
Exercise for Men and Mens Exercise. Tom's inspiring and informative
articles on bodybuilding, weight loss and motivation are featured regularly on
dozens of websites worldwide. For information on Tom's "Burn The Fat" e-book,