Motivation: the hows

I often find in reading cohesive and eloquently written work, it sparks my inner scholar who wishes to know everything. It doesn’t turn on curiosity or inquisitiveness; just the desire to already be learned; without any motivation to work for it.
How do you spark your motivation?

When I read posts by people I admire who write words such as “I started to meditate again” or “I cleared out the corner to make space for an altar” I feel inspired to meditate; and motivated to tidy. I feel no motivation to sit down and meditate – just the wish without the want.

It’s a strange phenomena in my opinion. How does one teach oneself to be hard-working. I guess I need to work and then find a reward or some form of ‘fulfilment’ which I can then use as a booster for the next task – but how to start taking that first step.
I’ve always struggled with the first couple of steps of the staircase.

Each time I’m motivated to find that scholar I feel is within me; it’s temporary. Once I’ve been researching for 20 minutes or so, I’m into it and could likely carry on learning for an hour without a second thought. Unfortunately, I tend to lose focus 5-10 minutes into it.

I feel this great desire to be learned – to love and know literature and to be well versed in a few subjects; and hopefully have a good breadth of knowledge (a jack-of-most-trades) at a wide spectrum. I’d love to be an awesome singer or writer, while wishing to be still reasonably good at dancing, listening, learning, keep perspective, staying fit (weights, karate), meditation, reading and keeping my cool. 

I’ve decided (yeah, you recognise where this is going) once I’m settled at University (hopefully in those two weeks before my course re-starts) to meditate daily. I’ve wondered if the lack of structure is an issue; but then again, if I make it too much effort I know I won’t do it.

If I can’t manage to sit cross legged on my bed in my Pajamas, what hope have I of lighting incense, & a candle.  I have all these plans but never take action. Half of these plans, even once split up into things I have real motivation for; I barely make it past the first day. The wish is not strong enough to creative motivation.


So that’s my question. How do you cultivate motivation? How did you learn as a child to work hard? Were you mis-labelled which taught you to prove teacher’s wrong? How do you encourage your children to work hard?
How do you find that want within you?



4 thoughts on “Motivation: the hows

  1. Rose, Thank you for linking to me! 🙂 I’m glad my writing can inspire at least a desire to be “learned,” if not quite the motivation to work to get there. 😉

    I think one big factor of motivation is enjoying the process, possibly enjoying it even more than the result. I just love to write, and I always have. The only reason I’m even remotely good at writing is that I think it’s probably really difficult to do something for years and years without becoming at least a little skilled at it.

    One reason I’m not an accomplished guitarist is that, well, I love to write. And I like playing guitar–I like the feel of the instrument vibrating against my body, I like the soul-stirring harmonies of song and feeling the melody of my voice weaving amongst the chords–but the truth is… I just don’t like it quite as much as writing. So I’ll practice guitar daily or at least regularly for a while, maybe even for a month or two. But eventually something happens: I have to decide if I’m going to take the time to practice today, or spend the time instead writing this really interesting blog post that bouncing around in my head. And I pretty much always choose writing.

    But I think that’s probably okay. We’re all limited people with only so much time and energy to go around. What’s important is that we engage in the process of living life and we do so intentionally and consciously, so that we get the most out of it no matter what we’re doing. So one thing that might be helpful is to spend some time thinking about what you would rather be doing. Do you fail to meditate regularly because meditation just isn’t quite as fun as, say, drawing or singing or writing? Or do you not meditate because you’re tired and would rather take that time to sleep? Or because you get caught up surfing online or watching television and time just slips away? If you enjoy other activities more than meditating, see what ways you can incorporate those into your spiritual practice. If you need more sleep, ask yourself why and if you can make lifestyle changes that will help you make time for meditation without depriving you of needed rest. If you find yourself frittering away the hours doing things that don’t enrich your life, then maybe the first step to discovering motivation is to first clear out distractions from your life to make room….

    Anyway, I hope that was helpful. (Here’s an example of me going on and on about something when I really should be doing laundry, something I don’t like doing at all!). 🙂 Thanks again for reading, and I hope you visit again soon!

    • Thanks, i think that helps a bit – i’ll have a think and see if I can incorperate other things in. I enjoy these things once I get into it, but often lose the will after 5 minutes. I’ve been reading your blog for about 2 years now and don’t intend to stop doing so, though I’d go through times where I didn’t read anyone’s blogs for a few weeks and then catch up.
      Thanks for your comment; I seem to get very few.

  2. […] My aim is to finish Buddhism by 26th July. Having read 70 pages in about.. 6 hours.. if I only took an hour a day, I’d still likely finish it’s 160 pages in over a week (over 7 hours). Once I’ve finished it, I’m hoping to switch to City Dharma: a guide to stress-free urban living, which I’ve got 139 pages left to read. It’s also a lot lighter (though apparently it’s still classed as “very heavy in places”, I find it an easy, though ‘full’ read. Arthur Jeon brings up many points in a page, and being 380 pages, it’s very fulfilling, kind of like Guinness. It’s a literary roast dinner. I’m hoping going back to a lighter book will help inspire me with some motivation. […]

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