If you train long enough, at some point you will probably come to question your purpose in training. What may have started as a search for practical defense or discipline, health or fitness, or just a plain remedy for boredom- feel good be fit, pride and ego- may not continue to be so as you go deeper into your practice.
This applies to any craft, and most paths will lead you to the same conclusions.. as long as you are an inquisitive person genuinely seeking growth. What’s interesting is that martial arts is often associated with solely the physical manifestation, and it may stagnate here, rather than continuing as a quest to becoming a better person.
What internal purpose motivates a student, and what motivators they use are very much dependent on what the student is missing in their life and where they are at. The Roots perspective is that in the long term the Self is never a strong enough motivator. This is also true in the present; when you train alone it is way harder to push as opposed to in front of colleagues or teachers. There are plenty of external motivators to choose from, but even the external must originate from within.
Back to purpose. If you stick with it long enough and the practice gains enough depth spiritually, psychologically, and physically, the motivators will change. You may go from personal gain, to protecting your loved ones, your community…ultimately God or other spiritual paths. Having said that, most people think they are seekers but it takes dedication and clear vision. And, arguably, courage.
Where are you at?