Motivation Meditation- It’s important to develop a strong motivation to meditate. The reason we fail to achieve our goals is that we lack the motivation to maintain our work. And this is no different for Meditation. To see the long-term benefits of regular practice, we have to be able to motivate ourselves daily to sit down and practice. This article covers the different kinds of motivations and how they affect your meditation practice and how to motivate yourself.
Meditation and Motivation
It’s important to develop a strong motivation to meditate. The Nr.1 reason we fail to achieve our goals and make our dreams a reality is because we lack the motivation to maintain our work and thus we fail to do the work consistently. The lack of motivation and then not following through on our practices cause a decrease in self-worth and self-confidence.
When we look closely, not being motivated enough decreases our self-worth a lot. Self-worth reflects an individual’s overall subjective emotional evaluation of their own worth. This gets affected negatively when we don’t follow through on what we want to do due to a lack of motivation. This causes us to feel like we failed. We feel annoyed at ourselves and we start to get into this internal battle with ourselves. This battle looks like an inner turmoil of beating ourselves up for what we should have done but we didn’t do. And this causes a decrease in self-worth.
The other negative effect of a lack of motivation is the decrease in self-confidence. Self-confidence is one’s own assurance in one’s personal ability and power. When we lack the motivation to do something that is good for us, such as meditation and we then don’t do it, we slowly start to disbelieve in our own ability and power to direct our lives.
On the other hand, if we manage to motivate ourselves enough to follow through on our dreams and desires and take action on them, we increase our own sense of power, self-worth, and self-confidence.
Goals are the stepping stones toward our dreams
In order to achieve them, we need the motivation to keep us moving. Every goal we have, may it be financial, business or relationship wise will require some action. If we master the skill of motivation, we will be able to achieve and maintain great success in all of these areas.
Interestingly enough motivation is something that naturally gets stronger the more actions you take. As with meditation, the motivation to meditate will get stronger the more you meditate and the more benefits of meditation you see.
Daily Motivation- What is it
Now that we have covered why motivation is so important, we have to look at what motivation actually is.
Motivation generally speaking is the reason for our actions, willingness, and goals.
The word motivation most likely comes from the word “motive,” which stems from either the French motiver or the German motivieren. The word first appeared in English in 1904.
People are motivated differently. Some people are motivated by getting away from something, aka avoiding, and some people are motivated by getting towards something. Motivation to avoid something comes from our deep internal animalistic core which used to help us to see a danger in advance and then taking steps to avoid that danger. It’s the very fundamental principle of the human to avoid pain and discomfort and to ultimately survive at whatever cost. This programming is still deeply rooted in our psyche that is why we so often we take actions to get away from something. It’s said that the human is more motivated to avoid pain then he is to seek pleasure.
The motivation that comes from seeking is associated with a rewarding stimulus. The wanting of a goal or outcome serves itself as a magnet to take action.
When we look at meditation, here are the ways we can be motivated taking this concept:
– We can be motivated to meditate to avoid negative thinking, stress and brain chatter
– We can be motivated to meditate to achieve clarity, focus, peace, and self-transcendence
Notice that these are entirely different ways to be motivated to meditate. One is to get away from pain and the other one is to go towards pleasure or desired outcome.
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
Further from that motivation can be divided into two different theories: Intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) motivation. Intrinsic motivation has been studied since the 1970s. It’s the desire to seek out new things, new challenges, to gain knowledge and to test one’s own capacity. Intrinsically motivated actions are driven by the enjoyment and interest in the task and action itself without desiring a specific outcome. Intrinsic motivation refers to doing something because it is inherently interesting or enjoyable. People who are intrinsically motivated are more motivated to engage in a task willingly without any external force. The benefits of intrinsic motivation are that the motivation is usually long-lasting, self-sustaining and independent of any outcome. It usually lasts beyond the achievement of any results.
Examples of intrinsic motivation to meditate are the motivation to get to know oneself better, to know what is beyond the mind or to feel more clarity and stability of mood.
Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, refers to doing something because it leads to a separable outcome. It usually comes from an influence that is outside of oneself and it aims to attain outcomes that it can’t get with intrinsic motivation. The benefit of extrinsic motivation allows us to become easily motivated and start working towards a goal immediately. The downside is that the motivation will only last as long as the outcomes are satisfying. There are two ways in which the person can no longer feel externally motivated. They either achieve their result and desired outcome and the action served its purpose or they didn’t achieve the desired result so the action didn’t lead them to where they wanna be.
Examples for extrinsic motivations to meditate are the desire to use meditation to be more productive so that we can earn more money, to fit into a social group such as being able to talk about meditation with friends or to use meditation to control desires such as the desire for sex, food, and recognition.
Extrinsic Motivation and Meditation
It’s good to notice here that when using extrinsic motivation to meditate, meditation is the how which leads us to the desired outcome. When using intrinsic motivation, meditation is the what we want to do and achieve. And because intrinsically motivating ourselves to meditate makes meditation the what, the chance of a longer lasting motivation, thus a long-term practice is easier to attain with intrinsic motivation.
But for most beginners, it’s hard to find an intrinsic motivation to meditate because meditation is still a very abstract concept and practice which internal shifts and results are hard to communicate. So it is good to use external motivation such as productivity, focus, and clarity as a starting point to get a regular practice going but at one point it is necessary to turn the extrinsic motivation into intrinsic motivation. This will happen naturally over the years of practicing.
Motivation Meditation- Remove the obstacles
To Find the motivation to meditate, you have to first find the things that are stopping you from meditating.
Practice: Make a list of the reasons you avoid meditation. Ask yourself: Why am I avoiding meditating?
Look at the list and see if you have a lot of obstacles. Maybe you don’t know how to start when to meditate and what technique to use. Most of the time there is so much confusion to the topic of meditation, that we don’t even start because we don’t know how. But if you struggle with the how, when and what technique, this book will clarify this for you.
No time to Meditate
If one of your obstacles is that you don’t have time to meditate, then it’s really about finding a little time slot in your day where you are undisturbed and start with a very small practice like 10 minutes guided morning meditation. It’s better to start small if you don’t have time then to try to force yourself to meditate for half an hour and you struggle keeping the routine up. So go slow and do as much as you can. Over time you will feel more motivated because you are sticking to your practice and you start to see some benefits. If you feel like you forget to meditate, it’s best to set a specific time during the day where you always meditate and you stick to it.
Discomfort and Meditation
An important aspect of being motivated to meditate is also to not let physical pain and discomfort stop you.
If during your practice you feel any pain, that does not mean that you are doing anything wrong.
It just means that your body is not used to the posture and that you just have to keep practicing and sitting in that posture. It’s best to find yourself a comfortable position where you are able to sit for a long time. If at some point you experience some pain, let it be there. Make it ok and be gentle and loving with yourself. Don’t expect yourself to sit in a full lotus for 1h. Holding a meditation posture is like training a muscle. You will learn and get used to it over time.
“I won’t be good enough, I might do something wrong”
Another obstacle may be that you think you won’t do good in your practice. That you may do something wrong or you fail. But the important thing to understand is that you can’t do meditation wrong. And you can’t be good or bad at it. Meditation is like most practices that you just have to do it to become good at it. Imagine you want to start painting and you want to be good at it immediately. You won’t be able to if you have never painted in your life. So it’s important to set your expectations low and see meditation as a skill you start developing. Also, keep in mind that even meditating for 5 minutes is already amazing and a success. Yes, you want to build the time up over time but 5 minutes of good focus in meditation is better than 20 minutes of fighting with yourself. So relax, take it easy and just keep going.
Don’t compare yourself to other people that have been meditating for years. As a meditation teacher I can tell you from the deepest of my heart that people tell me all the time that they have a practice for over 10 years but when I guided them into a deep meditation, they still have their issues and struggles.
Mediation is not a magic pill you will take that solves all your problems. Meditation is a tool that assists you.
When Meditation feels like a chore
A lot of the time you may think about doing something different in your meditation and you see meditation like a chore. If that’s the case try to change your mindset regarding meditation. See meditation as part of a healthy lifestyle. As you do exercise and eat healthy to keep you physically healthy, so you do meditation to keep you mentally, spiritually and emotionally healthy. By getting clear on the benefits meditation has in general and getting clear on how this can benefit your life, you will be more motivated to meditate on a regular basis.
Another thing may be that you don’t feel motivated because you don’t have the right technique. As far as mediation goes there are many techniques to explore and to practice but it’s best to choose one technique, practice it for at least 1-3 months before you switch again.
If you switch techniques too quickly, you will not have created the momentum for the technique to reveal it’s benefits to you.
But also if you stick to a technique that you are not excited about and that you don’t like for too long, you will be less motivated to keep meditating at all.
A thing that can really motivate you to meditate is to create some sort of ritual around your practice. You can create an inspiring meditation place with pillows, candles, plants, nice light and then turn some nice music before your practice. Then consciously sit down relax and meditate.
With meditation as with any other practice, you have to keep practicing to receive the benefits. In the beginning, you may be very motivated and you see some benefits immediately. But at some point in your practice, you will feel less motivated and you will see fewer benefits. In these times it’s very important to remind yourself of your true motivations for meditating and have a vision for yourself and your life. When it comes to motivating yourself it’s crucial to keep in mind how meditation has an effect on your life LONG TERM!
Another amazing way to motivate you to meditate is to meditate with others on a regular basis. For this, it’s highly recommended to find a meditation group in a studio or find someone you meditate at least once a week with. This not only helps you to stay on track it also brings you new inspiration and motivation through talk about meditation to other people. But keep in mind that you are not meditating with others to compare yourself or compete. You are rather meditating with others to inspire yourself and stay on track. Also, pick a meditation buddy that you check in with daily or meditate with an app that reminds you on a regular basis and where you can see your progress.
Furhtermore, go online and search for meditation inspiration. Watching youtube Videos, reading books or going to seminars are all ways to keep learning and to keep yourself motivated
How to Meditate Daily- Motivate yourself Now
To motivate yourself now, research benefits of meditation. Research and make a list of all the benefits meditation brings on the body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Then underline the most relevant aspects for you. Create a vision for yourself where you see what impact meditation can have on your life. Divide your life into different areas such as Health and Fitness, Relationships, Money, Career, Housing, Belongings. Put the advantages of Meditation that are relevant for you into the categories. Get clear on how meditation can help you improve each of these areas. For example:
Health and Fitness: Making better-eating decisions because I am more connected to my body. Noticing pains and discomforts earlier on which makes me adjust my behavior to not develop illnesses.
Relationships: Being less reactive in relationships. Keeping my cool. Being less needy. Making sure I don’t give too much to other people and to put myself first.
Money: Making smarter buying decisions. Not overspending. Not being overreactive with money. Being less anxious.
Career: Increased ability to focus. More clarity for business decisions. Less sleep so more productivity. Clear headspace. Less reactive.
These are just a few examples of how meditation can benefit each area of your life. It’s up to you to choose what motivates you and what you want to get out of your practice.