I often get asked the question, "How do you stay motivated about training in Martial Arts after so many years (over 38) in training? " The answer is a bit complicated but I will try to break it down as best I can for you. There are many things that I do to stay motivated or to re-motivate myself. Let me first start off by saying that it is only human to go through your "Peaks and Valleys" in your training. Everyone goes through times when they don't want to train. Myself included.
However, over the years I have developed a few ways to pump myself back up!
1st. Don't fuel the fire!
What I mean is, don't even acknowledge the slump. Just "Keep going". While this seams very simple, it is the easiest way to get out of a slump in training. Usually, you are just having a problem getting from point A to point B. Point A being wherever you are doing at the moment, and point B being the training academy. Don't give the thought any power and get up and go. 95% of the time just the act of training will stimulate the endorphins in you and bring your feelings about training back to a good level.
2nd. I love to train.. I love to be a student. Although I have been a teacher for over 30 years (I started teaching for one of my instructors when I was 16 years old). So, When I start to get that burnout feeling from teaching all the time.. I just go train!! I go to a seminar, or go a BIG event like a UFC fight and many times I'll travel to Thailand or Japan or someplace that while taking a vacation, I can train as well. This is one of the best ways to get re-motivated as a teacher. Just be a student.
3rd. As my friends know, I always try to be a student. This keeps my passion alive BIG TIME! I got into Martial Arts because I wanted ti train, not because I wanted to teach and build a career in it. With that said, over the years I have always looked for other martial arts to learn, understand and fill the gaps in the other styles I have trained in. I have studied over 12 different martial arts and earned Black Belts or equivalent in six (6) of them. This has been one of the greatest things that I could have done. It has kept me hungry for knowledge and also made me a way better teacher for my own students then most can ever understand.
4th. Network with other high level teachers. This one is often overlooked. Many teachers are "stuck in their own little world" of their style or associations. This is the opposite of what I do. I try to hang out, teach and talk with as many other martial arts teachers as possible. We all share many of the same challenges and many times just hanging with other like minded people will invigorate your whole mindset.
5th. Coaching competitors. While it my seam as though this is more work then its worth (and in many regards it is), it is also a hell of a lot of FUN! Competing and coaching is not for everyone and I understand that. For me its a blast and after each event, I'm on a high for weeks to follow. The atmosphere, the teammates and the chance to be in the room withg other like minded coaches and competitors really pumps me up.
I hope this helps.
Feel free to comment the things that you do to keep your motivation below.