Don’t confuse motivation with inspiration

Motivation and inspiration are they the same things?

Take motivational speakers, they have their place, especially if they are genuine, authentic and doing it for the right reasons.

However, getting a ‘shot’ in the arm is not enough. If you are looking to them to solve your challenges or get you going long-term (a bit like thinking you can read a book, or go to a seminar or whatever else, that is a one off instant fix) then you’ll soon realise that it is not enough. I am not saying don’t go and listen to a speaker or read a book etc, but beware if you think that they are going to fix your life/business or both, then think again.

The only person who can fix your life is you and that is a simple fact of life. You have to start with yourself, take accountability and then look at your WHY. WHY do you do what you do?

It’s less about motivation and more about inspiration. Not just inspiring others only, but most importantly, you have to inspire yourself not motivate yourself.

Motivation – a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.

Inspiration – fill (someone/you) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative, innovative and fulfilling.

Motivation is a reason for doing something, where inspiration is deeper more soulful and creates a burning urge to fulfil something to create something.

True leaders inspire with their WHY, so they do not need to manipulate others, their WHY is the inspiration for others to follow. They know that motivation is a short-lived thing.

Great leaders or great businesses tell people their WHY and that inspires people to follow and give unlimited loyalty. They create people who follow and want to belong. Whereas motivation tends to be manipulative and sure that works short-term.

Motivation is a little bit like willpower, it fades without any inspiration and that is the difference between say a coach, who will work with you long term and will inspire you on an ongoing basis to reach your goals, to work out your own inspiration and your own WHY than say listening to a motivational speech or reading a book.

A motivational writer/speaker will just plug you into the national grid ‘blow’ your head off and give you an instant buzz. It’s a bit like a sugar rush, a quick fix, an instant gratification route, that will merely put a ‘plaster’ over the problem. Same as willpower, you can use it in the short-term to achieve almost anything, but it isn’t sustainable, so long term happiness and success will be unachievable.

Whereas a leader or a coach will inspire you to find your solution, which will take time to work and will require discipline and hard work from you to get to the results that you need.

Equally, you can find out your why and then inspire yourself. However, from life experience, it is always better to collaborate with others and get the most for sharing and working with other people.

So inspiration is like happiness – deep, meaningful and with commitment, it will lead to success. Motivation is like a slice of cake, good while you eat it but the buzz fades quickly.

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