There are really only two reasons people present to us seeking help.

Fear and Love

Those are the only 2 motivators that exist and each one plays a role. When we first bought our practice in 1993, I was out to dinner with my in-laws and their dear friends the Millers. I remember Joe asking me how I felt about the move. I replied it was pretty scary because I was 25 and just took on a huge amount of debt. (In my head, I knew I had no idea what I was doing and when I look back now – I can see that I was right! HA!)  I was expecting some tips on how to navigate my obvious inexperience but instead I received a very poignant pep talk.

“Fear is a great motivator.”

At first I thought, ‘That’s it? That’s the advice?’ But looking back almost 30 years later, it has stuck with me.

When people present with health issues, they are fearful that it will either stay as it is or worsen. The pain and/or lack of function usually drive them to seek help.

A professor in chiropractic school once said, “Be cautious on how quickly you take someone out of pain.” That comment didn’t exhibit much empathy until I started helping people manage their health care. His point was, if you remove the pain to quick they may lose their motivation when the symptoms are better but the underlying cause persists.

Don’t worry, we try to get you out of pain as quick as we can but I do understand and appreciate his thinking. We try to win people over with the “love” aspect of motivation.

This is the motivation that gives you the realization that there is always a healthier YOU available. Your current state is what gives you the opportunity to strive for that state of health.

On my bike ride yesterday I rode up on a person running and it ended up being a 70 year old friend from my Ironman training days. He was always a great motivator to me- not because of fear but because of love. I loved the way he exhibited his health and fitness. He is 16 years older than me and I could barely keep up with him. I always looked at it like he had 16 more years of training experience 🙂 He is ageless because of the love for the pursuit of improvement.

We need both types of motivation.  Fear needs to come along and kick us in the ass once in a while. But fear is a poor long term motivator. Love motivates much stronger long term. Embrace your fears with love and they will melt away.

Read past blogs here.