A good friend recently asked me, “How do you motivate yourself to be regular with your routine?” This question is quite profound and one that we all seek answers to.

At times, merely getting started on doing something can be a challenge. At other times, keeping up with our work day in and day out can be daunting. Ranging from downright fatigue and loss of interest to questioning what we’re doing or why we’re doing it can be signs that we need serious motivation.

More importantly, the motivation to stick to our meditation routine is paramount for meditators. After all, meditation is the core life-enriching and energizing source within us. Meditators know they must return to the basics and get regular with their spiritual practice when life is problematic. 

So, how do we find that constant stream of motivation within and around us?

Making the right life choices

It all starts with making the right choices about where we spend our time and attention. If we can get ourselves into that zone of enjoyment and liking whatever we do, then no activity feels like a chore or hard work. If we feel invigorated, passionate, and energetic about our work each day, success, satisfaction, and all other outcomes manifest automatically.

One of my career mentors shared with me that this is the single most important thing in making career moves or major decisions – when you wake up each morning, you’ve got to like what the day has in store for you. Don’t worry about rewards, accomplishments, or successes; they will follow automatically. This is not just for professional career people; the mom who wakes up finding joy in doing things for her kids or the artist who relishes the prospect of creating a work of art each day are both in the right roles, doing the right things in their lives.

Motivation should come innately and naturally to them.

Let’s avoid doing things because conventional wisdom or others around us say it is the right thing to do. Or because something is fashionable or in the news. Or worse, we’ve been trapped into following or doing something by some clever advertising.

But each of us is unique, and we need to find and know what satisfies us the most and caters to a meaningful, longer-term purpose. Once you meditate, clarity, sense of perception, and, most importantly, getting to know yourself becomes very easy. Finding our inner intuition about what we’ll be happy with is the best advice we can get.

Spontaneous execution and involvement

Once we’re confident that everything we’re doing has a place in our schedule and life, finding the energy and motivation for our activities is the next step. An advanced spiritual tenet can help us in this regard. As we work hard, we move from the feeling of doing something to a state of effortless execution known as “Akarma”. This happens when we are connected to the divine and nurture that connection each day through our meditation.

Akarma is when the results and outcomes manifest due to our spiritual ascent to a higher state without ever feeling that we’re doing much. That is a state to aspire for because it eliminates the need for any motivation in the traditional sense. Yet, looking at it another way, being in that state can represent a lifetime and permanent access to the motivation we’ll ever need.

But for those of us lesser mortals for whom “Akarma” is some ways away, the next best thing is to look for additional motivators.

Finding a sense of accomplishment and achievement

Undoubtedly, the results or the fruit of our labor is one of the most important sources of motivation. Fitness gurus say you should reward yourself with a treat or a cheat meal once a week, after a period of strict dieting and intense workouts. That is a self-induced way of driving motivation by rewarding ourselves.

But not all hard work offers rewards, or at least commensurate with our expectations or soon enough. Labor of love isn’t powerful enough, even though it may be sustainable.

The answer lies in how we perceive the accomplishments and achievements of our hard work. For example, many artists find tremendous joy and satisfaction in their creations. This really is the answer to finding boundless motivation. 

Suppose we define and align our sense of achievement to the experience of the joy of creation, self-improvement, helping others or the world, higher and altruist purposes, and similar outcomes. Or, from a more practical standpoint, the happiness resulting from self-mastery or the perfection we achieve. In all these cases, the motivation can be compelling.

Pursuing activities for external validation, competitiveness, or materialistic ends can only go so far. An ego-driven sense of motivation does not give joy, and it can eventually lead to disappointments and fatigue. That is when people stop pursuing or working after years of hard work. They cannot take it anymore.

If our motivation is egoless, then all we experience is the multiplication of efforts very naturally into our pursuit, and it all feels very light and joyous. We don’t, for a minute, feel that we’re working hard, and without realizing it, we end up moving mountains.

Getting motivation through inspiration

Many people get inspired by others or events, but the trick is to direct that source towards motivating us. For whatever we’re pursuing with passion, we often have someone to look up to, like a guru or a highly accomplished person that we follow. Books or anything that releases many endorphins can recharge and motivate us. I know a friend who bought a new car when he decided to take up a new job. Cars are his thing, and he used the endorphins released from the new car purchase to boost his motivation for his new assignment further.

But don’t worry; finding motivation is rarely as expensive as buying a new car.

Having a carrot and stick for yourself is highly recommended. While inspiration can be the carrot, creating deadlines for ourselves, scheduling the work that we need to complete in a timely manner, and going through the consequences of not completing it can also be good for our motivation.

The joy of sharing and using collectivity as a force 

Sharing our goals and plan of action with friends and family and sometimes even on social media can be a good source of motivation. All those people will give us positive reinforcement and appreciate our efforts.

As I said, the motivation to even write this article came from a question posed by a friend who is, incidentally, pursuing teaching music to several students.

However, collective meditation is at a different level. We find tremendous energy to eliminate lethargy and refocus on our lives’ goals and purposes. Most importantly, we surrender to the greater power that arranges everything for us and become one with it.

We emerge out of collective meditation, finding all the motivation we need to get back on track or keep going and much beyond that.