Tenacity & Apathy
Hey team!!! This week I took a little dive into 2 words, apathy and tenacity - what they truly mean and how I can help SoulShiners increase tenacity and hopefully decrease apathy. Recently I was introduced to a really helpful and informative podcast called Huberman Lab (thanks Adam!!). This weekend I listened to Dr. Andrew Huberman discuss how to increase tenacity and willpower, exactly the information that I was looking for. I’m going to try to summarize this 2 hour long, intriguing, thought provoking, and motivating podcast into one paragraph. Here goes…….
Picture a train track and at one end are feelings like apathy and depression (lack of interest and enthusiasm) and on the other end we have tenacity and grit (determination, willpower and passion). Let’s call our train Motivation. Our train can move from one end of the track to the other depending on certain things such as sleep and nutrition quality, getting enough sunlight, our social connectedness or lack of, etc. I’m sure every single one of us wants our train to be chugging toward the gritty and tenacious end and I am going to try to help you understand how we can get there.
Ugh, this is going to take 2 paragraphs…….
There is a place in your brain called the Anterior Mid-Cingulate Cortex (aMCC). It has been found that people who live closer to the tenacious end of the track have a larger aMCC than people who tend to chill on the other end. Thankfully, we have the amazing ability to increase the size of our aMCC and have a more tenacious brain, but it takes work. The only way to build up its volume is by engaging in behaviors that we would rather not engage in and by resisting behaviors that we want to engage in or are drawn to. You have to be in some degree of resistance, having a lack of desire to do whatever it is you have to do.
Kk, I need more time, stick with me for one more……
If you love cold showers and getting into ice baths, then you’re not going to increase your aMCC when you hit that cold water but if cold water is not your thing and you decide to jump in, then you will absolutely increase your aMCC, tenacity and grit. Side note, if you’re a cold water lover don’t fret!!! The tenacity and willpower you’ve already built will be reinforced by your plunges!! Ways to increase - learning a new language or skill, continually exploring, reading or listening to something that you’re supposed to learn, or adding in one more resistance workout per week. Here it is in a nutshell - when we engage in a hard task, when we make our body get up from the couch or out of bed, when we say no to another obligation in order to get to our exercise session, when we resist the cookie or the negative thought, we increase our tenacity and willpower BUT we need to experience resistance that we have to overcome in order to get there.
Shit, I promise this is it!!!!!
Here’s the part that I really like, the idea that I can get totally onboard with - the word is micro-sucks (sorry Kik, I know we don’t like to use the word sucks but micro-less than splendids doesn’t really have the same ring to it). Andrew Huberman explains micro-sucks as small moments of friction in your day that you need to get through and overcome. Cranking that shower handle over to cold for 30 seconds, finishing out your language lesson and sitting to think about what you’ve just learned instead of going onto a social media site, resisting the urge to have that scoop of ice cream at 8 pm. It’s going to suck to do 25 more burpees at the end of my training session but here goes. It’s going to suck to bang out 100 jumping jacks after my hard run but I’m going to do it.
It’s these little, hard and annoying moments that when done over and over will power up your motivation train and help to get your train chugging away from the apathy end and toward the tenacious end, or so Andrew says. But I’m game!!! Are you?
Joys and Micro-sucks - please sign up - drop ins - $15, sign ups - $12.
Monday: HIIT @ The Little Theater and on Zoom - 8:15-9:15 am
Tuesday: Power Yoga(ish) @ The Little Theater and on Zoom - 8:15-9:15 am
Wednesday: Cardio Dance @ The Little Theater and on Zoom - 5:15-6 pm
Thursday: PiYo @ The Athletic Club and on Zoom - 12-1 pm
Friday: HIIT @ The Little Theater on on Zoom - 8:15-9:15 am
Heading out now to shovel (a micro-suck) and then for a snowshoe (a joy!!!),
PS - I hope that I was able to do this concept justice(ish). I know it took longer than I said. If you’d like to listen to the podcast you can find it here: