Motivation is something the ego wants. Ego needs motivation and drive to do things it doesn’t really want to do. Motivation is something you need in order to do work. Ask a child “what is your motivation or drive for playing?”…and you will have a very confused child. Or you might get the simple reply…”because it is fun.” What is play, really, but to have fun. So what is being said is “I’m having fun to have fun.” It is having fun for its own sake. This is play…no motivation needed.
Life can be play as well…instead of work. You can do it just for the fun of it. For example, you might think it would be fun to be a doctor (children play doctor and you can play doctor for real). But to play doctor in a hospital, you have to go to school…you have to get good grades…you have to get the degree and license…etc. So there is the pre-qualifying game of school that must be passed in order to get a license to play doctor in a hospital. You could have fun in school as well, doing the “school work”, because that is part of the greater game. This would be playing at becoming a doctor…as a pre-qualifier to playing a doctor in a hospital.
Do not add conditions (like you should never have to do things unpleasant) in order to enjoy the game. That would be like saying, I am willing to play Monopoly with you only if I never have to pay when I land on your properties. Paying when landing on Boardwalk may not be pleasant, but it is part of the game. Also, if you take a big hit when landing on Boardwalk, do you stop playing or give up trying to win? Do you like playing with such people when they do this? Of course not, they are poor losers that ruin the fun of the game.
Like all games…you also sometimes lose. How fun is it to play a game you always win? It quickly becomes boring and you stop playing. Loss is a part of the game and so we should take it in stride…getting ready to play another round (best 2 of 3?). And so, while playing to becoming a doctor…you may run out of money and not be able to finish school..and thus not be able to play at being a doctor. That is OK…now play the game of finding financing for school or you could find an entirely new game to play. There are many games to play that might be just as fun to play. You can do whatever you want in this life.
Like many games…you get better with practice. We never are masters when we start to learn a game. For example, football…the more you play, the better you get. Some games are fun to play, even if we usually lose. For example, I have not yet figured out the game of Wall Street investing. I am not good at it yet and need a lot more practice. This one has a major element of skill involved…unlike playing roulette that is all chance. Even with roulette though, most people lose and keep coming back to play more.
So do not put conditions on your happiness or enjoyment on only winning. The game – win or lose – is just for fun. We have all seen people who take the game too seriously and ruin it for everyone else who is just trying to have fun. It is not vitally important to win…the enjoyment comes from playing the game itself. It is not about future seeking (we must win), it is about present seeking (it is fun now).
There can be appreciation and gratitude for the game as it is. Appreciation and gratitude for what-is increases the enjoyment of what is happening. Appreciation not only for the game, but what wins you have had, the enjoyment you have had, etc. Gratitude that with the ups and downs that make the game so fun, no losing streak lasts forever. No loss is irredeemable. And there is always the next round.
As for me, I am playing a middle-aged man who plays at being the husband to a wife and plays at being a father to a daughter. I play the game of corporate recruiting (playing the part of a recruiter on my team) during the day…which funds (not unlike playing Monopoly, Life, Cash Flow, etc.) my house, cars, vacations, etc. I play at playing the djembe (drum) at kirtans a few times a month. I play at playing Texas Hold’em poker in a bar league most Thursdays. I play at being a writer and speaker about nonduality and awakening. And there are many more games that I play in my game of life. I am having a blast and I am enjoying myself immensely. Why do I do it? Because it’s fun.