Inspiration or Motivation


Motivation could primarily be described as an external influence on one’s attitude or mood.  A person can get motivated by rewards for effort, the desire to acquire something, even experiences, and that reward ‘drives’ them to perform the actions required to achieve the desired result. Athletes for example may be motivated to train hard on the expectation they will receive recognition in some form – a trophy or a medal.  Certainly they can be motivated for their own reasons or to achieve a personal best.  Often you will hear people who have achieved great things say something like “I did it for the memory of my father…,” or something similar. External influences can come from listening to others, such as motivational speakers that will get them to take action towards the achievement of their goals.  Most people go to work because they are motivated to earn money to house, feed and clothe their families in the first instance, and then to enjoy the other things that money can buy.  But few workers would be described as being inspired unless they are creating something unique.


Inspiration is almost a spiritual influence on your thoughts and can sometimes be difficult to understand where the inspiration comes from.   It has been described as coming from within, an internal source.  Inspiring speakers have the ability to tap into that level of consciousness that inspires people to do what is right, for the greater good, and not for personal reward.  True leaders, for example, have the ability to inspire their followers to take a course of action even if it may be detrimental to their own well-being.  On the other hand, leaders could motivate their followers by offering rewards, or, they could motivate their followers through fear.  Fear can be regarded as a great motivator, because it is used to get someone to carry out an action or result that is required by the motivator, not the person being “motivated”.

So an artist could be inspired to create a great work of art, but it is the motivation to see it in reality that would get the work done.  The inspiration could come to them in a dream, or at a moment that was least expected. One could be inspired, but take no action, but they will “feel better”.  You could, for example, wake up one day, following a night when you had a dream to lose weight and feel inspired to do something about it.  You then take on a fitness, or weight loss coach to keep you motivated and to guide you to achieve your dream.

Don’t confuse motivation with the achievement of great things.  Some of the great motivators in history have been people like Genghis Khan and Adolf Hitler.  They had the ability to motivate people to commit horrendous atrocities, but it is questionable whether those people were inspired to do what they did.

What Gets You Going?

So what are you looking for, a motivational leader or an inspirational leader? Good question.  My recommendation is to pick one, and get started.  They support each other.  A motivational speaker will help you to discover that inspiration within you, and the inspirational speaker will help you to find the motivation to carry out your action plan.


Recommended Reading:


The ION Factor

InspiratION  X  MotivatION  =  ActION